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Shepard Fairey, Creator of 2008 Obama 'Hope' Poster Now Facing Jail Time

As one of the comments says: Oh the irony of this...


SEPTEMBER 5--Federal prosecutors want Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the Barack Obama “Hope” poster, to serve time in prison following his misdemeanor conviction for destroying and fabricating documents in connection with a civil lawsuit over the iconic campaign image.

In advance of Friday’s scheduled sentencing of Fairey in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the Department of Justice has filed a memorandum arguing that a prison term for the 42-year-old artist would be “appropriate.”

Continue Reading: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/shepard-fairey-senten...

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He's being held in a cage for

He's being held in a cage for fabricating documents? Whoopie! A libertarian paradise! Come on, guys. This isn't libertarian at all. Sure, it's news, but its inclusion on the front page *implies* something.

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and what might that be?

That we support it.

That we support it.

Check out LibertyHQ, where I aggregate the all best articles on libertarianism by topic! For now, the "Issues in Libertopia" section is the most developed. Find a link to it below:


dam look at that pic

why do liberals always look ugly/homeless

ya off topic i know

Big Brother...

Hope & Change means war & rape at the airports etc.

President Gary Johnson will fix it.

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Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

The man has spent his life as a vandal.

Prison time should be a natural consequence when you make a lifestyle out of violating property rights and calling it art. Funny that he didn't actually run into trouble until he offended the State though.


From the article:
"Fairey had already been busily leveraging his obey-sticker notoriety into lines of clothing and collectibles (as well as continuing to vandalize property) when he struck it rich with the Obama poster. The Associated Press sued him for appropriating its Obama photograph without permission. So unwilling was Fairey to share any of his wealth with the AP that he knowingly perjured himself in court and submitted false images to cover up his use of the photo. He finally settled for an undisclosed sum in January 2011, stating primly, “I respect the work of photographers”—but only, it seems, when a lawsuit forces him to."

reedr3v's picture

The man is learning the hard way that a

tyrannical government is a threat to any individual. But I don't agree with your presumption that it is vandalism to use a photo as a starting point for an artwork that differs considerably from the original image. This is very very common in the art world, with no bad consequences normally.
Look at Warhol's Campbell Soup cans using copyrighted labels as well as other images with little change from the photo source material. Since most artists do not have
access to famous people, how can they create images without photo reference material? Can only official photographers or Court painters publish images of the elite?
The presumption that a photographer can claim rights to any subsequent use of the photo even with considerable modification flies in the face of common sense and common usage. People modify images constantly on the 'net and in artworks. It is normal, traditional even.
Perjury is another matter, and that was foolish behavior.

I was referring to his 'work' through the medium of graffiti

I could have stated that more clearly. Sorry.

I'm with Stephan Kinsella when it comes to IP. Trade secrets are enforceable through common law, and trademarks can serve a valid purpose in protecting the consumer, but all other non-scarce goods can and should be copied when it maximizes wealth. So, I have no problem about how Fairey used a newspaper photo in his Hope logo. I just thought the author did a great job in pointing out the contradictions he holds.

hate to hear he helped obama

he did some great work for neil young on americana earlier this year.

scawarren's picture

I don't know if it means much

I don't know if it means much but one of the commenters replied that this wasn't an issue until he spoke out against Obama?

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain