Tags called "clean"

While walking in the street, I came across a concept that I did not know: clean-tagging " or " own tag In French ... But what is it?

"Clean Tagging" by Paul Curtis (CC Dennis Yang)

Reverse Tagging by Paul Curtis (CC Dennis Yang)


The concept of a clean tag is, in fact, in several forms:

  • the " Reverse-Tagging Or "Water-tagging": the idea is to clean a sidewalk or a dirty wall with a stencil and a karcher (high-pressure water jet). The shape of the stencil will display the desired message;
Reverse Tagging (CC Pirátská strana)

Reverse Tagging (CC Pirátská strana)

  • the "Chalk-Tagging" or "Paint-Tagging": the idea is to make a drawing with a chalk, drawing will disappear quite quickly from the first rains (well, that's what they say).
Chalk-tagging for Transavia

Chalk-tagging for Transavia

Legal issue

What some say

According to companies specialized in advertising of this type, the situation would be quite clear (when they approach the subject): if the chalk-tagging can be subjected to authorization, the reverse-tagging would be allowed if not prohibited .

Water-tagging would be allowed

Water-tagging would be allowed

What the law says

TheArticle 322-1 of the Penal Code has:

Tracing inscriptions, signs or drawings, without prior authorization, on façades, vehicles, public roads or street furniture is punished with a fine of € 3,750 and a community service sentence where only slight damage resulted.

The wording of this article is devilishly broad in reality: " Tracing inscriptions ...  ».

However, it is necessary that a slight damage results from these inscriptions, signs or drawings.

My opinion

Inscription ?

As a reminder, the word " registration "Finds its etymology in the Latin word" scribo Which simply means to write.

Therefore, how to say that the reverse-tagging would not be an inscription? or a technique to write a message?

The existence of slight damage

Concerning the "light damage", the people who use these techniques underline that no damage results from their inscriptions (even, on the contrary, since they wash the sidewalk) ...

In my opinion, if they can be right about the physical damage (and again), I'm not sure that their listings do not cause aesthetic damage to the public space (especially in the context of advertisements).


So, I think that theArticle 322-1 of the Penal Code is quite applicable to all these techniques: both chalk-tagging and reverse-tagging (without authorization) seem to me to be prohibited by the letter and the spirit of theArticle 322-1 of the Penal Code.


One Comment:

  1. A practice that is growing more and more, are the stickers on cars (parked on bike paths basically). There are some that remove easily and without traces, others that tear badly and require cleaning. But neither of them is an "inscription", moreover, by sticking it on the glass, we are certain to cause no damage to the car.
    Do you think that would be part of this law?

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