Thursday, January 13, 2011

'Hope' Alive, But Fairey-Associated Press Copyright Suit Dead

Barack Obama "Hope" poster, original...Image via WikipediaBoth the ABA Journal and a press release by the Associated Press report that AP and  street artist Shepard Fairey have agreed in principle to end their copyright infringement case arising from Fairey's use of a 2006 AP photo of President Barack Obama in his "Hope" poster.

Financial  terms were not disclosed in the settlement involving AP, Fairey and his companies, Obey Giant Art, Inc., Obey Giant LLC and Studio Number One, Inc.  In 2009, Fairey sought declaratory judgment in court that his use of the Obama image in the  poster and related merchandise constituted a fair use that did not infringe on AP's copyright. The wire service argued that Fairey should have obtained a license to use the image.

As part of the parties agreement, Fairey, a contemporary artist and graphic designer, will secure a license from AP should he use any of their images in the future. The two sides will share the rights to make Hope posters and related merchandise. Associated Press' suit against Obey Clothing, which markets Hope image apparel, is ongoing.

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