2. H&M Graffiti Scandal
In March, H&M sued graffiti artist REVOK after the artist’s lawyer, Jeff Gluck, sent the company a cease-and-desist letter for a campaign portraying one of its models in front of a NYC wall with his artwork. The fashion label claimed that the work was painted illegally and was not subject to any sort of copyright protection. Social media backlash from the street art community ensued with KAWS as well as Swizz Beatz, who owns pieces from REVOK, having decried H&M’s countersuit. Collectively, the lawsuit heightened fears of a legal precedent that would deny artists copyright protection for their works in public areas.
This past September, REVOK reached a settlement with H&M, where the clothier agreed to fund a number of Detroit art institutions and charities, such as City Year, Living Arts Detroit, MOCAD, Teen Council and the Empowerment Plan.