Can Graffiti Be Copyrighted? (USA)

Seeking copyright protection may sound like the latest evolution of street art away from its countercultural, outsider origins. But street artists have long wanted greater control over their work.

The 1983 documentary Style Wars featured young graffiti artists wishing they could use New York City subway trains as canvases without fear of their work being erased or written-over.

British street artist Banksy has objected in vain to people who take his art off the street to sell it.