Pay Up Shep!

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robertd3
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:03 pm

AP alleges copyright infringement of Obama image By HILLEL ITALIE
On buttons, posters and Web sites, the image was everywhere during last year's presidential campaign: A pensive Barack Obama looking upward, as if to the future, splashed in a Warholesque red, white and blue and underlined with the caption HOPE.
Designed by Shepard Fairey, a Los-Angeles based street artist, the image has led to sales of hundreds of thousands of posters and stickers, has become so much in demand that copies signed by Fairey have been purchased for thousands of dollars on eBay.
The image, Fairey has acknowledged, is based on an Associated Press photograph, taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia at the National Press Club in Washington.
The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.

what do you think?
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fluffhead13
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:14 pm

At any moment he can be hit with a lawsuit by whoever owns the rights to this:
Image

Even with what the photographer said, Shep could still be sued. Most lawyers will tell you the image shep took is not something covered under the fair use clause. I'm sure Shep knows this. Theres no way he didnt know the photographers name last month. I would bet my collection he has been counseled on what to say and what not to say publically.

In the same breath, it makes his work that much more interesting. What would really be interesting is if the full unadulterated truth came out about how all these prints came about. Its not as cut and dry as he claims.
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heather_honey
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:17 pm

Ice Ice Baby....
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cadeallaw
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:18 pm

I say Fairey wins...
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HeadieMonster
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:19 pm

side by side view is nuts... I think he will be paying up
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mistersmith
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:23 pm

I don't yet believe that article posted above is real...I just checked the direct feed from the AP and there are no hits today on the word Fairey, and Hillel Italie's only article today was on Obama's campaign manager gegtting a book deal. Aside from that, nothing from that writer since 1/27.

Basically, I see the AP as being really, really slow to even consider a lawsuit here. Robertd3, do you have a link?
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cadeallaw
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:24 pm

I am not an IP lawyer by any means... but I don't think that he will. It isn't like he sold the photo itself and added "hope" on the bottom of it. It is HIS art... his interpretation.
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Stroma
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:32 pm

Yeah, what's funny is the photo alone is a pretty run of the mill photo that isn't one of those "historic" moments in time snapshots.
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robertd3
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:36 pm

Mistersmith here's the complete AP article:

BC-ObamaPoster 02-04 0880
BC-Obama Poster,1st Ld-Writethru,0894 AP alleges copyright infringement of Obama image Eds: ADDS quotes from Fairey's lawyer, AP statement, details. Moving on general news and entertainment services. AP Photo NY126 By HILLEL ITALIE
AP National Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- On buttons, posters and Web sites, the image was everywhere during last year's presidential campaign: A pensive Barack Obama looking upward, as if to the future, splashed in a Warholesque red, white and blue and underlined with the caption HOPE.
Designed by Shepard Fairey, a Los-Angeles based street artist, the image has led to sales of hundreds of thousands of posters and stickers, has become so much in demand that copies signed by Fairey have been purchased for thousands of dollars on eBay.
The image, Fairey has acknowledged, is based on an Associated Press photograph, taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia at the National Press Club in Washington.
The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.
"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."
Fair use is a legal concept that allows exceptions to copyright law, based on, among other factors, how much of the original is used, what the new work is used for and how the original is affected by the new work.
A longtime rebel with a history of breaking rules, Fairey has said he found the photograph using Google Images. He released the image on his Web site shortly after he created it, in early 2008, and made thousands of posters for the street.
As it caught on, supporters began downloading the image and distributing it at campaign events, while blogs and other Internet sites picked it up. Fairey has said that he did not receive any of the money raised.
A former Obama campaign official said they were well aware of the image based on the picture taken by Garcia, a temporary hire no longer with the AP, but never licensed it or used it officially. The Obama official asked not to be identified because no one was authorized anymore to speak on behalf of the campaign.
The image's fame did not end with the election.
It will be included this month at a Fairey exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and a mixed-media stenciled collage version has been added to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.
"The continued use of the poster, regardless of whether it is for galleries or other distribution, is part of the discussion AP is having with Mr. Fairey's representative," Colford said.
A New York Times book on the election, just published by Penguin Group (USA), includes the image. A Vermont-based publisher, Chelsea Green, also used it -- credited solely to Fairey-- as the cover for Robert Kuttner's "Obama's Challenge," an economic manifesto released in September. Chelsea Green president Margo Baldwin said that Fairey did not ask for money, only that the publisher make a donation to the National Endowment for the Arts.
"It's a wonderful piece of art, but I wish he had been more careful about the licensing of it," said Baldwin, who added that Chelsea Green gave $2,500 to the NEA.
Fairey also used the AP photograph for an image designed specially for the Obama inaugural committee, which charged anywhere from $100 for a poster to $500 for a poster signed by the artist.
Fairey has said that he first designed the image a year ago after he was encouraged by the Obama campaign to come up with some kind of artwork. Last spring, he showed a letter to The Washington Post that came from the candidate.
"Dear Shepard," the letter reads. "I would like to thank you for using your talent in support of my campaign. The political messages involved in your work have encouraged Americans to believe they can help change the status quo. Your images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign."
At first, Obama's team just encouraged him to make an image, Fairey has said. But soon after he created it, a worker involved in the campaign asked if Fairey could make an image from a photo to which the campaign had rights.
"I donated an image to them, which they used. It was the one that said "Change" underneath it. And then later on I did another one that said "Vote" underneath it, that had Obama smiling," he said in a December 2008 interview with the photography Web site www.suicidegirls.com.
------
Associated Press writer Philip Elliott in Washington contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APTV 02-04-09 1359PST
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fluffhead13
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:44 pm

This will be settled out of court, one way or another. Both sides are too smart to take it to court.
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Codeblue
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:59 pm

Link to the article?
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:13 pm

paying up "what?" is the real question.

if he actually donated as much as he says he did - all profits ending up as rollbacks into more obama advertising - there won't be much claim against "profits". w/o profit the suit still has intellectual value but not much monetary value. in other words ap can prove a point but they won't break shep's bank.

and they'll never ever be able to take away his incredible rise in visibility and popularity.

the math on Progress/Hope is actually pretty low:

350 x $45 (Progress)
600 x $30 (Hope)
= $33,750 gross (vs. net)

and that's if a court ignores the rollback aspect and counts it as ill-gotten profits.

BIG EFFIN DEAL. not much for a lawsuit to latch onto! the value to shep was 1. getting his candidate in office and 2. free publicity.

i actually hope this goes all the way as it would set precedent one way or the other.
HeadieMonster wrote:side by side view is nuts... I think he will be paying up
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Subtle
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:14 pm

Does this mean the "AP's" of this print will rise in value?
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:15 pm

100% chance of this happening, take out a second mortgage and throw it all on this @ vegas. it's a sure thing.
fluffhead13 wrote:This will be settled out of court, one way or another. Both sides are too smart to take it to court.
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But-we-unleashed-a-lion
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Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:19 pm

If that article is real why AP doesn't even know the photographer name????

It's Mannie Garcia and not Manny!!
Oh and Mannie doesn't care about that:
The good news, of course, is that, in a follow up, Garcia seems perfectly happy that his photo was used, and not at all upset: "I know artists like to look at things; they see things and they make stuff. It's a really cool piece of work." In fact, he admits he did not even realize that his own photo was the inspiration, though, he says "it always seemed so familiar." He does admit: "I wouldn't mind getting a signed litho or something from the artist to put up on my wall."
Source: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/200901 ... 3531.shtml

And here's Mannie's website:
http://web.mac.com/manniegarcia/iWeb/ma ... /Hope.html

Subtle wrote:Does this mean the "AP's" of this print will rise in value?
:lol:
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