Sunday, July 12, 2020

Photographer Moves to Intervene in AP v. Shepard Fairey Case (update)

According to Ray Beckerman, Manny Garcia, the now famous photographer who shot the original Obama photograph while presumably working for the Associated Press has not only claimed that he owns the copyright to this photograph, but more importantly, has now changed his mind and concluded that Fairey did in fact infringe Garcia’s copyright. Garcia’s main claim is that he was in fact not an employee of the AP, but rather an independent contractor who never assigned the copyrights to his photographs to the AP.

A note of interest. Garcia is being represented by Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, who have also represented Al Gore and the United States in the United States v. Microsoft and Bush v. Gore cases. According to Chambers and Partners:

The firm’s clients include some of the largest and most sophisticated companies in the world: Altria, American Express, Bank of New York Mellon, Barclays, CBS, C.V. Starr, Delta Air Lines, DuPont, Ernst & Young, Florida Power & Light, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds of London,NASCAR,New York Life Insurance Company, Philip Morris International, Plainfield Asset Management, Qwest Communications, Sony Corporation, The New York Yankees, Tudor Investment, Tyco International,Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network and Zurich Capital Markets.

You can read Garcia’s memorandum asking the court to consider him a defendant, and listing his counter-claims and cross-claims, PDF format, here.

Update: July 24, 2009

On Wednesday, July 22, 2009, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, approved Garcia’s motion to intervene in the AP v. Shepard Fairey lawsuit. According to Editor & Publisher, “[b]oth Garcia and the AP have registered the photograph with the U.S. copyright office, and Fairey has registered his posters as well. There are other factual disagreements between the parties that remain unresolved, including which of Garcia’s photographs Fairey used. The parties are now performing factual discovery, and the judge has scheduled the next court conference for Nov. 20.”



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