Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


VARA, which became effective June 1, 1991, provides the first federal statutory recognition of the moral rights of integrity and attribution for works of visual art. Prior to VARA's enactment, some states, including the art centers of California and New York, had already enacted moral rights statutes. This article compares VARA with state moral rights statutes. It concludes that VARA is clearly an advance since only eleven states have moral rights statutes and not all provide more protection. However, the author suggests that the state statutes, taken as a whole, protect more kinds of works and offer broader protection than VARA. If an artist lives in a state with more comprehensive protection, the doctrine of preemption may leave her with less protection after VARA than before.