Sunday, April 28, 2013

Woman in Montreal arrested for posting graffiti picture that embeds a "threat"


Can merely photographing and reproducing on the web graffiti art that is “threatening” in nature in turn be seen as conveying a threat or as harassment?

In Montreal, a woman Jennifer Pawluck, was arrested after posting on social media (Instagram) a graffiti image she had photographed showing a mock shooting of Montreal police spokesman Ian Lafreniere.  Police arrested the 20-year old woman at her home.  Police imply, that she made her own threats on social media.
It would seem logical that only the first artist made a “threat”.  Pawluck is simply reporting it as a journalist.  The case would seem to raise the question if a blogger’s reproduction of a “threat” for reporting purposes is treated differently legally than if the mainstream press reports it.

But what if the image were one of child pornography?

The link for the story is here.  
Another question that can come up is copyright, although this is rarely an issue with outdoor art (certainly not graffiti).

The case reminds one of other troubling questions.  Does it break the law for a blogger to link to (or embed) illegal content?  What about linking to content that is libelous (main blog, April 13, 2013, where Canadian law may be more “lenient” than US law). 
Blame Canada!

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