SUMMARY: Visual artist Shepard Fairey created what has become known as the “Hope Obamacon.” Fairy used a picture of President Obama and created an abstracted graphic rendition of President Obama gazing up and to the viewer’s right, colored in a palette of red, white, and blue with the word HOPE.
The photo that is the basis of Fairey’s work was taken by an A.P. freelance photographer, Mannie Garcia.
A.P. claims they own the copyright in the photo, Mr. Garcia claims he owns the copyright in the photo, and Fairey is claiming there has been no infringement based upon “fair use” … stating a transformation from the photo to the final product.
The filing is well worth reading here is the relief Fairey is looking for:
1. Declaring that Fairey’s Obama Works do not infringe any copyrights held by the AP;
2. Declaring that Fairey’s use of the Garcia Photograph as a visual reference in creating the Obama Works is privileged under, and protected by, the Fair Use Doctrine;
3. Enjoining the AP, its agents, attorneys, and assigns from asserting copyrights against Fairey or Obey Giant in connection with any of the Obama Works;
4. Enjoining the AP, its agents, attorneys, and assigns from asserting copyrights against any third party (including but not limited to the Smithsonian Institution and the Institute for Contemporary Art / Boston) that possesses, reproduces, distributes or displays any of the Obama Works;
5. Awarding Fairey and Obey Giant their reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs; and
6. Awarding any other relief the Court deems just and proper.