Friday, October 16, 2009

Vindication


Read this..

Also this:

Statement from Srinandan R. Kasi, VP and General Counsel, The Associated Press

Striking at the heart of his fair use case against the AP, Shepard Fairey has now been forced to admit that he sued the AP under false pretenses by lying about which AP photograph he used to make the Hope and Progress posters. Mr. Fairey has also now admitted to the AP that he fabricated and attempted to destroy other evidence in an effort to bolster his fair use case and cover up his previous lies and omissions.

In his Feb. 9, 2009 complaint for a declaratory judgment against the AP, Fairey falsely claimed to have used an AP photograph of George Clooney sitting next to then-Sen. Barack Obama as the source of the artist’s Hope and Progress posters. However, as the AP correctly alleged in its March 11, 2009 response, Fairey had instead used a close-up photograph of Obama from the same press event, which is an exact match for Fairey's posters. In its response, the AP also correctly surmised that Fairey had attempted to hide the true identity of the source photo in order to help his case by arguing that he had to make more changes to the source photo than he actually did, i.e., that he at least had to crop it.

After filing the complaint, Fairey went on to make several public statements in which he insisted that the photo with George Clooney was the source image and that “The AP is showing the wrong photo.” It appears that these statements were also false, as were statements that Fairey made describing how he cropped Clooney out of the photo and made other changes to create the posters.

Fairey’s lies about which photo was the source image were discovered after the AP had spent months asking Fairey's counsel for documents regarding the creation of the posters, including copies of any source images that Fairey used. Fairey's counsel has now admitted that Fairey tried to destroy documents that would have revealed which image he actually used. Fairey's counsel has also admitted that he created fake documents as part of his effort to conceal which photo was the source image, including hard copy printouts of an altered version of the Clooney Photo and fake stencil patterns of the Hope and Progress posters. Most recently, on Oct. 15, Fairey’s counsel informed the AP that they intended to seek the Court’s permission to withdraw as counsel for Fairey and his related entities.

The AP intends to vigorously pursue its countersuit alleging that Fairey willfully infringed the AP's copyright in the close-up photo of then-Sen. Obama by using it without permission to create the Hope and Progress posters and related products, including T-shirts and sweatshirts that have led to substantial revenue. According to the AP's in-house counsel, Laura Malone, "Fairey has licensed AP photos in the past for similar uses and should have done so in this case. As a not-for-profit news organization, the AP depends on licensing revenue to stay in business." Proceeds received for past use of the photo will be contributed by the AP to The AP Emergency Relief Fund, which assists staffers and their families around the world who are victims of natural disasters and conflicts.

12 comments:

Kurvitasch said...

Crikey! This is comprehensive and rather sad at the same time. The older I get the more I realise what a fine line we tread.

One does wonder sometimes how much a situation is exacerbated by misguided advice.

Interesting that the lawyers have decided to withdraw, does this happen often?

What a lot of unnecessary grief and nonsense this whole episode has caused, all best brought to a close.

Susan said...

AHA! Justice at last! James, you knew he was a charlatan all along......... good on ya for keeping this creep in the spotlight, not letting him get away with it!

Christopher Paquette said...

You nailed this from the very beginning. Nice to see it come full circle the way we all suspected.

Great reporting James!

Letterpress said...

When I read about this in the paper online this morning, I immediately thought of you, and your fine observations/reporting on this issue. It's because of your blog that I knew what they were talking about. Thanks not only for a fine blog with interesting pictures, but also for educating me (the public) about these issues.

Joe Holmes said...

Oh, vindication for your photo detective work. For a minute I thought you meant vindication for Fairey, or the AP.

Caille said...

Well done, James! You were the catalyst for all of this....congratulations and please stay at it.

*gemmifer* said...

Finally! Some justice in this situation. Copyright infringement cases will continue to arise, but hopefully this will cause others to think twice.

Anonymous said...

Your blog gave the best summary of this whole situation. The illustrations you posted were very helpful and persuasive. Thank you for trying to explain and educate us, your readers and the public, about the complexities of the case. It's good to know this issue is ending. I'll be reading your blog for comments about the settlements. Keep up the good work.

tsimages said...

Does anyone know if the AP has actually shown proof that they own the photo and that Manny Garcia shot it in a work for hire scenario?

Alice Olive said...

Wow. Thank you for this post.

cherie said...

These photos are like a ghastly nightmare where everyone else is really a nasty, plastic doll, and you are naked standing there being real.....thank you also for your posts regarding fraudulent use of photos, and this relates also to art. We artists who are authentic, deserve to be honored and respected.... it takes as long, probably longer, to be a very good artist, as it takes to be a very good surgeon. We artists are like surgeons of the soul, showing the true essence of everything..... thank you for your posts.

marcos said...

Vindication indeed! Full, utterly deserved... You can be proud of y'self