Shepard Fairey versus AP: fair use on trial?


The Obama campaign poster by Shepard Fairy, currently the subject of court action, as photographed by

We all now know that Shepard Fairey was fibbing when he said he wasn’t using an AP photography as the basis for his famous Obama “Hope” poster.

While it is certainly not a good look, it shouldn’t change the legal basis of “fair use” on which his defence of AP’s lawsuit against him is based.

Today in Slate, Tim Wu takes a good look at fair use law as it applies in the US jurisdiction:

Copyright lawyers, when asked about fair use, love to emphasize its complexity and opacity. I won’t deny that fair use can be a little dense, yet I firmly believe the basics can be well-understood. My project is to demystify: a few details may be lost, but here goes.

The rest of the article is here.