Lost HOPE? Fairey Admits Using AP Image

Posted on 10/19/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Over the weekend, the Associated Press reported that Shepard Fairey has admitted misrepresenting which image he had used as basis for the now-famous HOPE poster. Though both images in question came via the AP, the actual image used makes it much harder to argue fair use—the cornerstone of Fairey’s defence and countersuit—because of how closely the final artwork reproduces the photographic original.

On Friday, Fairey’s attorneys, including executive director of the Stanford University Fair Use Project Anthony Falzone, said they intended to withdraw from the case. The group of attorneys filed court papers stating Fairey misled them. The original misrepresentation of which photo Fairey used may have been an honest mistake; however, the artist’s attorneys now say that when Fairey realized this mistake, he attempted to cover his tracks by deleting the electronic files he used to create the artwork and fabricating new documents to support the assertion that another photo—one that also featured actor George Clooney seated next to President Obama—was used as the original reference.

Numerous experts have gone on record stating that the fair use case has been significantly compromised, as was Fairey’s credibility. The funds generated through the sales of the poster and other items containing the HOPE image are highly likely to become disputed, potentially placing the artist in significant financial hot waters.

Copyright © 2009 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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