News Center

Elsewhere Online twitter Facebook SLS Blogs YouTube SLS Channel Linked In SLSNavigator SLS on Flickr

Artist Sues AP, Says Obama 'Hope' Image Is Fair Use

Publication Date: 
February 10, 2009
Portfolio Media - Law 360
Ryan Davis

Lecturer in Law and Executive Director of the Fair Use Project Anthony Falzone is quoted in a Portfolio story about the fair use of copyright by Shepard Fairey. Fairey is represented by Falzone as well as the law firm Durie Tangri Lemley Roberts & Kent LLP in a lawsuit against Associated Press:

The artist who created the iconic "Hope" poster featuring President Obama during his campaign has filed suit against the Associated Press, seeking to fend off the news agency's claim that the image violates copyright law because it was based on an AP photo.

Shepard Fairey filed his declaratory judgment suit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He acknowledged that the poster was based on an image of Obama taken by an AP photographer in 2006, but claims that it does not violate copyright law because it significantly altered the photo.


"There should be no doubt about the legality of Fairey's work," attorney for Fairey Anthony Falzone said in a statement Monday. "He used the photograph for a purpose entirely different than the original and transformed it dramatically. The original photograph is a literal depiction of Obama, whereas Fairey's poster creates powerful new meaning and conveys a radically different message that has no analogue in the original photograph."