In 2008, Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” poster for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign became a symbol of inspiration and optimism. Yesterday, four years later in New York, Fairey received a sentence of two years probation and a $25,000 fine in federal court for his the same poster. Fairey had initially sued The Associated Press after they accused the artist of copyright infringement, claiming one of their photographs was used in creating the poster.
In his suit he claimed to use a different photograph but later admitted to destroying documents and submitting false images in the case. The prosecutors were seeking a prison sentence, howver the artists charity work and letters of support played a big part in the decision. The artist was quoted in saying that his actions have been not only “Financially and psychologically costly to myself and my family, but also helped to obscure what I was fighting for in the first place —- the ability of artists everywhere to be inspired and freely create art without reprisal."