Jumping on the bandwagon a little late, I've been following the kerfluffle over the iconic "Hope" poster for the Obama campaign created by Shepard Fairey (and is that your real name, Mr. Fairey?). Seems he lifted the original image from an AP photo, and they're taking legal action.
Some folks take this stuff really seriously. Here's a websitewith its knickers in a twist over the many borrowings and liberties taken by Fairey in a lot of his posters, a commentary created back in 2007 long before the current fuss.
My response? Get over it. Fairey has his origins in guerrilla street art, has spent nights in jail for plastering posters where he shouldn't, and probably is enjoying this nonsense more than anyone. Norman Rockwell he ain't. I'm not expecting this guy to suddenly develop an urge to seek legal permission or footnote his sources as assiduously as a PhD candidate. I take that back. Academe is no stranger to plagarism either. He may just have all the integrity of a PhD. candidate, but I digress.
I steal images all the time for this blog. If it's out there as a jpg. on the internet with no obvious copyright protection, I further the dissemination and appreciation of the original without disclaimer. Come and get me, I'm judgment proof. And try to prove damages when my Devoted Readership, according to my sitemeter, hovers in the mid double digits a day. Until his recent visibility, Fairey was in the same untouchable status.
A really interesting story of Obama art was on the LA Times front page (below the fold) today. A probable late-70's-early 80's portrait of the future President as an unknown youthful hipster currently resides in a home in Ojai. Hoax? Discovery? Check the photo and you be the judge. I would have reproduced it here in another example of my flagrant disrespect for copyright law, but it's a bitmap and un-liftable here. All I can say is that the man looks good in a spread-collar Nik-Nik shirt. Remember those?
Personally, I wanted to make my own Fairey poster, with my own inspirational mug red-white-and-blued. I think it's really "haute," or "hot" or even "ho." "Hope?" Donno.
Send me your tired, your poor, your Obamicons!