Monday, September 5, 2011
Help Me Howard: No Free Art
There is an old saying, nothing is free in life. But one man tried to give away free posters in Hollywood to people walking by and the City of Hollywood told him, you want to give something away you have to pay us. Can a city force you to pay to give something away? It's why he called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser
JD Delara: "This is a book iIput together. Basically, is all of my art work."
Walk into JD's apartment and its obvious, the man is good with a brush.
JD Delara: "I can work with paint, sculpture, old computer parts I create paintings out of them."
From his paintings of baseball players to sunsets in South Florida, JD loves art. Not just his art but everyones.
JD Delara: "I'm creating a vehicle basically to celebrate all of South Florida artists. All of South Florida art events."
JD created a webpage called South Florida is art.com to sell his art and to show other artists work, to allow others to see their creations.
JD Delara: "I want to help everybody. I want everybody to succeed. I think theirs enough room for all of us."
To get people interested in art and to direct them to his website, he painted this poster, printed 5,000 copies and then decided to do something unique.
JD Delara: "I tried to give the posters away."
JD and his daughter headed to Hollywood's board walk to give the posters away.
JD Delara: "We have the most beautiful city in the world, South Florida from the women, the culture to everything, so we need to celebrate that."
Great idea right? Not according to the City of Hollywood.
JD Delara: "And right away a Hollywood police officer comes over and told her she can't do that, that she needs a permit. That he's going to give her a ticket. That he's going to fine her."
A permit to hand out free posters in Hollywood. A very expensive permit.
JD Delara: "You need a permit that cost $115 a day to be able to give away your posters."
Jaclyn was stunned and JD was stunned that you have to pay $115 a day in Hollywood to give out free posters. So he called the city.
JD Delara: "What do you mean I cant give something. This is something I created, I designed and that I paid for and I want to give it away and I cant?"
Trying to give away free posters to promote a potential new small business to give artists a place to show off their work.
JD Delara: "I think this is a infringement on my freedom, of expression, my first amendment right. Why can't I give away something that I created? It makes no sense."
Makes no sense to an artist and budding businessman, but does it make sense legally Howard?
Howard Finkelstein: "Legally it's not clear. While the constitution guarantees free speech, if that speech or poster is to further your business, the city can require a permit. However the law does not allow a city to set an outrageous fee for a permit."
When I spoke to the city, they told me that licensed businesses dont have to pay for a permit to distribute materials. When we asked them why they then charged people like JD $115 a day to hand out free posters, we were told that covers the cost of processing the permit and for police to monitor the people handing out the materials.
When we checked other cities, we found Hialeah charges $20 a year for the permit. Fort Lauderdale charges $157 a year.
Howard says that makes Hollywood's $115 a day fee very questionable.
Howard Finkelstein: "If an attorney took Hollywood to court, they would argue that $115 a day is onerous and since city businesses dont have to pay for a permit, it may be an attempt to protect licensed businesses. If a judge looked at this fee compared to other cities they would probably rule it unconsitutional."
JD Delara: "This is going to be the second poster."
If JD can't give the posters away, he has another idea, paint more posters and sell them to charities or businesses to re-sell and to raise money for themselves.
JD Delara: "I sell these posters for $3 as whole sale. I can sale them for $2. I want local business, local venders, local tourist attractions to sell these posters."
Patrick Fraser: "If you want to sell those posters to raise money for your charity, just go to JD's websites. And while a city can stop someone like JD from giving material away, they cannot stop someone from handing out religious or political materials. The constitution guarantees you the right to express your beliefs and opinion."
Had a brush with life? Is not going well? Wanna draw a different setting? Contact us, we are terrible with brushes even crayons, but you can put Howard's opinions on a poster and just keep it rolled up.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
To contact JD, go to: