Friday, December 8, 2023

Shepard Fairey Ordered to Disclose Identities of Fellow Wrongdoers

Life isn’t getting any easier for Shepard Fairey. Today, Federal Judge Alvin Hallerstein ruled that Shepard Fairey must disclose the identities of anyone who deleted or destroyed records related to a copyright dispute over the Barack Obama “HOPE” image. Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled Monday in favor of The Associated Press in most of its requests for evidence, including when Fairey’s lawyers first knew the AP claimed to hold the copyright to a photograph the image was based on. Fairey sued the AP last year. The AP countersued. This year, it was disclosed that Fairey is under criminal investigation after Fairey said he erred about which AP photo he used as a basis for “HOPE.” He said he had submitted false images and deleted other images to conceal his mistake. Attorneys for Fairey didn’t immediately comment Monday.

In a separate article related to this ruling, the San Francisco Chronicle stated that Judge Hallerstein “also overruled the objections of Fairey’s lawyers and ordered the disclosure of financial records related to Internet sales of the Obama poster. Hellerstein said the information was relevant to resolve issues of copyright infringement and damages.” This isn’t looking good for Fairey, or for other copyright infringers who profit off the work of creative copyright holders, especially when it comes to internet usage, internet visibility, or internet sales.

UPDATE: April 6, 2010

When will the bad news end for Shepard Fairey? Ben Sheffner, over at Copyrights & Campaigns, informs us that the Associated Press has obtained additional legal firepower by adding UCLA Law Prof and IP expert Doug Lichtman as one of its attorneys of record. Shepard, can you say, “uncle”?


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