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As you may have heard, some graphic sleuths reverse engineered the now iconic and Smithsonian housed “HOPE” illustration that Shepard Fairey created for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and discovered that it was copied from a photograph taken by Associated Press employee Manny Garcia in 2006. Well the news disseminating wire service isn’t so happy about the infraction and decided to get all gangster on the infamous wheatpasting artist, by suing him, demanding “credit and compensation.” The AP is claiming copyright infringement while Fairey’s high profile lawyer says it’s protected under fair use statutes.


This latest bit of legal drama has reignited the controversy over Shepard’s tendency to steal and slightly modify images that he does not credit and will no doubt give even more credence to Mark Vallen’s theory—which despite its flaws—makes a hell of a lot more sense than this piss poor attempt. Either way, this will be an interesting case to follow and judging from the preliminary facts, the AP certainly has a stronger case against Shepard than he did when he sued graphic designer Baxter Orr back in April of last year for the same thing.