Shepard Fairey Faces Prison while Cincinnati Still Faces His Murals

Back in April of 2009, I asked if the Contemporary Art Center was on the wrong side of art by promoting Shepard Fairey throughout Greater Cincinnati and choosing to neglect his problems of “lifting” other’s work. Now it is being reported that Shepard Fairey, the Los Angeles artist who created the “Hope” poster for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, pleaded guilty in a New York federal court Friday to destroying and fabricating documents during a legal battle with the Associated Press, according to media reports.

Fairey sued the news service in 2009 after it claimed that the famous poster was based on one of its photos. Fairey claimed that he used a different photograph for the poster.

But he admitted that, in fact, he was wrong and tried to hide the error by destroying documents and manufacturing others, which is the source of the one count of criminal contempt to which he pleaded guilty, The Wrap reported.

Fairey could face six months in prison, a year of supervised release and a $5,000 fine. He will be sentenced in July.

Lacking any courage from the CAC to stand up to the farce, I suppose we in Greater Cincinnati can always “hope” his temporary murals dotting our landscape will begin to fade by about this time.

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One Response to “Shepard Fairey Faces Prison while Cincinnati Still Faces His Murals”

  1. Dartanian says:

    Before we even get to the fair use issues, there are canllengihg questions about ownership (does Manny Garcia own the work as he claims, or was it indeed work for hire, leaving the artist in the lurch?) and registration. One can even ask, as Peter Jaszi , whether there is enough originality in the photo to warrant copyright protection in the first place. It seems odd that the judge has already made up his mind on these issues.

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