Thursday, February 05, 2009

HOPE Copyright Infringement

Update: Fairey arrested on outstanding warrants in MA. Nobody's saying just what the warrants were for -- possibly spray-painting outside the lines?

Now that the din has subsided, the Associated Press, everyone's favorite dog in the copyright manger, has suddenly realized the source image for Shepard Fairey's ubiquitous (and IMHO, scary as hell) "HOPE" poster was one they own and is seeking credit and back royalties.

Unh, "Oops?" Plenty of oops all 'round, I think -- AP's had rather a lot of time to dope this out (you'd'a thunk they'd've spoken up sooner), not that their tardiness excuses Mr. Artist Man not doing his de-darned homework. Or is it a case of "Fair Use?" I don't know, that seems a stretch.

On a side note, the even scarier "CHANGE" poster (scroll down) turns out to be based on an image supplied by the Obama campaign to Fairey, one to which they had clear rights. Somebody has an inkling of copyright law! Shep, ol buddy ol' pal, looks like you're on your own -- here's HOPing for ya!


Anonymous said...

Lord Obama is already saving the economy! He has bestowed great wealth on the Intellectual Property lawyers on both sides of this coming litigation.

Praise be upon The One!

Shootin' Buddy

Ken said...

The hiiiiillls are aliiiiiive
with schadenfreuuuuude....

Arcadia Iris said...

I am kind of interested in seeing how this plays out. Recently, I had an item removed from Zazzle because the design I did used a quote from Dr. Seuss. Apparently, fair use wouldn't cover it because I was selling the design, and Dr. Seuss counts as a celebrity under "celebrity privacy rights"... which would mean his image and words cannot be used by someone else without permission until he's been dead at least 70 years. It was explained to me that this doesn't count for things with The Big O's image or words because politicians do not fall under "celebrity privacy rights". On the other hand, a photographer would own the rights on their own pictures, I'd think. And the easiest way for us common folk to acquire an image of a political figure would generally be someone else's photography. So if that adds another layer to copyright issues, I can't help but wonder if the source someone gets a politician's words from could also be an issue.

Why do I feel like copyright law is becoming a sham? I mean, I'm all for someone having a legal claim to their own work... but it just doesn't seem like most copyright laws are actually protecting people from having their work stolen. And I'm starting to get nervous that the Muses could have a sound case for suing us all for royalties on inspiration.

Ken said...

Why do I feel like copyright law is becoming a sham?

Because of the godforsaken rodent, mostly. The next time it gets within sniffing distance of the public domain, Congress will extend copyright to the heat death of the universe and make infringement a capital crime.