AP Settles with Shepard Fairey Over “Hope” Poster

Artist Shepard Fairey and the Associated Press have “agreed in principle” to settle their legal battle over Fairey’s use of an AP photo to make the iconic Barack Obama “HOPE” poster.

Financial terms are confidential, but the sides will now be in business together.

The AP released this statement: “In settling the lawsuit, the AP and Mr. Fairey have agreed that neither side surrenders its view of the law. Mr. Fairey has agreed that he will not use another AP photo in his work without obtaining a license from the AP. The two sides have also agreed to work together going forward with the Hope image and share the rights to make the posters and merchandise bearing the Hope image and to collaborate on a series of images that Fairey will create based on AP photographs. The parties have agreed to additional financial terms that will remain confidential.”

Fairey’s statement: “I am pleased to have resolved the dispute with the Associated Press. I respect the work of photographers, as well as recognize the need to preserve opportunities for other artists to make fair use of photographic images. I often collaborate with photographers in my work, and I look forward to working with photos provided by the AP’s talented photographers.”

Fairey had contended that his use of the photo was a “fair use,” while the AP contended that it was not. Legal observers had been looking to the case to further define “fair use,” a center of contention in copyright circles.

AP’s copyright infringement suit against Obey Clothing, which marketed HOPE apparel, continues.

I’d run a screen shot of the HOPE poster — but that’s probably not a good idea in these circumstances. If you don’t know what it is, you can see it here.

 

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