Fairey Responds, Accuses AP of Misappropriation

Lawyers for the artist Shepard Fairey, who is engaged in a lawsuit over his unathorized use of an Associated Press photograph of Barack Obama, filed a response to A.P.’s countersuit.

In a fascinating tactic, Fairey has not only asserted his own fair-use defense, but also accused the A.P. of violating his copyright by reproducing images of the Hope poster.  The Hope image is based upon the  A.P. photograph that Fairey admittedly copied.  The use cited by Fairey is an article reporting the acquisition of the Hope image by the Smithsonian museum, which included a photograph of the Hope painting.  Fairey argues that the reproduction was merely a “literal reproduction” of Fairey’s image and that A.P. failed to obtain a license for the use.  Fairey alleges that AP has engaged in such reproductions of work by the artists Keith Haring, Banksy and Jeff Koons

BoingBoing reports that A.P. has issued a prelimary statement in response stating that , “…Mr. Fairey appears to have deliberately omitted from his filing information regarding the newsgathering context in which the various images were generated and in which they are used…” News reporting is generally accepted to be a fair-use of copyrighted material. The A.P.statement  also suggests hypocritical conduct on Mr. Fairey’s part, apparently in response to Fairey’s assertion of intellectual property rights upon A.P. despite his own broad fair-use stance.


Shepard Fairey Counterfiles, BoingBoing 

It’s Getting Uglier…LA Times  

Artist Responds to Associated Press Countersuit (briefly) NY Times  


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