Artist: Jay Critchley
Date of Action: October-November 2016
Region: North America
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Description of Artwork: Multimedia artist and environmental activist Jay Critchley placed the Florida State Seal inside the "o" in the Mobil Oil logo for his project “Mobil Warming” that challenges Governor Rick Scott's denial of global warming. The Mobil Warming graphic is posted on Critchley’s website. Critchley has used the Mobil Warming logo in other projects in the past, including “Miami Beige.”
The Incident: Critchley received a "cease and desist" letter from the State of Florida stating that he may not use the state logo without permission and before express prior written approval. The artist contacted NCAC, which put him in touch with a Florida lawyer, and he has challenged the state’s demand.
Results of Incident: "Upon the recommendation of the National Coalition Against Censorship, Critchley got his own lawyer, Lawrence Walters, of the Walters Law Group of Florida. Walters said he took the case pro bono.
"Walters wrote to Adam Tanenbaum, general counsel for the Florida Department of State, on Nov. 3 stating that Critchley's use of the seal is freedom of speech protected under the First Amendment.
"Walters cited several cases in the letter, including Texas v. Johnson, the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court finding that burning the flag was protected by the First Amendment.
"'Laws which impose an unconstitutional permitting scheme, such as those at issue here, may be disregarded with impunity,' Walters wrote.
"He said he has not heard back from Tanenbaum." Via: Artwork sparks free speech debate, Cape Cod Times, Dec 9, 2016
Artwork sparks free speech debate, Dec 9, 2016