Third-year law student Lauryn Durham was recently published in the autumn edition of the Ohio State Bar Association’s “Intellectual Property Law Section” newsletter.
Durham’s article, “Temporary Murals Have Permanent Rights?,” examined the intellectual property rights of artists around the nation who paint street murals and other works of art—specifically those that were created during the protests following George Floyd’s killing.
Durham cited the Second Circuit’s ruling in Castillo v. G&M Realty L.P., where the court ruled that the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) does not differentiate between permanent and temporary art pieces and that as long as the plaintiff demonstrates that their work achieved recognized stature, the work may be protected.
In her conclusion, Durham wrote, “As time moves on, these thought-to-be-temporary Black Lives Matter, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor murals may live on forever, or at least until the artist allows them to be changed because of VARA. Future artists, no matter the temporary nature, wishing to protect their art through VARA must be able to show that their work achieved recognized status.”
In addition to serving as vice-president of the Black Law Student Association last year, Durham has volunteered with the 3Rs Program under the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, participated in moot court and served as a teaching assistant for the Vis-International Commercial Arbitration course. She has also assisted with the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center's research on COVID-19 related attacks on physicians and medics during the recent systemic racism protests.
Durham is pursuing a career in corporate law and plans to work at a Cleveland law firm after graduation.