AP answers Shepard Fairey pre-emptive lawsuit, accuses artist of infringement

Remember Shepard Faireys bold move which seemed to invent the preemptive lawsuit last month? The Associated Press has responded with a countersuit - and in it they paint Shepard Fairey as a hypocrite who acted in bad faith. And they're calling him a bit of a weasel to boot: adressing last months suit AP says Fairey deliberately cited the wrong AP photo as his source image. The Fairey lawsuit cited a Garcia photo that included both then-Senator Obama and actor George Clooney - not the photograph by Garcia that I'm showing next to Faireys poster here. The AP says this misidentification “can only be understood as a deliberate attempt to obscure the Obama Photo as the true source material for the Infringing Works and to minimize the nature and extent of Fairey’s unauthorized copying of the Obama Photo.”

The countersuit also cites letters that Fairey sent to fellow artist Baxter Orr last year, asking Orr to stop using a design that copied Faireys “Obey” image. “Fairey is hardly a champion of the First Amendment,” the AP says and continue by pointing out that Fairey has made quite a lot of money off the works of others while being “hypocritically and aggressively" in protecting his own intellectual property.

Fairey's defense? The usual “fair use” and “I didn't do it to make money” . (Because derivative work that leaves you broke somehow gets you off the hook?)

Read more at Photo District news: AP Answers Shepard Fairey Lawsuit, Accuses Artist of Infringement
Previously : Shepard Fairey Sues AP Over Obama Poster Dispute

Some have been calling Fairey a plagiarist for a while, see this critique by artist Mark Vallen and also jmacphee response to that article which identifies Fairey's use of the modern advertising tools and language as a great big ad for Fairey himself.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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