The concept of "Fair Use" has been a frequent subject of discussion here on Supertouch lately. The ASSOCIATED PRESS' new claim that SHEPARD FAIREY's ubiquitous artwork created for BARACK OBAMA's presidential campaign violates the copyright of a photo in their archive will now prove yet another test of this conceptual cornerstone of the modern art world:
On buttons, posters and Web sites, the image was everywhere during last year's presidential campaign: A pensive Barack Obama looking upward, as if to the future, splashed in a Warholesque red, white and blue and underlined with the caption HOPE.
Designed by Shepard Fairey, a Los-Angeles based street artist, the image has led to sales of hundreds of thousands of posters and stickers, has become so much in demand that copies signed by Fairey have been purchased for thousands of dollars on eBay.
The image, Fairey has acknowledged, is based on an Associated Press photograph, taken in April 2006 by Manny Garcia on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club in Washington.
The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.
"The Associated Press has determined that the photograph used in the poster is an AP photo and that its use required permission," the AP's director of media relations, Paul Colford, said in a statement.
"AP safeguards its assets and looks at these events on a case-by-case basis. We have reached out to Mr. Fairey's attorney and are in discussions. We hope for an amicable solution."
"We believe fair use protects Shepard's right to do what he did here," says Fairey's attorney, Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University and a lecturer at the Stanford Law School. "It wouldn't be appropriate to comment beyond that at this time because we are in discussions about this with the AP."
Fair use is a legal concept that allows exceptions to copyright law, based on, among other factors, how much of the original is used, what the new work is used for and how the original is affected by the new work. Click HERE to continue reading...
2009 really is SHEPARD FAIREY's year; we're just living in it. On the eve of today's press preview of his massive retrospective art show at the INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON, Shepard spoke to CHARLIE ROSE last nite about the intricacies of branding a presidential campaign from street level.
This year she's been nominated for a Grammy and an Oscar, but musician & artist (her first solo show was in 2001 in London) M.I.A. has more pressing issues on her mind, namely the nearly totally unreported genocide currently being perpetrated in her homeland of SRI LANKA where she's officially been labeled a "terrorist" by the government (to her credit, she was denied entrance to the US by the Bush administration under the same classification). In an interview with favorite ST news site THE DAILY BEAST, the currently preggers and nearly ready-to-pop singer declared: “The situation is systematic genocide, ethnic cleansing ... “I want my fans to know I’m not tryin’ to be like Bono. Someone Irish talking about what’s going on in Africa. I actually come from there and the fact is that this is happening now. The war has been going on for a long time, but it stepped into the genocide bracket recently with the new President. I lived in Sri Lanka when the campaign for ethnic cleansing started and if I could stop it and see the end of it in my lifetime that would be amazing. I can’t justify my success otherwise. I can’t justify getting nominated for an Oscar or a Grammy, that to me wouldn’t mean anything if I don’t actually get to speak about this. It’s not like I’m trying to sell records, I’m trying to stop the death of 350,000 people this month.” Click HERE to read more...
Wasting no time following BARACK OBAMA's inauguration, purveyors of ultra-creepy celebrity likenesses MADAME TUSSAUDS got down to the business of immortalizing the first couple in the time-honored and forever freaky medium of wax. Barack's already made his debut at the institution's Washington D.C. branch to the horror of several infants attending the unveiling, while first lady MICHELLE is still being sculpted in London's Merlin Studios in preparation for her March debut. Unfortunately, she won't be joining her man in his Oval Office setting; instead she'll be placed in line with the museum's other first ladies, right next to now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton...
In a move seemingly engineered to break the brains of conservatives, BARACK OBAMA made good on his "Change" platform this week by granting his first official interview as president to the Saudi owned Arab news network Al Arabiya. The move was an overt show of good faith to Muslims worldwide, one that serves as a starting point for the long process of repairing America's badly damaged public image at the hands of his predecessor. Explaining this unprecedented outreach Obama explained, "Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries." Criticizing the Bush administration's "War on Terror" as ineffective, Obama said "The language we use matters. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down. But to the broader Muslim world what we are going to be offering is a hand of friendship ... What I want to communicate is the fact that in all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I've come to understand is that regardless of your faith—and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers—regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams. And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.” Shocking stuff indeed given the lingering shadow of last eight years. On the topic of Arab Israeli relations, Obama declared "I think the most important thing is for the United States to get engaged right away ... All too often the United States starts by dictating—in the past on some of these issues—and we don't always know all the factors that are involved. So let's listen." Looks like those campaign posters weren't just all rhetoric after all. Read the full transcript HERE.
If OBAMA's inauguration took your breath away, these reader-submitted experiments in tattooing should leave you speechless...
The tattoo world's Michelangelo, SHAWN BARBER has extended his old school painting chops to the political scene with this commissioned portrait of BARACK OBAMA for the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Gracing the cover of their Tuesday, January 22nd inauguration edition, the move was a bold one for the traditionalist rag that furthers the mainstream embrace of underground artists in the name of Barack almighty. Not only is the Big O leading the charge toward economic and political recovery these days, he seems to be sparking an art world revolution in the process. Of course, this time next year the printed newspaper might just be a thing of the past.
Last nite, graffiti gremlin NECK FACE took advantage of some down time between billboard postings on the front wall of Hollywood fashion hotspot BARRACUDA to leave a note for freshly-inaugurated President OBAMA. Representing "la gente" to the fullest, Nasty Neck lets the Big O know his economic reform package should indeed be the first order of business this week: "we don't need change, we need dollars, homie!" In other news, Barracuda is expanding to include an art gallery component this summer. Stay tuned to Supertouch for details coming soon. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Dedication. What you can't see is the George W. Bush tatt it's covering up...
"Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America." —Obama 1/20/2009