Creatrixsblood's Weblog

Fairey Odd Copyright Laws

My Digital Media teacher brought this article about Shepard Fairey’s Obama posters, and the AP believing they deserve a cut to my attention.  It simply begs us to contemplate the blurry copyright laws. Who has the ultimate say over legal cases like this?  Ideally, who should? I am inclined to say that as long as a reference or used image is admitted to not be the artist’s original work, they should be in the clear.

Personally, I agree with Melber.  Fairey’s art work is sufficiently altered from the reference photo the AP believes it has rights to and does not infringe on copyright law.  This link contains the reference picture and art work in question.

Shepard Fairey’s works are often very politically charged, and can be viewed at his personal website. He says, “I am fighting the AP to protect the rights of all artists, especially those with a desire to make art with social commentary. This is about artistic freedom and basic rights of free expression, which need to be available to all, whether they have money and lawyers or not.”

For more information see:

Opinions? Comments? Ideas? Please share!

Also posted at Campaign for Liberty.


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Let’s discuss the Shepard Fairey copyright violations in Clarity. To cite Fair use is a doctrine in the United States copyright law that allows LIMITED use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the rights holders, such as use for scholarship or review. This is the tactile route that Shepard Fairey has chosen to retain for his legal law suit against the AP.

Shepard Fairey is public-ally marketing through hired Hollywood publicist that he is truly fighting for the rights of artists and expression when in reality this is not about artistic freedom but it is about crisis management. The Crisis of Fairey good name in the court of public opinion and the court of law. Fairey is simply only protecting his assets, his wealth and his public relations name. Fair Use was created by our founding fathers and legal courts to protect the rights of artists not Shepard Fairey.. In referencing Fair Use law;

“[A] reviewer may fairly cite largely from the original work, if his design be really and truly to use the passages for the purposes of fair and reasonable criticism. On the other hand, it is as clear, that if he thus cites the most important parts of the work, with a view, not to criticize, but to supersede the use of the original work, and substitute the review for it, such a use will be deemed in law a piracy…

In short, we must often… look to the nature and objects of the selections made, the quantity and value of the materials used, and the degree in which the use may prejudice the sale, or diminish the profits, or supersede the objects, of the original work.”

The conclusion is that Fairey work superceded the original work of the AP Photographer never properly requesting clearance. Fairey never referenced the photo for the purpose of fair and reasonable criticism. Fairey Obama Hope Poster is Piracy no matter how Fairey and his retained Lawyers attempts to claim trans-formative value or publicizes himself a true champion of artistic freedom and rights.

No publicity campaign can ever rescue Shepard Fairey’s name as a champion of artistic freedom and expression. The issue is there in reality for the world to see, he has gained economically from the sales of the Obama poster he has gained from the multiple uses of the Obama poster in building his recognized name.

Shepard Fairey has been forever revealed to the World as an artist who has a decade long history of copyright infringement and violations. He has stolen from Artist Movements Writers and Clothing Companies like FUCT and Erik Brunetti. My question is which Artist is he heroically protecting your art or his himself as the ultimate RIP-OFF Artist!! Review it for yourself!

Shepard Fairey is and will always be a cultural scavenger thief..

Never forget History, Never Forget to Question Media, Kulture AND THE FAIREY in Question.


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