“Hope” Obama poster-Does the AP have a case? Infringement or fair use?


This ” HOPE” poster of Barack Obama was used to campaign and became very popular during the last year’s U.S presidential election. The poster was created by artist Shepard Fairey and the photo was taken by the Associate Press photographer Mannie Garcia.

Now the AP is claiming the copyright from the author because the created poster was based on AP’s photo and entitled for compensation according the PDN reports.

The accused, Shepard Fairey, claims fair use through his attorney. But AP is claiming infringement. Mannie Garcia who shot the image doesn’t want to fight Shepard Fairey over the Obama poster.

The interesting thing is who has the right over the copyright of the photo? The photo was taken on 2006 by Mannie Garcia but the photographer now is no longer with the AP. Garcia also questions whether the AP even owns the copyright to the photo. He says that he was not on the AP staff at the time the photo was taken, and never signed the AP’s freelancer agreement.

What do you say. Does the AP have a case? Infringement or fair use?


5 responses to ““Hope” Obama poster-Does the AP have a case? Infringement or fair use?

  1. I think the photographer has the copyright, not AP, in these circumstances.

  2. there’s 178 people confirmed dead now :/
    though the fires heading to my auntys house have been contained
    thankyou for your support

  3. I find intellectual property questions like this to be fascinating. But more importantly, I believe we photographers have to stand up and be heard (as do the authors of any “content” subject to copyright) on these issues.

    It no doubt depends upon the contractual agreement (or lack of) between the photographer and AP. The post notes that the photographer states he did not sign AP’s freelance agreement. But did he sign any agreement, or did the terms under which the photo was submitted clearly state a transfer of the copyright, in which submission was deemed assent? If not, I agree with the first poster — the photographer has the copyright.

    I also think, however, that as a matter of courtesy (not to mention the legal issues) the author could have asked permission.

  4. Andy Richards

    Thank for dropping by and leaving a comment. As the photograph was taken by Mannie Garcia , he has all the right to claim the copyright.

    I have just posted a new development of this story and now Shepard Fairey wants to sue AP over the Obama poster dispute.

  5. Pingback: Shepard Fairey Sues AP Over Obama Poster Dispute! « Visuallens

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