Saturday, October 17, 2009

Shepard Fairey Update -- The "HOPE" Picture has been at the forefront of the Shepard Fairey issue around use of an image of President Obama that became the "Hope" poster. Our contention, by Brian Sherwin, has been all along that this work by Shepard Fairey was from an original photograph and then subsequently revised and commercialized by Fairey. Don't get us wrong, we are big advocates of commercialization. But we believe credit (and monetary reward) is due to the original artists that do the work.

From Yahoo News:

On Friday night, Fairey's attorneys — led by Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University — said they intend to withdraw from the case and said the artist had misled them by fabricating information and destroying other material.

Fairey admitted that he didn't use The Associated Press' photo of Obama seated next to actor George Clooney he originally said his work was based on — which he claimed would have been covered under "fair use," the legal claim that copyrighted work can be used without having to pay for it.

Instead he used a picture the news organization has claimed was his source — a solo picture of the future president seemingly closer to the iconic red, white and blue image of Obama, underlined with the caption "HOPE." Fairey said that he tried to cover up his error by submitting false images and deleting others.

The distinction is critical because fair use can sometimes be determined by how much of an original image or work was altered in the creation of a new work. If Fairey didn't need to significantly alter the image he used — in this case the solo shot of Obama — then his claim could have been undermined. Fair use cases also may consider the market value of the copyrighted material and the intended use of the newly created work.

See more about this subject by visiting the Yahoo News Article listed above OR the many articles on myartspace BLOG. Click HERE to view those articles.

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