Opinion: AP now Hopes for $/credit for Fairey’s iconic Obama poster


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(UPDATED with Exclusive video below)

By now, everybody who cares is familiar with the iconic Hope poster of Barack Obama gazing, with determination, into the future that only he and artist Shepard Fairey can see.

As The Ticket reported recently, that poster by Los Angeles street artist Fairey is based on a news photograph taken 10 months before Obama’s announced candidacy at a Washington speech when the Illinois Democrat was intently listening -- oh, the irony! -- to a conservative Republican speaker.

Kansas GOP Sen. Sam Brownback inspires everyone who hears him, except Iowa caucus-goers who didn’t vote for him, so he dropped out of the GOP primaries a long time ago and now he’s going back home to run for governor.

The Ticket also reported the other day that White House lawyers are exploring ways of protecting the copyright of the new president’s image like this. And we said good luck with that around the Obama-loving world.


Anyway, Fairey has made a lot of money off the image, which with his signature brings thousands on EBay. And he’s acknowledged the image was actually taken from an Associated Press picture snapped by freelance photographer Manny Garcia at a National Press Club event on Darfur with actor George Clooney. (UPDATE: A Fairey spokesman says the artist invested initial earnings in making more posters and donated later income to charity.)

So far, so good. But now, the AP wants credit for that ripped-off image. And some money for itself and Manny. And Shep is saying, uh, no.

Our blogging buddy Mark Silva has more on this story of successful capitalism over in the Swamp. But first, check out the exclusive video below.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credits: Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press (Shepard Fairey by his iconic Obama image); Manny Garcia / Associated Press (Obama at a 2006 political event in Washington listening to a Republican speak) video by Sachi Cunningham