It’s finally (almost) over: OBEY and Shepard Fairey versus the AP

While the lawsuit between Shepard Fairey and the AP was settled in January, there was still a suit between Obey Clothing and the AP. That suit was finally settled, according to PDN Pulse. Both suits surrounded Fairey’s Hope portrait of Obama from a few years ago.

The terms of the settlement with Obey Clothing (as well as some of the retailers who sold clothing with Hope on it) include three important points:

1. Neither side is backing down and admitting that they were wrong. They both get to stick to their beliefs (the AP that the use of a photo they owned as the basis for Hope being infringement and Obey Clothing that it was fair use).

2. Obey Clothing “will not use another AP photo without obtaining a license from the AP.”

3. (and here’s why I say this series of unfortunate events is almost over) Obey Clothing “will collaborate to create and sell apparel using Shepard Fairey’s graphics based on photographs owned by the AP.”

You may remember these terms as sounding pretty familiar as they are pretty much identical to the terms of the settlement with Shepard Fairey, except dealing with clothing.

And yes, condition #3 does mean that there will probably a series of half-assed-and-photoshopped-in-5-minutes-to-OBEY-specification prints and t-shirts based on some famous photographs that the AP owns the rights to. Does the AP seriously think this is going to make them look good? I know people (including myself) have criticized some pretty low quality prints from Fairey from time to time, but damn, besides just the very real possibility of Shepard making some poor designs in a large enough series, I wouldn’t blame the guy if these upcoming designs based on AP-licensed images were intentionally half-assed just to spite the AP.

Or maybe I’m just writing spitefully because I wish Shepard had seen his day in court to patriotically defend the right of fair use… After all, I did buy a print from him last year.

Photo courtesy of

16 Obama Street Art and Graffiti Pieces

So I saw this article on Trendhunter, but their site is a bit disorganized, and I can’t even seem to find the correct photo gallery. So I went out looking for Obama street art pieces on my own. Here’s 16 of my favorite Obama pieces (in no particular order).

Only nine more days 🙂

Photo by EricaJoy
Photo by EricaJoy

Check out the rest of the images after the jump…

Continue reading “16 Obama Street Art and Graffiti Pieces”

Fairey Finally Speaks Out Against Obama

Shepard Fairey has FINALLY said a few words criticizing soon-to-be-president Obama.


I’m very disappointed by Obama’s appointment of Rick Warren to deliver his invocation during Obama’s inaugural address. Rick Warren is against gay marriage and reproductive rights, and he does not believe in evolution (maybe he offers himself as proof of lack of evolution). I understand that Obama is trying to appeal to conservatives and evangelicals, but this move is symbolically a slap in the face to many people. Warren is not a uniter, but a divider… he is intolerant in many of his views. I still think Obama is the best choice for president, but I can’t condone Warren’s involvement in Obama’s inauguration, no matter how insignificant it is.

Shepard Fairey Obama ProgressFairey goes on to say that some of the proceeds from his pro-Obama posters will now go towards initiatives working to reverse California’s Prop-8, which re-banned gay marriage in the state.

I’ve had a hard time with all of Fairey’s pro-Obama work (it seems a bit pro-establishment compared to the rest of his work), but I really respect Fairey for still being willing to criticize Obama.

If you’re in DC for the inauguration, check out Fairey’s Manifest Hope gallery, running from Jaunuary 17-19.

Via the art collectors blog