Shepard Fairey and AP Settle on Obama Poster Case


Shepard Fairey and the AP are finally calling off — at least, “in principle” — their longstanding copyright dispute over the Obama Hope poster, for which Fairey had used an AP portrait photo of Barack Obama without licensing it. The AP had argued that Fairey had copied the “original, creative expression” in the photo without credit or compensation, while Fairey argued that using the photo was fair use under copyright law.

In settling, neither will surrender their view of the law, but Fairey agrees not to use another AP photo without license, and, hey, there’s even going to be some fun collaboration in the future! Via a press release from the AP:

The two sides have also agreed to work together going forward with the Hope image and share the rights to make the posters and merchandise bearing the Hope image and to collaborate on a series of images that Fairey will create based on AP photographs. The parties have agreed to additional financial terms that will remain confidential.

Aw. So everybody’s happy (as long as everybody’s getting paid). For the moment.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 12, 2011

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