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Sale Of Artist’s Work Is Speech Protected By The First Amendment

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - An "artist's sale of his original work constitutes speech protected by the First Amendment," the Ninth Circuit ruled.

Itinerant artist Steven C. White filed a lawsuit against the city of Sparks, Nev., for prohibiting him from selling his paintings in Victorian Square without city approval. City officials refused to approve White's work because it did not "patently express a religious, ideological, political or philosophical message." White claimed his paintings of nature scenes convey the message that humans are driving animals into extinction. The circuit held that White may sell his paintings because they "communicate his vision of the sanctity of nature" and are not purely commercial speech. See ruling in .

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