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AP, Shepard Fairey Settle Obama Poster Case

The Associated Press and artist Shepard Fairey have reached a settlement on the “Obama poster” incident. In case you never read anything, the AP said that Fairey infringed on their rights by using an AP picture as the basis for Fairey’s now iconic rendering of Obama. Fairey believed that his use of the image was correct under copyright laws.

Under the settlement, Fairey agreed to never use another AP image in his art without obtaining a proper license, and the AP will now work with Fairey in producing more of the posters. Fairey will also be given the rights to several AP pictures that he will use to create new images. There was also money involved, but that wasn’t disclosed.

Fairey sounds happy to have the case resolved:

I respect the work of photographers, as well as recognize the need to preserve opportunities for other artists to make fair use of photographic images.  I often collaborate with photographers in my work, and I look forward to working with photos provided by the AP’s talented photographers.

So did anyone win here? It sure does seem like Fairey got the better of the deal, especially since he’s going to get more images from the AP. But then the AP also benefits from that, so maybe it’s a win for both sides. Let’s just hope no one Obama-izes themselves anymore, because really, that stopped being funny two days after it started.

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