Back when Barack Obama was still a progressive and Shepard Fairey was still an underground artist, an Associated Press head shot got a graphic revamp and an icon was born. Since then, Obama's become a moderate, Shepard Fairey's become a sellout, and the AP has sued everyone within earshot of the whole affair. The latest salvo of lawsuits was filed recently.
The Pacific Sound Business Journalreports today that the AP has sued Seattle area-based companies Nordstrom and Zumiez as well as Philly-based Urban Outfitters for putting Fairey's "Hope" image on T-shirts and other clothing and selling them for cash.
Originally the AP sued Fairey himself over the image, claiming that the photograph was copyrighted and any version of it was a blatant ripoff. Fairey argued that his rendition was fair use under copyright law, and for quite a while the two parties were at an impasse.
Earlier this year, however, the AP and Fairey settled the suit out of court with neither side admitting to being wrong--though the news agency's suit against Fairey's clothing company Obey Clothing remains ongoing.