Shepard Fairey

It seems Shepard Fairey”s work, which included the word “Protect”, has infringed upon a copyrighted work that he did not create. Fairey is claiming that his Hope poster of Barack Obama, which was originally copied from a photo of the president in which Obama was seated next to George Clooney, is his work and believes that he has the rights to it. Fairey states that his use of the photo was legal and is consistent within the parameters of fair use. Fairey ‘s lawyers have made it known that they are no longer representing him. On February 24, 2012 Fairey pleaded guilty for contempt of court for destroying evidence in the case against him. It is evident that Fairey infringed on someone else’s work. My feeling on this is that he should have obtained permission before he used someone else’s work. I think what he did was in good taste, but he should have gone through the decency of obtaining the right to use it.


3 thoughts on “Shepard Fairey

  1. Yep, you’re right Howard. But I’d say this—after reading bits and pieces—about fair use, that it’s bendable and has been fought over for hundreds of years. If Mr. Sheppard would’ve explained how his usage was different from the original he could’ve got away. Then he could’ve countered by questioning the original creator’s intent with the work, before manipulation. If his idea was different than my own, to me that justifies “creation of a new work”. This is defined by appropriation on Wikipedia. But out of decency the guy should’ve asked and I’m pretty sure Mannie Garcia would’ve saw it was in good spirits.

  2. kcarbaugh says:

    So what happens if I am the artist, and I don’t think what you just did is in good taste? Do I have an opinion because it is my work first? Is this really a situation of, share and share alike?

    This whole thing has really got me thinking.

    • Check out “ReadyMade” art, and some Cubism by Picasso, “The Campbell Soup Cans” work by Warhol. There are other famous works that just have a “different” point of view of them and it changes a toilet into a fountain or a news article into a building and etc. Even the art in the Visual Art Center uses material like “ReadyMade” art. For example some of the pieces have “Tiling” like that in your bathroom or kitchen on the canvus just covered in paint.

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