Also by Milbrand: Lookin' Good mural, 1472 Hertel Avenue                                      Public Art in Buffalo

Greetings From Buffalo, New York mural
By Casey Milbrand

  461 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, New York

The sunburst may have been inspired by the
sunburst skylight in City Hall:

Sunburst skylight in City Hall

Rand Building   ...   Liberty building   ...   City Hall   ...    ?   ...     St. Joseph's RC Cathedral (triangle)  ...   Old County Hall  (far right)   ...   Note water reflection of buildings on lower half

Far left: Old County Hall      ...    Lafayette Court Building(?)   ...    Far right:  One Seneca Tower

"CWM": artist's signature:
Casey William Milbrand

Another mural is underway in Downtown Buffalo. This time it is artist Casey Milbrand who is contributing his “Greetings from Buffalo, NY” work of art, which mimics a historic Buffalo postcard. The mural is also an intended backdrop for photographs. Casey got the idea when he saw how popular these types of photo-friendly murals were in other cities. This colorful splash of life will be the perfect setting for those who want to showcase their travels in a fun and friendly way.

“I’ve been to a lot of cities, and so many of them have similar postcard-inspired murals where tourists flock to snap photos so they can share their travels with the world,” said Casey. “I want to bring that idea home. And with new street art going up all over the city and tourism at an ultimate high, now is the time for our own mural that welcomes visitors to the Queen City.”
-  Queenseyes, "Greetings from Buffalo: Downtown Mural Project,"  pub. on Buffalo Rising, October 9, 2016 (online March 2019)

There's a new mural in town, and it is almost ready to compete for your Instagram-fueled affections. Casey William Milbrand expects to complete his picture-postcard mural on the south wall of the Washington Market at 461 Ellicott St. this week.

The piece, funded with $6,500 in crowd-sourced donations, practically glows with Buffalo pride. It depicts a 12-pointed sun rising behind a red and purple skyline against a graphic background of blue squares. At dead center is the word "BUFFALO" spelled out in bubble letters, complete with a heart in the center of the "O." On the right, a red Buffalo heads out of the frame, as if on his way to explore the city.

Much like the perpetually upbeat Milbrand, the mural gives off an air of boundless optimism and possibility about the city. It also mimics the vibe of unbridled "Buffalove" on display in the storefront space and Buffalo-themed Airbnb Milbrand runs with his partner Jason Lloyd Clement on Grant Street.
- Colin Dabkowski, "New 'Greetings from Buffalo' mural appears on Ellicott Street," pub. on The Buffalo News, October 25, 2016  (online March 2019)


‘Greetings from Buffalo' lauded the city's tourism. Then came the copyright infringement notices

By Ben Tsujimoto

The Buffalo News, Apr 10, 2023

Casey William Milbrand's Ellicott Street mural “Greetings from Buffalo” has been celebrated as a symbol of Buffalo's tourism and a made-for-Instagram backdrop.

But nearly seven years after the mural's creation, Milbrand faces criticism for sending invoices to businesses and institutions requesting sums from $5,000 to $180,000 for alleged copyright infringement. In two of these letters and invoices shared with The Buffalo News, Milbrand includes screenshots that show images of his murals used in businesses' marketing, promotional and branding materials without attribution to the artist.

If organizations do not meet the asking price within 10 days, the documents read, the invoice offer is moot and Milbrand writes that he will contact his attorney. Because Greetings from Buffalo is protected by federal copyright – a copy of which he also includes in the letter – Milbrand could through U.S. Copyright Law pursue up to $30,000 for each infringement and $150,000 for each if he can prove his work was intentionally reproduced for profit. 

The News has confirmed that since 2021, Roswell Park, the University at Buffalo, 43North, Welcome 716 and Buffalo Bike Tours have all received invoices from Milbrand alleging copyright infringement.

The invoice sent to UB asked for $180,000, confirmed university spokesperson John Della Contrada, who said UB removed the images immediately from its website and photo archives. The university had no further comment due to ongoing litigation, he said. 

"This was meant to be a city beautification project," said Jason Rothschild, vice president for Signature Development, which owns the building adorned with the Greetings from Buffalo mural. "We offered that wall up free of charge to the artist." 

When organizations don't comply with his financial requests for alleged infringement, Milbrand has been willing to take them to court. Shapiro, his attorney, has filed legal complaints alleging copyright infringement in U.S. District Court for Milbrand at least twice, against Roswell Park in 2021 and 43North last month.

A Roswell Park spokesperson confirmed this week that the cancer center settled for a "modest amount" out of court, and legal documents show Milbrand voluntarily dismissed the case last April. The case against 43North, a business startup incubator, is active, however, and Shapiro declined to share specifics.

In a notice of copyright infringement, the initial approach is up to the artist, Shapiro explained. Some may send a cease-and-desist order, which usually requires removal of all reproductions among other remedies, while other artists may request direct compensation in an amount they believe to be appropriate.

If an infringement case reaches court, U.S. Copyright Law dictates a range of $200 to $150,000 in statutory damages can be awarded for each infringement, depending largely on whether the infringer knowingly reproduced copyrighted material for profit. A court can cancel damages if the reproduction is deemed fair use…

Visit Buffalo Niagara was "thrilled" by the idea of Milbrand's “Greetings from Buffalo” mural in 2016. The tourism organization supported Milbrand's crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the downtown project, which received $4,640 total from 70 donors

For public works commissioned by Albright-Knox, the gallery's website dedicates an entire section to clarify copyrights and usage.

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