Images courtesy of Associated Press.
The "Hope" posters served as a rallying call for a change of government during the last US elections, and were seen plastered all over the country. The posters were designed by artist Shepard Fairey, but were based on an image the Associated Press claims to be theirs.
While Fairey has been urged by a judge to settle his case after he was found to have fabricated evidence, the Associated Press had been dealing with another legal case involving the photographer who shot the iconic image. Garcia claimed that he was not working for the Associated Press when he took the picture, a fact the news agency denies.
Now, both parties have settled their differences with Garcia dropping hs claims that he owns the copyright to the photograph, and the Associated Press dropping its counter-claim against him.
"The Associated Press is very pleased that Mannie Garcia has withdrawn from the case with prejudice, meaning that he cannot refile his claim against the AP," says Paul Colford, AP director of media relations. "The AP has not wavered in its belief that Garcia was a staff photographer at the time he took the image of then-Senator Barack Obama, that AP properly employed Garcia, and that AP is the rightful copyright owner of the photo in question. Further, the AP is pleased that Garcia voluntarily withdrew without any payment or consideration of any kind -- this was not a settlement."
The settlement, however, will not affect Fairey's case against the Associated Press. Fairey claims that the use of the image falls under fair use. But, while he argued, at first, that he had used another image shot by a different photographer, Fairey, pressed to present proof of his claims, was forced to admit he had lied and fabricated evidence about which photograph the poster was based upon.
A three-week trial will start on 21 March 2011 in New York.
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