Just when we thought we had a firm grasp on Shepard Fairey‘s legal wrangling with the Associated Press comes a new and confusing development: Fairey has changed his tune on what photo he used as the source material for the iconic HOPE poster that is at the center of the legal dispute, which includes a suit, a countersuit, and enough intellectual property lawyers to make Mickey Mouse break out into a cold sweat.
Originally, Fairey claimed to have used AP photographer Mannie Garcia‘s shot of Obama seated next to actor George Clooney at an April 2006 National Press Club event, while the AP alleged he had used another Garcia photo—a tight shot of the president’s face taken at the same event. Fairey now admits the AP was right and will amend his court pleadings to reflect his new position. “While I initially believed that the photo I referenced was a different one, I discovered early on in the case that I was wrong,” Fairey wrote in a letter posted to his website on Friday. “In an attempt to conceal my mistake I submitted false images and deleted other images. I sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment and I take full responsibility for my actions which were mine alone.” According to an AP report, “Attorneys for Fairey have withdrawn and, in papers filed Friday in federal court in Manhattan, stated that he misled them.” But it sounds as if Fairey hasn’t given up. “Regardless of which of the two images was used, the fair use issue should be the same,” he stated.
Previously on UnBeige: