FUP Files Suit Against The Associated Press On Behalf Of "Obama Hope" Artist Shepard Fairey

Last week, the Associated Press accused Los Angeles visual artist Shepard Fairey of infringing copyrights the AP asserts in a photograph Fairey used as a visual reference in creating the Obama Hope poster that became a ubiquitous symbol of President Barack Obama's campaign. Yesterday, we filed suit against the AP on Fairey's behalf to vindicate his rights, and disprove the AP's accusations.

Read the full complaint here.

Comments

I wrote about your case here http://www.iprha.com/iprha-news/iconic-image-of-obamas-campaign-sets-off... and noticed that the wikipedia page had been defaced to say:

Not to be mistaken for “”’Fairey use”’”, where street artist Shepard “obey” Fairey is a law unto himself and uses images without permission on a regular basis.

I then edited it out

revision history here (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fair_use&action=history)

Anyhow, interesting case, fair use is becoming a huge issue on YouTube, Veoh and the like.

The AP has been very aggressive in trying to establish its rights (whether they are correct or not will need to be settled by the courts) and their legal staff has to go after this famous work lest it weaken the strength of their argument.

I am very happy that I don't have to sit on the court and make the decision. This has the look/feel of a case that could go to the Supremes.

I thought I heard or read that Shepard Fairey was using the AP photograph under the "Fair Use" principle.

Briefly, the Fair Use Principle says this: "Fair use is a copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism."

Buy after reading these Fair Use principles myself, I now don't think he can claim "Fair Use".

Here are the principles:

http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter9/ind...

What do you all think?

Thanks,

PEMF

Shepard Fairey has written a long blog post about the situation he is involved in regarding the legal case with the Associated Press. Here are the first two paragraphs:

"I’m sure a lot of people are wondering about my case with the AP over the Obama HOPE poster. I can’t talk about every aspect of the case, but there are a few things I want to discuss and points I’d like to make."

"Most importantly, I am fighting the AP to protect the rights of all artists, especially those with a desire to make art with social commentary. This is about artistic freedom and basic rights of free expression, which need to be available to all, whether they have money and lawyers or not. I created the Obama image as a grassroots tool solely to help Obama get elected president. The image worked due to many complex variables. If I could do it all over again, I would not change anything about the process, because that could change the outcome. I am glad to endure legal headaches if that is the trade-off for Obama being president. I’m not saying my poster got Obama elected, but if it helped AT ALL I’d do the same thing over again."

You can read the entire post here.

He has a lot of very interesting things to say there.

Thank you,

Ken from Used Office Furniture

Add new comment