10 February 2009

Shepard Fairey: Sue Me and I'll Sue You Back

Update: Shepard Fairey has gots lawyers

The NYTimes reports: In a pre-emptive strike, the street artist Shepard Fairey filed a lawsuit on Monday against The Associated Press, asking a federal judge to declare that he is protected from copyright infringement claims in his use of a news photograph as the basis for a now ubiquitous campaign poster image of President Obama.

Mr. Fairey’s lawyers contend in the suit that Mr. Fairey used the photograph only as a reference and transformed it into a “stunning, abstracted and idealized visual image that created powerful new meaning and conveys a radically different message” from that of the shot Mr. Garcia took.

Manny Garcia, the person who actually took the photograph said, “If you put all the legal stuff away, I’m so proud of the photograph and that Fairey did what he did artistically with it, and the effect it’s had.”

Fairey was arrested in Boston a few days ago.

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