Garcia Jumps Into AP/Fairey Lawsuit

Posted on 8/5/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Mannie Garcia—who shot the photo of then-Senator Barack Obama used by Shepard Fairey as the basis of the “Hope” presidential election poster—has joined the ongoing lawsuit between Fairey and the Associated Press.

The case began making headlines in January. The AP is suing Fairey for copyright infringement; Fairey’s countersuit claims fair use. Garcia, whose recent petition to be heard in this case was just approved by a New York judge, falls on the same side of the fair-use issue as the AP, asserting that Fairey’s use of the photo required permission and thus constitutes infringement.

There is, however, one important difference: Garcia and the AP are at odds over ownership of the image. The AP has maintained the photo was taken by Garcia under a work-for-hire agreement. In contrast, Garcia has said he was filling in for an AP staffer on a temporary-hire basis, never signed an AP contract, and was neither a formal employee or freelancer that would be subject to the company’s work-for-hire arrangements.

Both Garcia and the AP have filed for copyright registration. Which party has the legal standing to pursue Fairey will be decided as part of further legal proceedings later this year.


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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