AP and Mannie Garcia, photographer at center of Shepard Fairey case, drop claims against each other


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The complicated legal case involving Shepard Fairey, the Associated Press and a photograph of Barack Obama got a little less complicated Friday.

Mannie Garcia, the photographer whose picture of Obama is at the center of Fairey’s legal battle with AP, has dropped his claim against the news agency in which he stated that he owns the copyright to the image.


Garcia, a freelancer who was working for AP, took the now-famous photograph of Obama in 2006 that Fairey later used as a reference for his ‘Hope’ poster. On Friday, the photographer dropped his claim against AP, which he filed in 2009 alleging that the news organization was seeking to benefit from the image by claiming that it was the rightful owner of the copyright.

The AP also dropped its claim against Garcia on Friday. A lawyer for the photographer told AP that the legal proceedings have ‘taken a toll on [Garcia] personally and professionally. He thought he’d be better suited to focus his efforts on what he knows, taking photographs like the Obama image.’

In October 2009, Fairey admitted that he submitted false images and deleted others during his legal proceedings in the AP case. As a result of his wrongdoings, Fairey faced criminal investigations.

Earlier this month, a judge denied AP’s request for sanctions against Fairey related to the case. There have been rumors circulating that AP and Fairey will settle out of court, but neither side has spoken publicly about this.

-- David Ng

Photo (top): The original photograph taken by Mannie Garcia juxtaposed with Fairey’s ‘Hope’ poster. Credit: Mannie Garcia / Associated Press

Photo (bottom): Fairey at a reception for the current Dennis Hopper exhibition at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Credit: Stefanie Keenan / Wireimage



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