Sunday, July 12, 2020

Obama Hope Poster Judge: “whether it’s sooner or later, The Associated Press is going to win”

Not sure where this is going, but according to the Boston Herald, Judge Alvin Hellerstein, presiding over the Shepard Fairey vs. Associated Press lawsuit, said today at a hearing in New York that “he has a feeling that ‘whether it’s sooner or later, The Associated Press is going to win’ the case.”

With this in my back pocket, and I’m the AP, I don’t think I would settle. In fact, it’s surprising that Fairey doesn’t take the “hint” that he’s likely to lose, and lose badly in terms of monetary damages. Not only that, but for those that are looking for a restriction or narrowing of the already loose fair use standards, this case could be a gift from heaven (and a nightmare for the “free culture” tea party movement).

Seems like the AP is on a similar wavelength. The AP’s lawyer, Dale Cendali, “says the news organization wants to make it clear that the AP owns the copyright to the photograph that Fairey used to create the ‘HOPE’ poster and that he violated the copyright.”

Via the Boston Herald. More from the Village Voice here.

Update: June 1, 2010

Shepard Fairey lawyer says fair-use case isn’t over yet.


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  • Peter

    Before we even get to the fair use issues, there are challenging questions about ownership (does Manny Garcia own the work as he claims, or was it indeed work for hire, leaving the artist in the lurch?) and registration. One can even ask, as Peter Jaszi did, whether there is enough originality in the photo to warrant copyright protection in the first place. It seems odd that the judge has already made up his mind on these issues.

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