Wednesday, February 4, 2009

AP on Obama Poster's Designer

This is one of the top stories of Yahoo today - about Associated Press' allegation on their photo rights being infringed by the artist of Obama Poster Shepard Fairey. AP's photo is the one at the left and of course the works of Fairey at the right captioned with Obama's campaign battlecry "Hope." I am an artist and my opinion disagrees with the AP. It has no right to say that Fairey is guilty of infringement on the AP's rights. Its allegation rests on weak grounds.

To my mind, the artist was merely inspired by the photo. But if the artist directly used the AP photo per se or as is or enhanced using program manipulation, I think AP is right or nearer to its claim. But using it as a basic reference for an artwork? I doubt Fairey is guilty. Obviously, Fairey manually drew Obama's pensive-looking image that could be remade or reshoot because the rightful owner of the image was alive and kicking when the works was carried out. Again, this is the loophole in the claim. More, the final artwork did not really look as the original AP photo because of the elements added to it and way it was visually presented. I am saying, Fairey's works is not AP's photo and it is a different or totally new works of art.