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.
Even the art from the 2008 election is now tainted! Fairey will face a fine of up to $5,000 and could spend up to 6 months in jail, but he probably escaped that by pleading guilty. We’ve posted the federal government’s Exhibit A.