Associated Press vs. Chris Fairey over famous Obama 'HOPE' image

These people have no shame. This image of Barack Obama was seen everywhere during the last months of 2008, and became one of the most important images of, at least, the 21st century when he was elected as President of the United States. The famous "HOPE" image was done by a Calfornia street artist named Chris Fairey, but it was not done from scratch. Inspired by Obama's campaign, Chris found a photograph by Manny Garcia, from AP, and transformed it into the image we all recognize today.

Now the campaign is over and Chris Fairy is getting a law suit threat by AP for copyright infringement!:

"The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission," said Paul Colford, AP's director of media relations taken from an article by Lewis Wallace for wired.com.

Fairy's lawyer is using our new two favorite words in the English Dictionary: Fair Use. It really does not take a lot of brain cells to figure out Fairy's work is completely transformative and it follows the Fair Use guidelines; he has not made a cent from the famous poster.

Now Fairy has counter-attacked AP. According to this article by David Kravets for wired.com, on Monday, Fairy "filed a preemptive lawsuit claiming he did not violate The Associated Press's intellectual property rights."

The lengths some people are willing to go for money or recognition is unbelievable. We can only hope the Fair Use clause gets more specific over time, so that no one with a little bit of power abuses copyright laws and demands "compensation" just because somebody else's work was better than their original efforts.

Read the Lewis Wallace article.
Read the David Kravets article.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, you're wrong in this article. The artist's name is Shepard Fairey, you should at least do the research to get that right.