Obamas Hope portrait, icon of 2008 campaign, in legal suit

March 12th, 2009 - 4:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Washington, Mar 12 (ANI): President Barack Obamas Hope portrait, which became an icon of his 2008 campaign, is now a symbol of copyright scuffles, artistic license and political dissent.

Shepard Fairey, the street artist who created the distinctive crimson and blue image using an original AP photo of Obama taken two years earlier, has been counter sued by the Associated Press.

The AP is answering a suit Fairey filed against the wire service in February, claiming the popular Hope posters, T-shirts and buttons, which generated a reported 400,000 dollars, were protected by fair-use exception to the law, which allows limited use of copyright materials for criticism or comment.

The AP accused the Los Angeles-based artist of blatant copying and hypocrisy, and is playing some arty hardball of its own, the Washington Times reported.

Fairey pleaded not guilty in a Boston district court on Wednesday to 39 counts of felony vandalism for illegally posting his artwork around the city.

The AP suit asserts Fairey misappropriated the photo without providing notice, credit or compensation.

The image - derived from a Google version of the original - retained the heart and essence of the AP photo, including but not limited to its patriotic theme, the court documents said. (ANI)

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