Passed in 1990, the Visual Artist Rights Act (VARA) was an amendment to the Copyright Act that protects the “moral rights” of certain visual artists in the works they create. VARA covers paintings, drawings, print or sculpture existing in a single copy or limited edition (17 USC 101).

It excludes otherwise copyrightable works including motion pictures, books, posters, periodicals, works made for hire, merchandising, advertising, promotional or packaging materials. VARA protects rights of attribution and integrity (i.e., no modification or destruction of the work). VARA rights may not be transfered but may be waived in writing.