On June 13, 2018, New York U.S. District Judge Frederic Block issued an 89-page detailed explanation to why he denied New York City real estate developer Jerry Wolkoff a new trial. The opinion stated that Wolkoff “lied, was reckless and irresponsible” and demonstrated “egregious behavior” in court.
Judge Bloc called the whitewashing “an act of pure pique and revenge,” and even accused him lying in court in 2013 in an attempt to prevent a preliminary injunction from being issued that would have prevented the developer from whitewashing the mural.
This order re-affirms an earlier ruling against Wolkoff that he violated federal law when he whitewashed New York's 5Pointz mural in 2013. Wolkoff will now have to take his arguments to the Second Circuit, but not before paying a claim for $2.6 million in attorneys' fees and costs.
The case is Cohen et al. v. G&M Realty LP et al., case number 1:13-cv-05612, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
* Copyright infringement by large corporations at the expense of often indigent artists is a big problem addressed at Lowe & Associates. Founder & Managing Partner Steven T. Lowe is the current President of the California Society of Entertainment Lawyers, a not for profit artists' rights organization, and is recognized as one of the best copyright attorneys, having written the highly regarded “Death of Copyright” series. See, LoweLaw.com. The 3rd article of the trilogy, “Death of Copyright 3: The Awakening” is set to be published in the July edition of “Los Angeles Lawyer” magazine.
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