Friday, February 06, 2009

Hope on trial

Shepard Fairey, who created that well-known Obama "Hope" poster, is being sued by the AP for copyright infringement. Here's a good analysis of why Fairey should win and that the poster falls under the "fair use" exception to copyright. (Concurring Opinions)

Moreover, the poster might constitute fair use. The fair use factors include:
1. the purpose and character of the use
2. the nature of the copyrighted work
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market

The poster isn't a direct copy of the image. The background of the photo and other details are different in the poster. The poster is quite different in its use and nature from the photo, and the market for the poster strikes me as significantly distinct from that of the photo. The AP seems to be attempting to be money-grubbing here with this rather petty copyright claim.

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