Last week in New York, a federal judge may have established legal precedent. Jerry Wolkoff, a New York developer, owns the building known as 5Pointz in Long Island City, Queens, that was covered in graffiti for twenty years. A year ago, he whitewashed the graffiti, eventually razing the building to begin development. Instead he was fined $6.7 million for painting over the works of 21 graffiti artists. Even though Mr. Wolkoff owned the building, a jury found that artwork of “recognized stature” is protected under the Visual Arts Rights Act. Bless his cotton socks, Wolkoff “exhibited” the artists’ work for 20 years, and today they have studios. After this verdict, no developer will allow that to happen again.