Artist of Obama ‘Hope’ Poster Lies About Source Photo


The original photo of Barack Obama and Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster. (Associated Press)

The original photo of Barack Obama and Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster. (Associated Press)

NEW YORK, N.Y. (WPIX) – A street artist who designed the famous Obama “HOPE” poster has admitted to lying about the source of the image.

Shepard Fairey said he made the “HOPE” poster from a photo taken of Senator Obama seated next to George Clooney — taken by Mannie Garcia, on assignment for the AP — at the National Press Club in Washington. He now admits the poster was actually based on a solo photograph of Obama taken at the same event.

The AP sought credit and compensation from Fairey earlier this year, setting off a back-and-forth legal battle. The AP claimed the poster was based on one of its photographs and that he needed permission to use it. Fairey filed his own lawsuit in February, seeking protection under “fair use” exceptions to copyright laws. A month later, the AP filed a countersuit, claiming “misappropriation.”

In a statement released Friday, Fairey’s lawyers acknowledged Fairey lied when he claimed he worked off of a different photo than the AP alleged, and have since quit his case.

“In an attempt to conceal my mistake, I submitted false images and deleted other images, I sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment, and I take full responsibility for my actions, which were mine alone,” Fairey said.

Meanwhile, Fairey argues that despite the fact that he lied about the original source of the poster, he still should not be held accountable for violating copyright laws because of the “fair use” doctrine.

The “HOPE” poster gained international recognition during the presidential campaign

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