Wednesday, September 27, 2023

When Shepard Fairey Gets Appropriated


Here’s a great example of fair use. It comments on and is critical of the original work, not to mention parodic of Shepard Fairey’s now-notorious “Hope” poster from a few years back. And certainly no market harm. If you’re an Obama lover regardless of political and ideological flip-flopping, or his fascist government practices, you certainly won’t be buying or promoting this little baby.

What does Fairey think of it? Well, he alleges he’s ok with it, since he’s “never been an unconditional Obama supporter or cheerleader[.]” I’m sure a lot, a lot, of people are saying that right about now. But truth be told, it would be extremely hypocritical of Fairey to send cease and desist letters or sue anyone that used his “Hope” poster as a launching pad, wouldn’t it?

Love this new poster!


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Comments: 2

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  • Peter

    So the poster is a fair use of Fairey’s work. Is it also a fair use of Manny Garcia’s original photograph?

  • Peter,
    Great question. And at the risk of sounding biased, I do also think it is a fair use of Manny Garcia’s photo. Why? Two main reasons. 1. that now this “NSA” poster is a criticism of both Obama but also a criticism of Fairey, meaning that it critiques and comments on how image/propaganda can have a double-edge sword effect, especially when we are talking about the recent comparisons of Obama/NSA to the Stasi. 2. I don’t believe these posters are for sale (commercial use), and also don’t believe the image is being used on commercial items (mugs, calendars, etc) as they were with the “Hope” poster. – sms

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