US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein has dismissed the cases between Shepard Fairey and the Associated Press. And so, the whole copyright infringement vs. fair use vs. fake evidence ballyhooed mess has been resolved with a “confidential” financial settlement. The AP and Fairey will also “collaborate on a series of images,” according to the AP’s press statement. Wait, what?
In settling the lawsuit, the AP and Mr. Fairey have agreed that neither side surrenders its view of the law. Mr. Fairey has agreed that he will not use another AP photo in his work without obtaining a license from the AP. The two sides have also agreed to work together going forward with the Hope image and share the rights to make the posters and merchandise bearing the Hope image and to collaborate on a series of images that Fairey will create based on AP photographs. The parties have agreed to additional financial terms that will remain confidential.
Fairey is pleased:
I am pleased to have resolved the dispute with the Associated Press. I respect the work of photographers, as well as recognize the need to preserve opportunities for other artists to make fair use of photographic images. I often collaborate with photographers in my work, and I look forward to working with photos provided by the AP’s talented photographers.
But it’s not over. Since Obey Clothing sold 233,800 pieces of HOPE stuff between March 2008 and September 2009, other claims between AP and Fairey apparel peddlers will be put before a civil jury in March.