Recently, the clothing brand H&M inadvertently went to war with graffiti and street artists. H&M had an outdoor photo shoot that consisted of a street art piece by Jason Williams, aka “Revok”. Mr. Williams then sent a cease-and-desist letter, but H&M responded with countersuit stating that all intellectual property rights were given up when the artist committed vandalism when painting his piece. H&M also stated that anyone can use the piece for free based on those grounds.
The graffiti/street art community did not take too kindly to that. Taggers have been defacing store fronts and painted various protest images. This isn’t the first time that street artist had to defend their works, this event did relight the conversation on the legalities of these illegally painted art pieces. Credit is very important to the artists, and the worry is that a slippery slope would have formed should nothing had been done. People saw potential for companies to use the pieces in advertisements then start using them on their products, all without compensation or crediting artist.
That is where the question stands, do these pieces of art belong to the world because they are for the public to see and anyone can use them. Or do they belong to the artist and they should get credit/compensation. I personally they should be credited/compensated because it is their work regardless of the form it was presented.