Shepard Fairey Hope Reference StatementMonday, October 19, 2009
Awhile back, Mannie Garcia, the freelance photographer who shot the Barack Obama photo on which Fairey based his iconic “Hope” portrait, is challenging the AP’s lawsuit against Shepard Fairey for copyright infringement, filing a motion that he is the actual owner of rights to the photo.
Shepard Fairey has recently released a statement appologizing for his actions. This was Shepard Fairey’s statement posted on his website:
STATEMENT ON ASSOCIATED PRESS FAIR USE CASE
In an effort to keep everyone up to date on my legal battle to uphold the principle of fair use in copyright laws, I wanted to notify you of a recent development in my case against The Associated Press (AP).
On October 9, 2009, my lawyers sent a letter to the AP and to the photographer Mannie Garcia, through their lawyers, notifying them that I intend to amend my court pleadings. Throughout the case, there has been a question as to which Mannie Garcia photo I used as a reference to design the HOPE image. The AP claimed it was one photo, and I claimed it was another.
The new filings state for the record that the AP is correct about which photo I used as a reference and that I was mistaken. While I initially believed that the photo I referenced was a different one, I discovered early on in the case that I was wrong.
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. I am taking every step to correct the information and I regret I did not come forward sooner.
I am very sorry to have hurt and disappointed colleagues, friends, and family who have supported me in this difficult case and trying time in my life.
I am also sorry because my actions may distract from what should be the real focus of my case – the right to fair use so that all artists can create freely. Regardless of which of the two images was used, the fair use issue should be the same.