If this don’t beat all. Talk about a sense of entitlement! How about arguing in court that artists are entitled to deface public buildings in the name of free speech? The court argument, violation of 1st Amendment free speech rights. Only in America! We suspect some of these very same folks who love their freedom of expression in the U.S. are also protesting the very government and authority figures who support doing whatever it takes to preserve those freedoms. I suggest these would be “artists” spend some time in Singapore and go prepared with copious amounts of skin salve to soothe the welts they will receive on their backs as they publish their “art” internationally.

(NEW YORK) – Seven young artists on Tuesday sued New York City over its strict anti-graffiti law, saying it violated their constitutional right to free speech.

The group, backed by fashion designer Mark Ecko, argued in federal court that the city went too far by banning people under 21 from possessing spray paint or broad-tipped markers.

Gabriel Taussig, a lawyer for New York City, said the law ‘strikes a proper constitutional balance between the First Amendment rights (to free speech) and the need to control the long-standing plague of graffiti.’

The law took effect at the start of the year.

City Councilman Peter Vallone, who sponsored the law and has sparred with Ecko over the issue, accused the designer of hiding behind free speech rights to promote his video game and brand name.

The city says its aggressive police tactics, which combat even minor vandalism to send a message that no law-breaking will be tolerated, have helped dramatically lower crime.

Vallone wants to permanently erase the image of New York in the 1970s and 1980s, when graffiti, much of it obscene, covered subway cars and many buildings.” More…

While we agree some of it (<3%) is visually very creative (usually sanctioned commisioned work and authorized), the majority is property destruction and vandalism plain and simple. NYC has been much more appealing to the eyes these past few years without “un-authorized” graffiti. Another example of the entitlement culture out of control!