The Associated Press, Shepard Fairey Settle Over ‘Hope’ Merch

03.17.11 Marina Galperina

The AP and Fairey’s Obey Clothing settled their copyright infringement lawsuit and related fracas, before the scheduled March 21 hearing. The resolution is similar to the one earlier this year when Shep agreed to collaborate with the AP and never use their photos without permission again, tsk tsk. The AP also gets a confidential settlement sum and will “collaborate” with Shep on more merch.

The AP press release:

…the AP and Obey Clothing will collaborate to create and sell apparel using Shepard Fairey’s graphics based on photographs owned by the AP. Obey Clothing has further agreed that it will not use another AP photo without obtaining a license from the AP. The parties agree that neither side surrenders its view of the law. Additional financial terms remain confidential. The settlement also amicably resolves claims that the AP filed last week against three retailers who sold T-shirts and other apparel distributed by Obey Clothing.

Tom Curley, president and CEO of the AP is pleased:

“The Associated Press is pleased to have reached a settlement of our lawsuit against Obey Clothing. This settlement marks the final resolution of the disputes over our rights in the AP’s photograph of Barack Obama. While it was a long road with many twists and turns along the way, the AP is proud of the result and will continue to vigorously defend its copyrighted photographs against wholesale copying and commercialization where there is no legitimate basis for asserting fair use. The AP is particularly gratified that this settlement will benefit the AP’s Emergency Relief Fund, which helps AP staff and families worldwide cope with catastrophes and natural disasters.”