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The AP Has No Case Against Shepard Fairey

Publication Date: 
February 08, 2009
The Huffington Post
Jonathan Melber

Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project, Professor Lawrence Lessig and Lecturer in Law Anthony Falzone are mentioned in a story in the Huffington Post regarding a copyright infringement complaint by the Associated Press against Los Angeles street artist Shepard Fairey, the creator of the Obama Hope poster. Fairey is represented by the Fair Use Project. The Huffington Post writes:

A few days ago, the Associated Press announced that Obama's famous HOPE poster amounts to copyright infringement. The artist behind the poster, Shepard Fairey, has never hidden the fact that he based his iconic creation on a photograph he found through Google. The AP thinks it owns the copyright to that photograph, since Mannie Garcia was freelancing for the AP when he shot it. With posters sold out, a special edition in the National Portrait Gallery, and major exhibitions in New York and Boston, the AP wants in on the windfall.


Fortunately, Fairey is represented by Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project (founded by Lawrence Lessig, the copyright guru behind Creative Commons, and directed by Tony Falzone). You almost want the case end up in court, since a win for Fairey would protect artistic freedom and discourage those who seek to stifle it.