Shepard Fairey Sues AP Over Obama Poster Dispute!

Fairey says the Associated Press image at left, by Mannie Garcia, was the basis for his Obama poster illustration, but that its use falls under the Fair Use Provision.

Fairey says the Associated Press image at left, by Mannie Garcia, was the basis for his Obama poster illustration, but that its use falls under the Fair Use Provision.

Now Shepard Fairey wants to sue AP Over Obama Poster Dispute.

Shortly after the AP accused Shephard Fairey, the artist behind the famous Obama poster, of infringing copyright, Fairey struck back, filed the suit February 9 in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.

The new development caught many a surprise and it’s interesting to read. and I would like to post some of the  comments from PDN here.

Joel – Los Angeles / February 12, 2009
Fairey is a vandal, a tagger, and a thief, and IMHO an infringer. Fairey was arrested a few days ago, yet again, for tagging in Boston. Fairey has boasted that he’s been arrested “over 14 times” for tagging and other vandalism, much of it involving stenciling or posting his own “art” on private and public property. In addition to other arrests. Fairey knew that he could have used any of thousands of photos in the public domain, including those offered on Hussein Obama’s own website. Many are indistinguishable from the infringed (cropped) AP image. Perhaps Fairey is incapable of grasping the concept of honesty, or respecting other people’s rights. Fairey is, though, a pretty accomplished hypocrite. Having created his posters through infringement, he has already threatened people who were trying to sell derivative copies of the poster on their own.


Posted by: B Finger | February 05, 2009 at 02:41 PM

I think Fairey has a pretty strong case for “fair use” here. His art work uses and is in part a commentary about popular culture and popular cultural imagery. It was originally produced to be “street art” where profit was not the original motive. It was only when Obama supporters discovered a posting of the artwork (posted by Fairey as a freebie in support of Obama, I believe) on the internet and printed out copies for themselves, did it take off as a popular image. Even though his painting and subsequent posters were based upon the AP photo it could never be mistaken for it and would never be in competition with it in the market place.


Posted by: David | February 12, 2009 at 01:21 PM

Regarding Carl’s lengthy February 10 attempt at analyzing copyright law, “I find the Fairey case fascinating, as I have studied copyright law quite a bit.” Please, Carl, remember the old adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

I am a copyright attorney in Chicago and former photographer. Let me first comment that you appear to be mixing the legal definition of “original” as used in copyright law and as used in an artistic sense. It’s easy to do, but it makes your argument confusing. Continue reading comments of Carl and David about the lawsuit from PDN

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

“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?

Enter the Year of Golden Ox


The Year of the Ox brings economic uncertainties to Malaysian folks here. Local newspapers has reported more about the closing down of factories and retrenchment of workers.

Despite the global economic slowdown, shopping malls in Klang Valley are putting up  activities to attract crowds for this festive Chinese New Year.

I took my family to the Pavilion at Bkt Bintang Kuala Lumpur. We chose to visit this place as  the Chinese New Year Open House will be held here on Feb 7. As today is the start of celebration the first anniversary of Pavilion, the place would be hive of attraction.

A life-sized Golden Ox displayed at the entrance of the mall draws curious shoppers to have a closer look.  Many took the opportunity for a photo shoot posing next to it .

Those born in the Year of the Ox are said to be hard working and persevering. But to the businessman, the year of  Ox will bring them good business and prosperity.

As we walked around the mall we hardly see any crowd perhaps many are still on the long holiday and have taken the opportunity to go outstation. Those  here are mostly window shopping as we realise the times are bad and everyone wants to control their spending.

Nevertheless the mall is still in the festive mood for the Chinese new year as many shops are well-decorated with red and colorful lanterns, flowers and plants

Pavilion has passionately designed for the love of food especially the public food court with many local cuisines. It is the only place that is crowded with many city folks, Malay, Chinese, Indian and tourists enjoying their favourite food. We ordered three bowls of curry noodle which cost RM24.00

I hope the Golden Ox will bring all the happinese and smiles to our folks here.




The Year of Ox, Gong Xi Fa Cai



As we bid farewell to year of the rat we usher in the year of the OX which starts from the first day that is 26th of January.  It is the most auspicious day in the Chinese calendar .This “Gong xi Fa Cai” celebration traditionally lasts 15 days

Many Chinese will return home or Balik Kampong to meet together with their family members and most importantly to be home in time for a family reunion dinner on the eve of the chinese new year.

With the economic slow down, many are not sure if it will be really happy New Year. Children will run around happily with bright red packets of lai see, lucky money . Working adults should have no worries if they continue to receive the year-end bonus and in some cases bonuses,represent two or three months’pay.

Anyway I sincerely wish everyone a happy new year and let this Chinese new year of Ox be a start to all things wonderful. May you all enjoy good health and a prosperous year. Do have a nice holiday.

Gong xi Fa Cai,Kong Hei Fatt Choy and a Happy New Year

Related article: Welcome the year of  the Rat

Is this Little Talking Common Mynah Bird a pet or nuisance?


This little bird is Common Mynah which can be seen everywhere in the city, rural villages and even housing estates. They are often found in front of houses, in gardens, on tree tops, roof tops or on fences.

People like to keep this little talking Common Mynah birds as pets as they can mimic human speech. The farmers love them because they eat insects that destroy crop plants.

Many people especially while driving may find them a nuisance as they fly and hop around these places or along the road sides looking out for any food littered on the ground.They also feed on insects

I saw this little talking Mynah bird while we were pinicking at the Lake Gardens recently. It was busy searching for food all over the park, in the dustbins and on the ground.

Is this little Common Mynah bird a pet or nuisance?






Another new puppy of Shih Tzu dog



Photo By : Gaye Johnson

As the year 2009, I started to make a habit to get up early to go for a morning walk. I saw an elderly man always taking his Shih Tzu dog walking in the playground where I live. The doggie dressing with cloth on it body looks alert and strong. I walked up to the elderly man who was sitting on the bench and I told him the dog is beautiful.

I start to think of those photos that I received from Gaye Johnson who emailed me during the festive Christmas.

As an updated of the story of Shih Tzu dogs, many may like to find out how their new puppy looks like.

Here it is……Gaye and Stan got this new puppy on the 16th December 2008 and they named him Lemley. He will be 12 weeks old and he is very cute as you can see from the photo. And also a photo of Remy, the little black dog from their children who are staying in Massachusetts

Gaye now has three Shih Tzus dogs and she said Lemley likes Panda and Reggie.Their son Jon and his wife Kathleen and three of Gaye’s grand children flew down to celebrate the festive holiday with Gaye and Stan in Florida

I sincerly hope this new and good little puppy will bring some smiles, joy and happiness to Gaye and Stan at home.

The Hibiscus flowers from Cameron Highlands



The hibiscus plant can be grown easily, and is found almost anywhere in this country even in the highlands where the weather is cooler.They can be found in public parks, private compounds, pathways or roadsides.

The hibiscus plants also vary in height, some are tall and some short shrubs. Some grown on the ground while some grown in pots. They are planted with well-planned landscaping to beautify the garden.

I noticed that there are quite a number of hibiscus flowers of various varieties and of different sizes, shapes and colors planted in the pots for sale in Cactus Point, Cameron Highlands during my recent holiday visit. .

I think the weather is the important factor as I found the flowers in Cameron Highlands are bigger and rich in color, and the plant is much healthier with much bigger and greener leaves. It looks different from the Bunga Raya planted in our garden.