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Posted at 6:51 PM ET, 01/12/2011

Update: Shepard Fairey and AP agree to settle on copyright infringement suits

By The Reliable Source

AP's Obama (by photographer Mannie Garcia), left; and Shepard Fairey's version.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?

That's sort of how the unusual out-of-court settlement reached between the Associated Press and Obama "HOPE" artist Shepard Fairey sounds. As part of the deal -- which stemmed from the AP's complaint that Fairey used an original 2006 photo of the future president without permission to craft his stylized portrait -- the two sides announced Wednesday. . . that Fairey's going to do some more reworkings of AP photos.

With permission, this time -- and presumably some profit-sharing.

Fairey and the AP have spent the past two years feuding in court over whether his acknowledged use of the image violated AP's copyright. Under the settlement, Fairey agreed to share profits of "HOPE" merchandise and not use another AP photo again without permission. They wouldn't disclose the terms of any other financial agreement. Meanwhile, AP is still suing a T-shirt company, Obey Clothing, for using the image.

So, about those future AP-Fairey collabos? Fairey did not reply to our email, and AP's attorney, Dale Cendali, declined to offer any details about specific plans. She said the court case was more than a matter of principle for the news collective -- that sales of the images are a key part of keeping news organizations afloat these days. "The money earned from AP images," Cendali said, "helps defray other newsgathering activities."

By The Reliable Source  | January 12, 2011; 6:51 PM ET
Categories:  Update  
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