Capitol Hill mural project hits a wall over copyright concerns

An Awesome Seattle Foundation project from last year (Image: CHS)

An Awesome Seattle Foundation project from last year (Image: CHS)

A plan to add to Capitol Hill’s mix of large-scale, publicly accessible art is on hold due to concerns about intellectual property.

“Stunning Seattle” mural initiative organizer Justin Hart tells CHS that the project, which includes plans for murals on four Capitol Hill buildings, has been delayed due to an insurance issue with the city. The city is stipulating that insurance be purchased to protect against intellectual property infringement, Hart wrote in an email to CHS.

The group organizing the project still intends to produce smaller murals through this summer, but the larger murals will most likely be waiting until 2014.

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About Sam Heft-Luthy

I've lived on Capitol Hill since age 0.5. Now I'm channeling that Hill experience into my work as 2013 CHS Summer Intern, where I'll be reporting on community happenings, art, music, and just about everything going on around the neighborhood.
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13 thoughts on “Capitol Hill mural project hits a wall over copyright concerns

    • Stupid big government… investing $2.5 million last year in support of over 350 artists and cultural organizations.

      Just sayin’. ;)

  1. Neither this post nor the “Stunning Seattle” Web site explain why the requested insurance cannot be purchased. Is it exorbitantly expensive? Unavailable? With the information given it’s hard to understand why the requested insurance could not be bought. Is there more to this?

    • The issue apparently is timing and logistics — here’s a portion of an email sent to sponsors of the project:

      As a sponsor your contribution to Stunning Seattle is very meaningful to us. Unfortunately due to mitigating circumstances out of our control, Stunning Seattle will not be able to be produced this summer to the extent in which originally planned. The purpose of this email is to explain why this is happening and to communicate about our options moving forward.

      The City of Seattle is examining a situation that has arisen due to a last minute stipulation that we purchase an insurance policy to protect the city against claims of intellectual property infringement. Due to these circumstances the city is delaying their letter to proceed. Unfortunately, we don’t anticipate that the letter will be issued in time for us to make critical purchases and logistics arrangements for the large murals to be painted in 2013. We have asked from the city that our 2013 budget be deferred until the issue can be resolved. Meanwhile, we are excited to move forward in 2013 with a limited number of smaller murals to be installed on our auxiliary walls around the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

  2. I hope these murals are eventually made, and they continue the mural series of “What people in Bellevue call Capitol Hill”.

    • Care to elaborate on this? I’ve lived on this block for a few years and happen to really love this mural. I also frequently refer to my neighborhood as ‘Cap Hill.’

      • “The Hill” is acceptable when you’re referring to the physical hill, but not as a hip nickname for the neighborhood.

        “I’m downtown, I’ll walk up the hill and meet you.” – OK

        “Let’s go out to The Hill tonight and have a beer.” – Not OK.

        “Cap Hill” is, like the other person said, what people from Bellevue call Capitol Hill.

        And Capital Hill is, of course, another story.

      • We write “Capitol Hill” approximately 5k times a day. CHS gets special dispensation for alternates no matter how douchebaggy.

    • I do not like the pictured mural and I do not like the pet name, Cap Hill. I do not know when folks started using that but it at first sounded to these ears like an outsider affecting familiarity and now just seems like real estate marketing, as it is in this rediculous mural. That wall would be a good place for some art.

  3. Maybe this is in reaction to the previous legal issues with the Broadway dancing feet art installations & photo use & permissions.

  4. I live next to the mural pictured here and see people on a daily bases stop and take pictures in front of it… Besides it is great to look at it really improved this area, I do not notice the over flowing trash and filth as much as I use to from this particular establishment. I hope they get to paint!

  5. Pingback: Capitol Hill mural project stalls, giant mauve wall remains mauve | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle