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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Shephard Fairey, the artist whose iconic photo rendition of Obama made him famous, has plead guilty to federal charges of contempt in court in New York City. It’s the fallout from a civil lawsuit that Fairey filed against the Associated Press after they claimed he used the image without crediting their photographer. Then, after suing the Associated Press, he decided to cover up the fact that he didn’t have a case against them by burying himself in falsehoods:

Specifically: He lied when he said that the basis for the poster he made was a photo of Obama sitting at a panelist table next to George Clooney; he destroyed digital files that showed he in fact manipulated the copyright-protected Associated Press photo; he fabricated files to create a digital link between the Clooney-Obama photo and the famous poster; he suggested that an employee create a “file destruction” memorandum for the office that would show they might have deleted the files he had deleted anyway.

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  • itsadogslife

    It is beyond my comprehension why a digital artist would even think he could get away with stealing. But, unfortunately he not the first to be caught for not honestly representing his work. If he had thought he would have known he would be caught. But then liars and thieves never think that they personally will be caught. I love digital art, it has offered me a whole new way to express myself, but rules about copying and using other’s work still apply to it. It would have been so much simpler for him to take his own photo or to have asked permission to use one already in existence. It is digital artists like him who are giving the digital arts a bad name. It takes every bit as much skill to learn how to use digital art programs as it does to paint, sculpture and draw. However, it is talent and an artist’s eye that makes a piece of work standout; he has wasted his talent on a lie. Hopefully he will learn from his mistake.

  • MICK

    It is damn near impossible for an unknown person to gain permission.
    I’ve tried contacting people, no one gets back to you.

    When you sculpt rocks into a statue do you ask permission from God to do so?
    I say this is absolute crap & If you’ve made money on a lawsuit you’re the crook.
    Unfortunately, photography is a very expensive art form, NOT SO digital art.
    With all this talk of level playing fields, it’s telling we are making damn sure everyone pays through the nose to become someone, which then makes it an exclusive thing again.

    If this stands, then the manufacturer of paint should be able to sue the artist for using their paint & tack on another suit for using their brush.
    It’s crap, plain and simple.
    The guy used an image,his art doesn’t rely on the image, the image relies on the enhancement. He could have used any image of Obama and it would have looked just as good. The minute he changed the image it became a new piece of art. Done, gavel slams case closed.