Saturday, October 17, 2009

Not Fair

use. You can read my previous blog post about this case here from back in Feb of 09. Mr. Fairey was the person who stole the AP photo of Barak Obama and created the now famous "Hope" poster seen below.

Mr. Fairey claimed that he was within his rights to use the AP photograph under the "fair use" exception to the copyright laws.

Mr. Fairey had assembled a top gun legal defense team including the Director of Fair Use Project at Stanford University, to defend him in court and he counter sued the AP.
It turns out that Mr. Fairey destroyed evidence and fabricated evidence in the case. He fabricated new digital works which he turned over to his lawyers to use in his defense and as part of his lawsuit. 

"In an attempt to conceal my mistake, I submitted false images and deleted other images," said Fairey. "I sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment, and I take full responsibility for my actions, which were mine alone."
- Mr. Fairey
His defense team is now abandoning him as he has now admitted to all of this.

This is a victory for all artists and especially photographers. Mr. Fairey will likely pay a heavy price for his wilful and comercial infringement of AP's photograph. Undetermined yet is how much money he made of of the poster. Fines for copyright infringement can be very stiff especially when used in a comercial enterprise. Destroying and fabricating evidence will not help his case much either. Judges tend to frown upon that, and it is possible that those actions could bring serious criminal charges.


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