AP Accuses Shepard Fairey of Copyright Infringement

Uh oh, hopefully this doesn’t get too ugly.  The Associated Press has accused Shepard Fairey of copyright infringement, seeking both artistic credit and financial compensation for the use of the Barack Obama photo that was the blueprint for Fairey’s most iconic image ever.  It will be BEYOND interesting to see this one play out, as it could lead to a new legal precedent regarding the appropriation and alteration of photographs, a practice many artists base their entire careers around (though it probably won’t go anywhere near that far).  Read all about it at TheHuffingtonPost.com.

Via Juxtapoz.com.

83 Responses to “AP Accuses Shepard Fairey of Copyright Infringement”

  1. Jeff Koons went through a similar thing with a photographer who’s picture he based a statue on, ‘String Of Puppies’ I think. Anyway, Koons lost and had to pay the guy AND give him one of the statues which was worth A LOT of 1980′s $. Good luck Shep, this throws new light on those articles posted on here the other day.

  2. It happened to DFace or Faile too. I forget which asrtist, i’m sorry. But he had to turn over the original work, and editions made from it, and make a payment. That photgrapher pushed as hard as he could. I dont think the AP will do the same.

    History has proven already and depending how defensive Shep gets, he could lose a lot. Imagine that piece being pulled from the Smithsonian. I dont think that would ever happen, but that would be history.

    Also, wasnt a Hope HPM sold by Simmons for charity. I would like to know what happens to those donated pieces which were sold for fund raising donations. It may not be taxable income, but it is still considered income to a judge. I’d like to see the grand total the lawyers from the AP are talking about. What figure do they pick for all of this propoganda. I still have my Hope offset, and signed campaign print. Those will be going to my grandkids someday.

    This is going to be very interesting.

  3. Looks like Shep is gonna need to pump out those prints to pay both lawyer fees and/or damages.

    Get your wallets ready!

  4. This will be interesting. When Koons lost it was because he literally took the image and asked for it to be sculpted thus wanting to just duplicate what was already done. Shep can make the argument easily for fair use as he added his personal touches and embellishments making it a unique a piece. The fact that there has been so many people searching for the original photograph will muddy the waters as well. This will be an interesting case as I can see several ways of playing out.

  5. I’m glad the AP is putting a dark smudge on this fantastic piece of art history.

  6. i hope this means my progress will go up in value. i could be happy with 7500 :)

  7. Copy write law has gotten out of control, everyone has become overly protective of their creative output, half the use of Illustrator in the first place is to take an image, trace it and spit it out as a vector graphic. This has been completely made over and stylized and even if that wasn’t the case I don’t see what the big deal would be. There is a level of self importance to these claims. Yes Shepard Fairey uses photos as source material in his work, welcome to the club it’s made up of thousands of card carrying members and examples of this can be seen on generations of show flyers, 7” records and Print Mafia releases to name but a few. People chose to OBEY the law only when it suits them, Should every photographer who snaps a shot of someone have to pay a fee for doing so? After all don’t I own the rights to my likeness? Di Obama get any money out of this, after all it is his image being depicted here. Should I pay some fee every time I hum a popular song to myself or even chose to cover it at a bar with a band in some small town on the weekend? Apparently paying a fee for something makes it legit, that’s all this amounts to, someone wants money and that’s fair enough but lets call a spade a spade.

  8. Maybe he will start finally giving credit where its due now. I think some of the only things he has credited the original photographer is on the Duality of Humanity series. I think this has been coming for some time and its really not much of a surprise. I think he is actually lucky that it’s the AP and not an individual as I do not thing they will be as aggressive as they could be. It could however start a trend and bring a bunch more lawsuits for other images he’s used on earlier prints. Will be neat seeing where this goes.

  9. Jediak – Not that its much of a point but, yes Obama got a TON of money out of this…

    Also, most of the other examples you cited do not really bring in money, show flyers, 7″covers, etc… Not enough for it to be worth it for a law suit. I think its a matter of degree. If some kid uses an image for the cover of his zine that he gets a buck for and goes to 500 people its one thing, If pepsi uses it for a mass marketing campaign making them millions its another. This image was about as large as you can get. Its made a TON of many and helped put the most powerful man in the world into that position.

  10. All Shepard Fairey had to do was ask permission to use the image. Story would’ve ended there.

    Hasn’t he been sued before for using a copyrighted image without permission?

    Did Fairey copyright his image from an already copyrighted image? If the answer is yes it is plagerism, at least that’s my understanding of the law.

  11. Grasking, I think you are correct. I think if he had even credited the photographer when he released the piece this never would have come about.

  12. Guess they should add an addendum to the art of appropriation article. The photographer deserves credit, and if he was approached prior to the art being made it wouldn’t have come to this.

  13. Hi – Also you can ask where did he get the image from.

    Was it in the public domain ?

    If it was already in the public domain I am pretty sure that one releases all IP – I just went through a court case where the IP was in public domain and so it could not be classed as private anymore and bingo cash settled and the court case dropped.

    This will be interesting.

    Only yesterday or the day before someone questioned the Print Mafia run of basically taking a movie still – Someone questioned this exact issue on this site.

  14. shep’s got to love all this chit chat over his image. All it does is bring more attention to his work which in turn will sell more of this stuff from posters, tshirts, keychains, etc.

    his formula is pretty easy…
    1) go through every design moment in history (especially the classic communist style) & copy it! or whatever you want to call it.

    2) for ppl find a photo and draw over it in adobe illustrator.

    3) post you stuff all over public spaces….or better yet, get other ppl to do it for you. so you look like you have some kind of street cred.

    does he make cool graphic images? yes
    is he the next picasso? no
    is he doing something similar to andy warhol? yes

  15. I think its interesting that he has actually credited the original photographer before. He called the Duality of Humanity series a collaboration piece with the original photographer. Yet all of his work is just like that, tweaking a picture someone else took. What not give credit each time, should be only fair.

  16. why is everyone talking like he reproduced the photograph and sold it? He rendered an image based on a photograph. its a rendering that stands alone from the source image. This is so stupid.

  17. Well abe, he may have to render some money to the AP.

  18. Shapps: In regards to my examples of show flyers or 7″ and it not being the same due to success and profit beign generated from doesn’t change what i intended to be my point and thats that this is about cash not credit. If the photographer had been credited this would still be an issue, this is about money which I must re state is just fine but many arrguments are being presented as a matter of ethics.
    Abe Vigoda: I’m with you.

  19. Of course its about money, that’s why this image of all the images he’s taken and not given credit for, is the one that is an issue. In addition if he had credited the original photographer from the get go it may have been a problem. That photographer would have received national recognition and likely work and money as a result of the success of the piece.

  20. I read that the AP didn’t even have a contract with the photographer who took the image?
    Also, a few weeks back when some blogs out there were trying to figure out which image Shep lifted there were multiple images ‘discovered’ that matched the image closely. Point being . . . an image with Obama’s head tilting that way is not unique. Even the original photographer couldn’t recognize his own image.
    Also, I would wager Shep never even tried to figure out the name of the photographer. He found the image he wanted, and that is as far as he went. Probably purposely. He was very careful to plead ignorance and say he found it using Google.
    This is post-modernism at it’s finest. The visual vocabulary is deep. No need to create new words to form new messages. Just find an image that fits your message and appropriate it for your own use.

  21. based on your reasoning grasking, tyler stout is gonna be in a world of hurt from just one poster.

  22. Hello guys, I remember going to a fashion show in Los Angeles and they were giving out the big progress stickers. I grabbed one and this stupid chick grabbed around 10. I told her “Hang on to those they are going to part of history” and she said “What these stupid drawings.” Well I had to explain to her that shepard did not draw them but did use a photograph and created a artistic poster. She just gave them to me and walked away. I kid you not she said “I really don’t like Will Smith anyways”

    They are going for $40.00 and ebay … cool

  23. i gots one signed by Obama…what do you think it would fetch?

  24. abe, only if someone brings a lawsuit against Stout for using copyrighted images without permission.

  25. And the court rules in favor of the plaintiff.

  26. Koons lost the “String of Puppies” case, but won a later case (Blanch v. Koons) that involved him taking a photograph and using it in a collage. I think it is tough to say that one Koons appropriation was clearly more “transformative” than the other, or where Fairey’s use of the Obama image fits on that scale.

    Fairey is fortunate to have lawyers to defend him. If an unknown artist with no money does something similar and gets a cease and desist letter from the AP or some other big media company, there isn’t much he can do except stop, even if he is acting within his rights. Plus, big media companies have a lot of influence over copyright law, so those rights are shrinking all the time.

  27. Delicate affair…

  28. Photographer should have been credited, but couldn’t have been compensated. He was under contract by AP, meaning that everything he shot became the property of AP.

    AP cannot strip the Smithsonian piece from their portrait gallery. It’s been purchased by a private buyer and donated to the gallery. Stripping it from their walls would be theft. The AP can go after Shepard for the amount the piece originally sold for, regardless of whether the profits were donated to the campaign.

    AP going after Shepard is way worse than the photographer going after him. They’ve got more money and will be able to push the issue much further.

    My guess is this will be settled outside of the courtroom. Probably the AP and the photographer will get credited and receive an original work as compensation. Sounds fair to me.

    This = AP publicity stunt.

  29. I would think copyright makes it illegal to _copy_ stuff. I don’t think you can say that Fairey copied the photograph, it’s very obviously different (for example, Obama’s head is less tilted on the print). The photo only served as an inspiration.

    I also don’t think AP or the photographer lost anything — it seems very improbable, that if Fairey didn’t make the prints, people would buy the photo instead of the print.

    Looks like it’s just greedy people trying to extort money using the court system.

  30. I think this raises a very important point about Shepard and his use of imagery, either by current photographers or by those graphic visionaries that preceeded him. I have a lot of respect for him and his work but he does seem to be a man of inconsistency.

    He speaks as a true original, on art’s side, yet more and more instances of him lifting and tweaking visuals from either old political posters or photographers seem to raise their heads daily. This is fine as the previous posts make if he were involved in sampling he would have to acknowledge the original creative who created it. The more this trundles along and his work comes under the microscope the more it seems his iconic work is based on a rendition of someone else’s great idea. It would be interesting to look at Shepard’s body of work minus the many ideas he’s lifted from those who came before him. To say it’s okay for people to take an image, tweak it and claim it as their own is grossly unfair to the people who originally had the vision to create the image, people do not have the right to reappropriate images as their own, especially without credit.

    It’s also the assertions he makes that he is still an artist who exists in the shadows, counting the amount of times he’s been arrested that really don’t match up with his actively becoming the darling of the media, just look at the amount of press he’s got recently. I find this a little hard to understand, how can someone truly be underground if a. they court every commercial media vehicle out there and b. they leverage this underground success into commercial work for the likes of Virgin, Saks Fifth Avenue, etc. through his design studio with similar styles akin to his Obey project work. You might see this with street artists at the start of their careers (Banksy / D*Face / Paul Insect / etc.) but as their stars rise they go more to being pure artists, Shepard seems to do the opposite.

    As for the fact of monies made, the work he did for all the Obama releases has made him a lot of money which e donated to various causes but it also was leveraged to propel his work into the public arena, thus raising the associated prices of his work. Just look at how much his work was worth pre-Obama and now and you will see it was of huge commercial benefit to the Obey project. You don’t think the huge fee paid by the Smithsonian piece went to charity do you?

    All said though I really like and enjoy Shepard’s work and landscapes across the globe would not be the same without his art but acknowledging his influences and references is essential for him to be respectful of his peers. It’s only fair in the end.

  31. the AP is hacks in a dieing world for them. they tried to do the same thing a while back by trying to stop bloggers from using their stories. this will soon die out just like the AP is doing.

  32. homeboy has been doing this shit for 20 years, not until the last half a year did ANY of these fuckers want to consider him their peers. prid pro quo, clarice

  33. heres a nice peice written by markos at the dailykos.com

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/2/5/12513/37324/244/693352

  34. yeah cant sayim extremely mad about this. yes it’ll bring him publicity and could send him in a new direction if that’s possible, which would be good for all.

    but it’s kinda funny that people are claiming this is some transformation of a picture into something wildly different, cuz it’s about as close to an exact copy as it can get. dont kid yourself, most of his work is basically copying other peeps shit. some of it is cool, yes/

    and so the guy who’s all self-righteous and whiny about people reselling his work online, among many other subjects, gets popped for copyright infringing. i mean, karma, man, is like, a funny thing, or whatever.

  35. How many pictures of graffiti has AP taken and not credit the artist?

  36. I dont see what the big deal is about this. Its all about money. All he did was use a photo, and put his own spin on it. In that case, doesnt that make it his photo since its completely different then the original picture?

    Dont rappers do this all the time? Sample an older version of a song and revamp it to make it there own? Use a hook in an old song? Vanilla Ice did it. Tupac did it. Ice Cube did it. Dr Dre DOES it. Every music producer out there does it in that genre of music. How is this any different?

    He simply sampled a picture and made it his own by tweaking it to what suited him and his idea. The same way he’s been doing it for 20 years.

  37. I will be surprised if AP wins this. I think less of the AP for even bringing this up.

  38. The image helped give a commercial face to the obama campaign that in effect helped cement the decision for a lot of people to vote.

    people that do not vote got out there. we can’t forget that!

    shepard fairey has a unique style that is often imitated. all throughout his career he has been faced with this. just look at the link on his site to bootlegs and you will see this influence. he actually does nothing but promote this activity.

    The artist prints officially created for the Obama campaign via the Obama website did not use this image.
    see for yourself:
    http://store.barackobama.com/Artists_for_Obama_s/1018.htm
    This was something Shep did himself… The money was donated or the the posters were either given away or posted. The big prices paid for them were through greedy flippers.

    Give Shep a break!

  39. well, AP does stand for artist proof.

  40. Brian, I think queen sued vanilla ice for his sample in ice ice baby.

  41. was all the money made form the print donated to the Campaign?

  42. dude, brian, completely different eh. ummm in case you didn’t know bro, all samples have to be cleared with the original artist and the record companies charge a fee every time. vanilla ice got sued because it was not a sample but it was exactly the same notes and rhythm. therefore he bit it, and yes he had to pay for it. artists and DJs get away with not paying when they’re small, making mixtapes and selling them at shows, but once they sign to labels, they pay for samples. same shit.

  43. I figured that photography copyright laws would only apply in instances where someone directly reproduces a photograph. I didn’t think that if you reworked an image in a completely different medium that you could be accused of copyright infringement.

  44. This is so brutal. If Shepard has to pay the photographer, then the photographer should have to pay Obama, and Obama should have to pay his dentist. Shepard didn’t make a copy of the pic. He used it as REFERENCE. So brutal. Does this mean I have to jump into the ocean and take a pic of a shark if I want to sell prints with a stylized shark? Who cares about the photo or the photographer. He hit a button on a camera. It’s an editorial shot, not creative. So lame.

    If an artist painted a realistic representation of someone’s photo then there would be a case.

  45. Seriously, Abe Vigoda is still alive?

  46. Shapp, Yes they did, but Vanilla Ice won! How sick is that?

  47. Billy, no it wasnt the same exact beat that vanilla ice used. It was changed a tad bit. But thats what I’m saying, most of the samples are changed a wee bit so they can get around paying royalties to the original artists.

  48. Yeah but then Vanilla Ice sign his money over to Suge Knight.

  49. Its fair use. AP sucks.

  50. Just checking in here. Apparently this discussion has digressed to a debate over Vanilla Ice?

    I’ve always felt that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles should have sued him for defamation.

  51. I don’t know, it will be interesting, just because of the technology involved. It’s different than painting someone’s picture, because you are actually taking the photo, opening it in a computer program, and livetracing the photo. Like I said, should be interesting.

  52. Is this a new accusation by the AP? Because if so, does anyone else see this as incredibly shady? The HOPE image has been a media darling for the past few months, so it would seem that the AP waited until the last minute, when the image had reached its high point in popularity and sales, in order to cash in on a larger settlement. The abuse of the judicial system in the U.S. is just embarrassing.

  53. I think what actually happened is that the source image was just recently spread across news sites last week, before that Shepard claimed he didn’t know who the original photographer was, and even the photographer said he didn’t know they used his photo this whole time. So the AP probably just noticed all the media coverage around the original image, realized they owned it, decided they wanted something.

  54. It is not about how nice or lovable you think Shepard Fairey is nor is it about how hard he works. No one is questioning the good that he has done or how hard he works. What people are questioning is the fact that he has willfully infringed on copyrights several times. In one interview he actually said that if he is “busted”, which is what he calls being caught for infringement, he hopes that it is a “good bust”, does not involve legal action.

    People are outraged because the same thing that happened to the music industry is not trying to happen against the visual art industry. Contrary to popular belief for many of us art is a business. We create out of passion and if we can profit it from it good. But how can one profit from hard work and dedication if an artist like Shepard Fairey can take from that work and do what he sees fit to it FOR PROFIT while holding on to fragile foundation of fair use. If we follow Fairey’s idea of fair use all images would be up for grabs.

    I’m personally sick of people using Warhol and others to defend Shepard Fairey. Warhol used images that the public knew of. Everyone knew that his Monroe’s were a comment/parody of the famous photograph. The same thing goes for the soup cans. Under fair use today it would be perfectly acceptable to do that. Fairey failed at fair use because people did not make the connection between the photograph and his posters. That is because the photograph itself is not widely known. In order to claim fair use you almost have to use an iconic image as the foundation of the new work. Fairey is only saying it is fair use to cover himself and he is not doing a very good job of that.

    Since he donated over $400,000 to the Obama campaign from his profits selling the posters I hope that he will have to give $400,000 to the AP if indeed they are the copyright holder. I also think that members of the Obama campaign need to be questioned and perhaps included in any copyright infringement case that comes of this. Workers from the former campaign are now saying that they never suggested a photograph to Shepard Fairey but other articles from last year suggest the opposite.

    If this case goes to court and Shepard Fairey loses to the AP it will be a great win for artists who support copyright protection. It will help to define the limits of fair use… which ARE LIMITED in the first place. Copyright laws were not made to protect people who willfully steal. They were made to protect creators so that they will continue to create knowing their work is safe.

    Maybe Obama will make a statement about the importance of copyright laws. I think he should apologize for supporting a poster that violated a US law. If he can take the time to send Fairey a personal letter thanking him for his images and for putting work on stop signs I’d think he can take the time to address copyright and why we have it in the first place.

    The poster failed at fair use because people did not make the connection with the original image. The basis of fair use is that you comment or parody another work. If that connection isn’t made fair use does not apply. Saying that the public or the AP is silly for not making the connection only helps strengthen the case against Fairey. Keep it up.

    There is only three reasons people defend Fairey. They are fan boys. They think a slam against the Hope poster is a slam against Obama. Or they don’t care about copyright in the first place. If this was just some kid posting altered AP images everyone would agree with APs choice to seek compensation.

    You also have to remember that their are many artists who have alleged the same thing about Fairey. So if AP wins it will open the doors for others to file against Fairey. The guy could be a pauper before it is over and it is because of his poor choices. He should have learned after settling out of court when he infringed on the copyright of Rene Mederos.

  55. workage:
    as an artist myself, i have a major issue with copyright limitations. my work isn’t based on other works at all and sure… i’ve had my fair share of people ripping of my ideas. don’t think you represent all artists with your views at all.

    i had a quick Creative Commons check to see whether i could locate an image free from copyright that could have been said to be the original source. It was pretty easy to find.

  56. Fair use. Fair use. Fair use. Let’s ask Joe Escalante what he thinks.

  57. I don’t really know why this is coming up now. Since the beginning, it has been apparent that many of his designs are direct plagiarism of other art. At least with the Obama print, he copied a photo, but added his own stylization and touch. In the past, he has, short of photocopying, directly lifted other artists’ work. I remember seeing his designs and being like, wait, wasn’t that a slide I saw in an art history class?
    http://www.art-for-a-change.com/Obey/index.htm
    has a small collection of side by side comparisons of how he has stolen in the past and not credited the artist. The worst part is that his take is considered to be relevant and compelling, when the art he stole if from was made to address real issues at the time, like war and social injustice, and was done for a cause, not profit and fame.

  58. I just think this is bollocks! The original artist got paid for his photo.
    What have they got to gain if it isn’t to ride off Shepard Fairey’s newfound status. They are probably feeling sensitive now he’s hob-nobbing with celebs. I knew it was a bad thing him hanging out with Courtney Cox.

  59. B’jae, so you are saying the photograph of Obama that Fairey used may have been a different image that was legal for him to use under fair use? You do know that a gallery representing Fairey told Garcia that it was his AP photograph and that Fairey himself has said that the AP photograph is in fact the photograph that he stenciled. If he was smart he would have stayed silent and made a claim like you are making. He is on record saying that he did use Garcia’s photograph though.

    My opinion is that Shepard Fairey is being a hypocrite again. He is claiming that this is fair use but he sent Baxter Orr a cease and desist when Orr used fair use to comment/parody Fairey’s Obey Giant image. Orr understood fair use because the Obey Giant image by that time was iconic and with legal realm for fair use based on that alone. Fairey’s fair use claim is fragile because unlike the Orr image people did not realize that he was commenting on or giving parody to another image. At least with Orr their was a dialog going on between viewers and the his Protect image.

    I know that not every artist agrees with copyright and some think it should be gone or limited. But I also know that 80+ art organizations and thousands of artists stopped orphan works legislation form happening because it would have limited copyright to the point of not being worth defending at all. So most artists do support copyright.

    I do wish it was the photographer had taken action and not AP. People are making this into an artist being bullied story now because the AP is involved, but like I said Fairey has bullied other artists who have used his work under fair use so it is like the pot calling the kettle black with him. Plus we know that Fairey infringed on Rene Mederos and that he settled out of court. Fairey needs to be a man and own up to what he chooses to do. He is not just a street artist anymore. He files taxes as a corporation that is for profit.

  60. B’jae, the AP takes a hard stance on anyone that violates their copyright. Something tells me that they have more money than anyone of us including Fairey will ever dream of. I don’t think they are doing it out of spite but for the integrity of their photographs. The same people who say that AP is wrong for doing this and that they are mad that Garcia will not see any money are the same people who said Garcia did not deserve anything when he was the focus of the story. People said that he was an untalented photographer and stuff like that. Fairey really messed up and people can’t accept that for some reason.

  61. he talked. what a fool.
    i agree with you. actually forgot about baxter orr. pretty hypocritical.
    haven’t followed the Rene Mederos issue but will check into it now. cheers!

  62. Fair use is needed and appropriation can be a good thing but not when people claim fair use just to dodge a copyright infringement charge. Fair use does not mean that it is ok for anyone to copy any image they want. Can we agree on that?

  63. Forgot to say that just because you support copyright does not mean you are against fair use. Fair use is part of copyright law. I think this news about Shep teaches us that we have to be more careful about what we do when we use our rights under fair use. It is not as simple as finding a random image on Google.

    I wonder how the Richard Prince lawsuit will turn out. have you followed that one?

  64. workage:
    i think the obama print is a little different to the case with Rene Mederos and all the other artists he has blatantly ripped off for commercial gain.

    I do however agree with you wholeheartedly regarding Fairey.
    after reading the article posted above i am quite shocked!
    ( http://www.art-for-a-change.com/Obey/index.htm )
    I knew he appropriated… i mean everyone knows.
    but i didn’t realize the extent. that’s obscene!

  65. Workage, you are right on the money.

    No matter how anybody states it, Shep screwed up. Hopefully he learns his lesson.

    Oh, and thanks for not referencing Vanilla Ice.

  66. Haha! Whatever. Was merely using it as an example.

    All I can say is that its not the same picture. Its now Faireys picture since it has been changed.

  67. Let’s go back to Puff Diddy, Daddy, The Puffster? Anyway this hack made millions upon millions using samples but could never produce original beats. Shepard has to go back to art school learn how to draw because you all know that he cannot draw for beans. Hey Faile, Banksy, Shepard, take some classes use your imagination and creative jucies for once.

    Just like Michael Phelps you have let us down

  68. Vanilla Ice didn’t let us down – He ended up just where we all thought he would.

  69. Milli Vanilli + Shepard Fairey = $$$$$$$$$$

    Enough said gangstas

  70. Is it transformative? If the Obama campaign swapped the artwork for the photograph, would it have achieved the same result?

    The photographer himself, is thrilled that his photo was the basis. And why wouldn’t he be? His value has a photographer has risen, thanks to Fairey. Not to mention the value of the AP picture, before it’s transformation by Fairey, was worth no more or less than any other photo of Obama.

    Even though Fairey’s iconic image has been everywhere, the owner of the original image didn’t even recognize that the poster was a transformation of their original work. One reason is because there is nothing particularly unique about their photo vs many other photos. It was transformed, beyond their ability, to cite the actual original, even though it had been everywhere for eons!

  71. It may not be the same image but it is the basis of what Shepard did, not something wholely unique or of his own making. It’s like those cosmetic ads on tv where rather than pay for the rights to use the real track they get some producer to rip off the aural aesthetic and claim it as their own. It also was the same thinking which lead to the recent lift by Coca-Cola of Evan Hecox’s style which for left a very bitter taste for me as a fan of the originator.

    Without credit Shepard is trying to appropriate these images as his own and while that was fine on the streets, when money, kudos and notoriety start coming apace I believe he should be open and honest about his “influences”.

  72. 72nd

  73. I’ve been following it all on the Myartspace Blog mostly. I don’t think anyone can deny that Shep has a history of doing this. That blog mentioned the SuperTouch response to Vallen’s critique of Fairey and totally made Jaime O’Shea look like a fool. Juxtapoz is even defending Fairey and I bet you if someone made derivative art from their magazine covers they would be furious. If you have not read the Myartspace Blog posts about Shep do. It might change your perspective on the allegations.

  74. I’m sick of everyone saying “livetrace”… this was NOT created with the livetrace tool. It was either created by hand with rubyliths like shepard showed in one of the videos posted on this site, or (most likely) it was created manually with the pen tool.

  75. Jeeeeez, sorry Evan!

  76. Workage, you raise some valid points. But I think you have a skewed view of what “Fair Use” encompasses.

    In order for it to be consider “Fair Use,” the photograph or artwork being depicted does NOT have to be a cultural icon. There are many variables to consider when justifying an appropriation as fair or unjust, one being the degree to which the original was altered.

    I’m of the mindset that Fairey’s image is unique enough to be considered an original. It’s been heavily stylized, simplified and the body positioning has even been altered.

    Regardless, I do agree that the photographer should have been credited.

  77. I love you Abe Vigoda! I thought you were dead

  78. i love you too. I am dead…shit, we are all dead.

  79. Just heard this, seems a little harsh considering it was his opening…

    http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/18662913/detail.html

  80. It’s a public image, so it’s fair use! Plus, he added a lot of value to that photo making it a remix, try and read Lessig’s Remix book and you will figure it out that AP will loose this against Shepard Fairey.

    Cheers!

  81. Hey guys the recent arrest and release of Shepard is going to put his prints up in value at historic levels.Can you see his Obama Progress print going for $10,000-$30,000 soon? What do you guys think?

  82. What do Damien Hirst, Shepard Fairey, Cartrain, and Baxter Orr have in common? A lot according to this clown.

    http://www.myartspace.com/blog/2009/02/birds-of-feather-flock-together-damien.html

  83. I don’t understand this case. The article here says that it was some Young guys photo and that he was ok with it.

    http://www.myartspace.com/blog/2009/01/shepard-fairey-obey-copyright.html

    So is Young involved with this case? Or is this info just old info?

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