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Stanford Center Joins Artist In Lawsuit Over Obama Images

Publication Date: 
February 11, 2009
Palo Alto Online
Karla Kane

Stanford's Fair Use Project, Center for the Internet and Society and Lecturer in Law Anthony Falzone are mentioned in an article in Palo Alto Online about a lawsuit brought by street artist Shepard Fairey against the Associated Press regarding Fairey's Obama Hope poster. Palo Alto Online writes:

Artist Shepard Fairey and Stanford's Fair Use Project filed a lawsuit against the Associated Press Monday asking for protection against accusations of copyright infringement.

Fairey's iconic image of President Barack Obama -- used on posters, buttons, websites and other memorabilia -- depicts Obama's face in the bold colors and contour lines of the pop-art style, captioned with words such as "hope" and "progress."


Los Angeles-based Fairey, supported by the Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project and a San Francisco law firm, argues in his suit that his use of the photograph does not violate copyright law because he significantly changed the image, making it a new piece of art.


Stanford's Fair Use Project, part of the law school's Center for Internet and Society, provides legal aid to artists in disputes concerning intellectual-property rights and aims to extend and protect creative freedom.

"We filed suit against the AP on Fairey's behalf to vindicate his rights, and disprove the AP's accusations," Fair Use Project Director and Stanford lecturer Anthony Falzone wrote on his blog.