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Young Entertainment Lawyers Archives

October 18, 2009

Shepard Fairey Lied

It appears that Shepard Fairey lied, deliberately destroyed evidence of the actual image used in the Obama Hope poster, and in a cover-up, created false documents to support his fraud. He has now issed the below press release in apology. Fairey's attorneys have given notice to AP that they intend to withdraw upon his acquiring new counsel.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jay Strell- Sunshine, Sachs & Associates,
(212) 691-2800/ (917) 362-9248 cell
strell@sunshinesachs.com

STATEMENT BY SHEPARD FAIREY ON ASSOCIATED PRESS FAIR USE CASE
OCTOBER 16, 2009

In an effort to keep everyone up to date on my legal battle to uphold the principle of fair use in
copyright laws, I wanted to notify you of a recent development in my case against The
Associated Press (AP).

On October 9, 2009, my lawyers sent a letter to the AP and to the photographer Mannie Garcia,
through their lawyers, notifying them that I intend to amend my court pleadings. Throughout the
case, there has been a question as to which Mannie Garcia photo I used as a reference to
design the HOPE image. The AP claimed it was one photo, and I claimed it was another.
The new filings state for the record that the AP is correct about which photo I used as a
reference and that I was mistaken. While I initially believed that the photo I referenced was a
different one, I discovered early on in the case that I was wrong.

In an attempt to conceal my mistake I submitted false images and deleted other images. I
sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment and I take full responsibility for my actions which
were mine alone. I am taking every step to correct the information and I regret I did not come
forward sooner.

I am very sorry to have hurt and disappointed colleagues, friends, and family who have
supported me in this difficult case and trying time in my life.

I am also sorry because my actions may distract from what should be the real focus of my
case - the right to fair use so that all artists can create freely. Regardless of which of the two
images was used, the fair use issue should be the same.

October 19, 2009

Shepard Fairey Litigation - The AP's Response

Statement from Srinandan R. Kasi, VP and General Counsel, The Associated Press

Striking at the heart of his fair use case against the AP, Shepard Fairey has now been forced to admit that he sued the AP under false pretenses by lying about which AP photograph he used to make the Hope and Progress posters. Mr. Fairey has also now admitted to the AP that he fabricated and attempted to destroy other evidence in an effort to bolster his fair use case and cover up his previous lies and omissions.

In his Feb. 9, 2009 complaint for a declaratory judgment against the AP, Fairey falsely claimed to have used an AP photograph of George Clooney sitting next to then-Sen. Barack Obama as the source of the artist’s Hope and Progress posters. However, as the AP correctly alleged in its March 11, 2009 response, Fairey had instead used a close-up photograph of Obama from the same press event, which is an exact match for Fairey’s posters. In its response, the AP also correctly surmised that Fairey had attempted to hide the true identity of the source photo in order to help his case by arguing that he had to make more changes to the source photo than he actually did, i.e., that he at least had to crop it.

After filing the complaint, Fairey went on to make several public statements in which he insisted that the photo with George Clooney was the source image and that “The AP is showing the wrong photo.” It appears that these statements were also false, as were statements that Fairey made describing how he cropped Clooney out of the photo and made other changes to create the posters.

Fairey’s lies about which photo was the source image were discovered after the AP had spent months asking Fairey’s counsel for documents regarding the creation of the posters, including copies of any source images that Fairey used. Fairey’s counsel has now admitted that Fairey tried to destroy documents that would have revealed which image he actually used. Fairey’s counsel has also admitted that he created fake documents as part of his effort to conceal which photo was the source image, including hard copy printouts of an altered version of the Clooney Photo and fake stencil patterns of the Hope and Progress posters. Most recently, on Oct. 15, Fairey’s counsel informed the AP that they intended to seek the Court’s permission to withdraw as counsel for Fairey and his related entities.

The AP intends to vigorously pursue its countersuit alleging that Fairey willfully infringed the AP’s copyright in the close-up photo of then-Sen. Obama by using it without permission to create the Hope and Progress posters and related products, including T-shirts and sweatshirts that have led to substantial revenue. According to the AP’s in-house counsel, Laura Malone, “Fairey has licensed AP photos in the past for similar uses and should have done so in this case. As a not-for-profit news organization, the AP depends on licensing revenue to stay in business.” Proceeds received for past use of the photo will be contributed by the AP to The AP Emergency Relief Fund, which assists staffers and their families around the world who are victims of natural disasters and conflicts.

July 13, 2010

Message from EASL Chair, Judith B. Prowda

By Judith B. Prowda

I am pleased to announce the appointments of Kathy Kim and Stephanie Vaidya as Co-Chairs of EASL's Young Entertainment Lawyers Committee. Kathy will also continue as Steering Committee Member of the Pro Bono Committee. Kathy, a trained dancer and singer, is an aspiring entertainment lawyer and theatrical producer. Currently, she is working with the producers of a Broadway-bound musical. Stephanie is an Associate at Withers Bergman LLP, where she works on a variety of projects involving art law.

EASL also welcomes two liaisons from the Young Lawyers Section - Jason Aylesworth and Ezgi Kaya. Jason is an Associate at Sendroff & Baruch, LLP, where he practices transactional entertainment and intellectual property law in the areas of theatre, music, film and television. Ezgi is an Assistant Vice President and Counsel in the Legal Department at Deutsche Bank AG. Previously, Ezgi was a Credit Associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

Congrats to Kathy, Stephanie, Jason and Ezgi! We look forward to interesting and valuable programs for our members in the months ahead.

October 13, 2010

SPEED-DATING NETWORKING: BREAKING INTO THE INDUSTRY

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

6:30pm – 9:00pm

(7:00pm – official start time)

At the Village Pourhouse (Upstairs space)

366 West 46th Street, NY, NY

(between 8th and 9th Avenue)


Sponsored by the EASL’s Young Entertainment Lawyers Committee

Program Description: Our Speed-Networking event provides attendees a chance to meet young entertainment and sports attorneys from a variety of practice areas in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We all hate going to an event and never having enough time to speak to everyone in the room. Well, here’s a chance to mingle away while enjoying our open bar and hor d’oeuvres.

Come meet us for a wonderful night of dating . . . we mean . . . NETWORKING! Space is limited so please hurry and register.

Registration: $15 for EASL members

$20 for non-EASL members (NYSBA members)

$25 for non-NYSBA members and tickets at the Door

Please register by calling toll-free at 1-800-582-2452.

THIS IS A NON-CLE EVENT

For more information, contact lscully@nysba.org

January 30, 2012

Kernochan Center Intellectual Property Fellowship

The Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School (CLS) is accepting applications for a two-year fellowship opportunity for a future legal academic interested in researching and writing on intellectual property issues, particularly in the area of third-party liability and internet governance.

The fellowship will begin in September, 2012 and end in August, 2014. The fellow will have the opportunity to conduct his or her own research in the field of liability of internet intermediaries. The fellow will also be responsible for planning and implementing a conference, with the assistance of CLS faculty and staff of the Law School, on the topic of intellectual property and third-party liability, to take place at CLS in Fall 2013. The goal of the conference will be a discussion of current policy in the U.S. and abroad with an eye to proposing potential legislative solutions to current legal issues.

The fellow will receive a salary of $65,000 per year, and benefits, space to work in the law school, research facilities, and opportunities to interact with CLS faculty, staff and students.
Applicants should be 2-5 years out of law school and have a background in economics, technology, sociology or other, similar discipline which lends itself to a study of internet issues. To apply, applicants should send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, proposal for scholarly research on the topic of secondary liability (5-8 pages), two letters of recommendation, law school transcript and a list of additional references by April 15 to the address listed below.

June M. Besek
Executive Director
Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts
Columbia Law School
435 West 116 th Street, Box A-17
New York , NY 10027
jbesek@law.columbia.edu

Columbia is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.

About Young Entertainment Lawyers

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Blog in the Young Entertainment Lawyers category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

TV and Radio is the previous category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.