AP and Shephard Fairey Mix it Up in Copyright Infringement Dispute

We are all now familiar with the iconic AP photograph of Obama looking heavenward in a moment of quiet reflection. We are also familiar with Shephard Fairey, he of Obey fame’s, “repurposing” of the photograph to create a red and blue image reflecting Fairey’s propaganda aesthetic.

The AP was upset at Fairey’s derivative use of its photograph, and went to Fairey to discuss a license. Fairey was not interested in a license, and filed a lawsuit declaring that his use of the photograph was fair use.

Now, the AP has blasted back, taking Fairey to task over the course of several pages in its counterclaim for copyright infringement. Fairey, as the AP puts it, is nothing more than a “copy and paste” artist.  The assault begins on page 28: AP Copyright Counterclaim

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