AP Countersues Fairey Over Obama Poster

AP Countersues Fairey Over Obama Poster
The Associated Press has filed a countersuit against street artist Shepard Fairey over his ubiquitous Barack Obama "Hope" poster, the New York Times reports in its ArtsBeat blog.

In early February, the AP announced that the poster, which the Obama campaign had commissioned after seeing a similar work by the artist, was based on a copyrighted AP photo and that it wanted credit and compensation for its use.

Fairey responded by filing a suit several days later seeking a declaratory judgment that his image was protected by fair use doctrine, as well as an injunction against the AP to prevent it from asserting its copyright against Fairey or anyone possessing or using the "Hope" image.

In its counterclaim, filed today, the AP asserts that Fairey was "fully aware" that his poster was based on a copyrighted image, and that he “misappropriated the AP’s rights in that image.”  The AP, which says it made “every effort amicably to enter into a license and avoid litigation,” is seeking damages and injunctive relief on claims of copyright infringement.