Shepard Fairey And Fair-Use Law

Using Presidential Images In Product Design

Street artist Shepard Fairey created the now famous
Obama poster
and used a photo taken by an Associated
Press photographer for his illustration.

Fairey believed that he was legally entitled to use the AP photograph under
the concept of “fair use,” so he didn’t get permission from the actual owner of the photograph.

The Associated Press later asked Fairey for compensation for the use of their work, even though Fairey did not profit from any of the proceeds. Fairey begged to differ.

Lesson: Whether or not Fairey’s position is correct, he generated a lot of fees for several lawyers. The entire issue could have been avoided if Fairey had gotten written permission before proceeding with his idea.


Ethics in Graphic

Wall Street Journal Law
Judge in AP-Fairey Case
Suggests Settlement

Note: Finding Your Niche includes colorful, real-life examples of
how budding entrepreneurs (and those with experience) overlook
simple steps in choosing ideas and, as a result, encounter costly problems.

Dee Adams is the author of
Finding Your Niche: Discover…


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