The iconic Obama poster created by last year by local street artist Shepard Fairey blurred the line between political propaganda and modern art, and earned it’s creator much-deserved worldwide attention. It also inspired the Associated Press to hire lawyers. The poster is based on a photograph taken in April of 2006 by photographer Mannie Garcia on assignment for the AP. The AP owns the copyright to the photo, and believes they are entitled to credit and compensation for its use. Fairey’s attorney sees things a little differently. From an article by, well, the AP:
“We believe fair use protects Shepard’s right to do what he did here,” said Fairey’s lawyer, Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University. “It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment beyond that at this time because we are in discussions about this with the AP.”
Fair use is a legal concept that allows exceptions to copyright law, based on several factors, including how much of the original is used and what the new work is used for.
We encourage you all to create your own Shepard Fairey-style posters with copyrighted AP images using the nifty little program here.