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AP vs. Shepard Fairey ~ “Fair” Use

obama_shep

The Associated Press reports that it's going after Shepard Fairey for his use of a photograph they claim copyright of in his Obama poster:

Designed by Shepard Fairey, a Los-Angeles based street artist, the image has led to sales of hundreds of thousands of posters and stickers, has become so much in demand that copies signed by Fairey have been purchased for thousands of dollars on eBay.

The image, Fairey has acknowledged, is based on an Associated Press photograph, taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club in Washington. The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees."The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission," the AP's director of media relations, Paul Colford, said in a statement.

The AP's claim is based on somewhat shaky ground, given the way the image was used and the precedent in manipulating photos for these types of campaigns. However even more damning is the fact that the photographer says he doesn't have a problem with Fairey using his image, and that he claims the AP doesn't own the copyright anyway! This, of course, is not the first time that Shep's techniques have been questioned.

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