New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law
Artists Authorship Rights
1. Except as limited by subdivision three of this section, on and after January first, nineteen hundred eighty-five, no person other than the artist or a person acting with the artist’s consent shall knowingly display in a place accessible to the public or publish a work of fine art or limited edition multiple of not more than three hundred copies by that artist or a reproduction thereof in an altered, defaced, mutilated or modified form if the work is displayed, published or reproduced as being the work of the artist, or under circumstances under which it would reasonably be regarded as being the work of the artist, and damage to the artist’s reputation is reasonably likely to result therefrom, except that this section shall not apply to sequential imagery such as that in motion pictures.
2. (a) Except as limited by subdivision three of this section, the artist shall retain at all times the right to claim authorship, or, for just and valid reason, to disclaim authorship of such work. The right to claim authorship shall include the right of the artist to have his or her name appear on or in connection with such work as the artist. The right to disclaim authorship shall include the right of the artist to prevent his or her name from appearing on or in connection with such work as the artist. Just and valid reason for disclaiming authorship shall include that the work has been altered, defaced, mutilated or modified other than by the artist, without the artist’s consent, and damage to the artist’s reputation is reasonably likely to result or has resulted therefrom.
(b) The rights created by this subdivision shall exist in addition to any other rights and duties which may now or in the future be applicable.
3. (a) Alteration, defacement, mutilation or modification of such work resulting from the passage of time or the inherent nature of the materials will not by itself create a violation of subdivision one of this section or a right to disclaim authorship under subdivision two of this section; provided such alteration, defacement, mutilation or modification was not the result of gross negligence in maintaining or protecting the work of fine art.
(b) In the case of a reproduction, a change that is an ordinary result of the medium of reproduction does not by itself create a violation of subdivision one of this section or a right to disclaim authorship under subdivision two of this section.
(c) Conservation shall not constitute an alteration, defacement, mutilation or modification within the meaning of this section, unless the conservation work can be shown to be negligent.
(d) This section shall not apply to work prepared under contract for advertising or trade use unless the contract so provides.
(e) The provisions of this section shall apply only to works of fine art or limited edition multiples of not more than three hundred copies knowingly displayed in a place accessible to the public, published or reproduced in this state.
4. (a) An artist aggrieved under subdivision one or subdivision two of this section shall have a cause of action for legal and injunctive relief.
(b) No action may be maintained to enforce any liability under this section unless brought within three years of the act complained of or one year after the constructive discovery of such act, whichever is longer.