Juxtapoz // Wednesday, February 04, 2009
He may be our President, but you can’t escape Shepard Fairey's (Juxtapoz cover #82) iconic Obama HOPE poster imagery just yet. In fact, this new twist has us frustrated and more than a little peeved.
It’s no secret that the poster of President Barack Obama, above right, by Shepard Fairey is based on the April 27, 2006 file photo of then-Senator Barack Obama by Associated Press photographer Manny Garcia at the National Press Club in Washington. However, even though Shepard Fairey has acknowledged that his poster is based on the AP photo, AP says it owns the copyright and wants not only credit, but financial compensation.
"The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission," the AP's director of media relations, Paul Colford, said in a statement.
"AP safeguards its assets and looks at these events on a case-by-case basis. We have reached out to Mr. Fairey's attorney and are in discussions. We hope for an amicable solution."
"We believe fair use protects Shepard's right to do what he did here," says Fairey's attorney, Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University and a lecturer at the Stanford Law School. "It wouldn't be appropriate to comment beyond that at this time because we are in discussions about this with the AP."
Fairey has been very open that he found the photograph using a common Google Images search. He released the image on his own website shortly after he created it in early 2008 and made thousands of posters for the street in support of a candidate he had faith, and yes, hope in.
The image caught on, and supporters snagged the image for their own uses, campaign-related and otherwise, yet Fairey never received any of the money raised using his unique imagery.
Funny how when Shepard was a lesser-known, albeit hard-working, street and fine artist, not many seemed to mind or wonder where the inspiration for his artistry came from. Nothing like seeing a dollar to be made and seizing an opportunity.
We’ll be sure to follow this case, but you can read further now on the Huffington Post.