Police: Man Claims Copyright Design, Steals Shirts

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Police say a Louisville man charged with stealing T-shirts told the store owner he owns the copyright to the graffiti image on them.

The Courier-Journal reports 25-year-old Philip G. Rodriguez was arrested Wednesday at his home in the May 31 theft at Regalo.

Store owner Jeffrey Dotson said the shirts featured a rudimentary face with the letters "BRR," which can be seen spray painted on different objects around Louisville. Dotson said he used the design after his business was tagged with it and planned to donate proceeds to a beautification effort.

Experts say graffiti is protected under copyright law, but claiming it in a legal defense would create a dilemma because the image is illegally painted all over the city.

Rodriguez declined to speak to the newspaper.

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