Copyright Infringement

Shepard Fairey on Fresh Air - UPDATED

If you haven't heard it check it out


or download the podcast on Itunes.


During the above interview, Fresh Air Host Terry Gross asked


if he knew who took the photo he used for the iconic poster (above). He stated he did not know who it was, only that is was an AP photo, which are usually not credited. I personally find it hard to believe that he "still does not know" (at time of interview) who took it especially since it has been so widely disseminated. Turns out the photo was taken by one Manny Garcia- as everyone in the media seemed to know-  and the

AP is suing for copyright infringement

.  I stumbled upon an unrelated

Twitter post

on Pres.

Obama's picks for Deputy Attorney General

(an RIAA insider- something to watch for sure). According to this article most of his federal legal picks have come from the ranks of those who were involved in some high profile music download cases.  A link in the article took me to

Lawrence Lessig's blog

where he stated that his Stanford Center's Fair Use Project is representing Shepard Fairey in the case.

Incidentally Lessig has a book out called "Free Culture" on this very subject. Download or buy it


. For those that don't know Lessig is the creator of

Creative Commons


I find this debate fascinating and as a student of art history and a designer I feel calling foul on someone like Fairey pretty indefensible. By all accounts I've heard it will be a PR nightmare for the AP and should be settled rather quickly. I've always been intrigued with Fairey's work but from an art theory perspective he can be pretty shallow content-wise, especially the more his brand gets disseminated. This situation is at the very crux of art's relationship to commerce in post-post modern age.


has been around for decades in art. This situation is no different.

Anyone have thoughts on the matter? I'm interested in the dialogue on this...