Also consider the use of pixação in Brazil during its military dictatorship in the 1980s. Pixação is a particular type of graffiti art that developed in the slums of São Paulo as part of a social protest against the economic regime of the dictatorship. It was omnipresent and actively opposed by the Brazilian government. See Simon Romero, At War With São Paulo`s Establishment, Black Paint in Hand, N.Y. Times, January 28, 2012, A5; François Chastanet, Pixação: Signature of São Paulo (2007).  Several details of English appear to have influenced the legal outcome more than the court expressed. First, English was preceded by a lawsuit filed by a listed garden conservation group in New York (which included some of the English plaintiffs) that tried unsuccessfully to ban the building`s development on environmental, zoning, and real estate grounds. See Français v. BFC & R East 11th St. LLC, No. 97 Civ. 7446, 1997 WL 746444 to *1, n. 2 (S.D.N.Y.
December 3, 1997); As for New York City coal. for the Preservation of Gardens v. Giuliani, 670 N.Y.S.2d 654 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1997). The court appears to have been cautious not to apply VARA when the plaintiffs` main intentions are to stop the development of the construction for non-artistic reasons. See English v.
BFC & R East 11th St. LLC, No. 97 Civ. 7446, 1997 WL 746444 at *1 (S.D.N.Y. December 3, 1997). Second, the murals at stake were not destroyed or touched, but were removed from the public space by the construction of the building. Id. to *3. VARA does not prevent modifications based on the location or lighting of a work. For example, in Brazil, in the late 1990s, it was common for graffiti artists to be harassed or shot dead by the police. Today, many of the same officials support graffiti initiatives to beautify cities and deter crime.
They understand that graffiti can be a career opportunity for low-income youth in low-income neighborhoods. The growth of graffiti in Brazil and its role in challenging the status quo shows the power of art and its ability to create dialogue.  See David Gonzalez, Graffiti Muralists Reach Settlement in Case of Litious Fiat 500 Commercial, N.Y. Times, (December 2, 2011, 6:00 a.m.), wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/02/graffiti-muralists-reach-settlement-in-case-of-contentious-fiat-500-commercial/.  Template: (left) Graffitimundo, graffitimundo.com (last visited March 15, 2013) (sixth photo in the slideshow on the home page); (middle) Banksy, flower thrower; (Right) Stencil Land, Metal Gaucho, Graffitimundo, graffitimundo.com/artists/stencil-land/ (last visited 15 March 2013). I also explored the challenges artists face in enforcing rights on their graffiti, both under copyright law and VARA. Graffiti occupies a unique position in terms of the nature and scope of copyright.  McCormick, op. cit.
cit., note 3, p. 51 (“Location is everything; Context and content are ultimately the most measurable difference between what is written in the toilet cubicle and the profound bravery of the more heroic feats [of graffiti]. Behind its illegal nature, there are many ways people use the graffiti that created this negative association. In cities like Chicago and New York, gangs use graffiti to mark their territory. Even if the marking itself is not threatening to the community, gang violence leads the community to lump gangs and their negative traits into the same bag with graffiti art. And this association makes it much more difficult for graffiti to exist as a legitimate form of creative expression. Graffiti should be legalized for the good of communities. It helps minorities and marginalized communities to express themselves. Graffiti should not be judged by predetermined definitions of generations before us. This should not only be acceptable to a few, it should be promoted for all the peoples of the world.  17 U.S.C.
§ 106A(d)(1) (2006) (VARA rights “for a period containing the life of the author”); Section 507(b) (limitation period is three years); N.Y. Criminal Code § 30.10.2. (c) (McKinney 2008); N.Y. Penal Code § 145.60 (McKinney 1992). The statute of limitations for a graffiti offence, for example in New York, where the production of graffiti is a Class A offence, is two years. Community centres with positive activities can prevent young people from becoming graffiti artists. There is a youth center called the Non-Toxic Teen Center in Chicago. Its goal is to give teens a safe and positive place to spend time so they can do more than get into trouble. Stacy […] Graffiti is the spraying of drawings or writing words in different styles and shapes, but we often hear the word graffiti and think negatively. Many of us see graffiti and just think maybe it`s illegal instead of thinking about the artwork.
Art is not the legality of something, but the creativity and meaning behind it. Who said art should be legal? The rise of labeling – particularly on public and private property – has led to an increased need for law enforcement agencies to regain control of public spaces. The legal system in the United States classifies graffiti as a form of vandalism, criminalizes graffiti, and devalues the political and social messages the artist wants to portray with his work. Graffiti is defined as writings or drawings that are illegally scribbled, scratched or sprayed on a wall or other surface in a public place. Its dictionary definition uses the word illegal, which means it is not authorized or illegal. This singular word conditions the general public to believe that it should not be allowed. Before people even fully understood the concept of graffiti, it was decided for them whether it should be legal or not. Graffiti is an art form, although some people may not like it, and it should be widely accepted. Our perception of graffiti has been changed by the media, but this challenges negative stereotypes and social norms. Graffiti should be legalized because it helps people express themselves without violence and build community and character.
Consent plays an important role in determining the legal status of a graffiti work. For example, Banksy, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat all created graffiti with the consent of the owners of the physical property on which they are incarnated. The government in Bristol, UK, decided to keep one of Banksy`s controversial graffiti after an open poll showed city dwellers were in favour of preserving the work.  The New York government agreed to preserve one of Haring`s murals titled “Crack is Wakk” and even renamed a playground in his honor.  The owners of works by Banksy and Jean-Michel Basquiat offered their originals for sale at considerable prices, which shows the great value they saw in the works.  In these cases, the owners adopted and accepted graffiti embedded on their property, and the artists were never charged with a crime. This retrospective assumption could be a reason not to prosecute.  This is especially true when a government approves a work of graffiti, as it would be surprising if the same government sued and rewarded a graffiti artist for his mural.
Graffiti can be considered vandalism, but there are those with a creative eye who always find a message or meaning in it. For me, graffiti is art. Art is expressed and displayed in many forms such as singing, dancing, drawing and writing. We all see art differently. My creativity makes me see a simple line as a work of art, whereas someone who is not inclined to creativity may only see the line as material damage. Just because graffiti is often vandalism, because the artist hasn`t been given permission, doesn`t mean it`s not art. Graffiti and writers are constantly demonized in America. Graffiti challenges negative stereotypes.
In Colorado, writers created a program called “Granny Does Graffiti.” This program helps people with dementia express how they feel. It aims to challenge negative stereotypes surrounding the abilities of people living with dementia. In this program, participants created their own tags. Tags are personalized artistic signatures for writers. They used shapes, symbols, and colors to express who they are. They had to create a mural in their community that helped them feel a sense of social inclusion that is usually overlooked. This event shows how “an often misunderstood art form can be used to raise the consciousness of an often misunderstood population” (Hicks 815). Research on this program has shown the benefits of graffiti in helping marginalized communities express who they are, as well as confronting and informing others about the stigma associated with mental illness. In Portugal, elderly people participated in graffiti workshops.
They were taught how to create their own tags. They were guided on how to create these labels so that they could express their identity and display them on public walls to “salvage something from their community.” In the late 1990s, it was not uncommon for Brazilian writers to be harassed by the police. Today, however, many of these officers recognize the importance of this art form and that it helps make cities more beautiful. They recognize that it offers a career opportunity for youth from low-income neighbourhoods. As Olivero eloquently puts it in Graffiti is a public good, even if he defies the law: “The growth of graffiti in Brazil and its role in challenging the status quo demonstrates the power of art and its ability to create dialogue.” Historically, writers were children from poor neighborhoods, working-class families who had no resources. For them, the city has become their canvas. Graffiti is an important part of the ecology of the city and how one person relates to another and their environment. Copyright is essentially a right in an intangible work that is protected regardless of its physical form.