UPDATE: Shepard Fairey vs The AP

April 16, 2009

My lawyers filed my response to The AP’s claims against me on Tuesday (CLICK HERE FOR SHEPARD’S RESPONSE).  It includes a dozen examples of AP photographs that consist almost entirely of copyrighted artwork from me and other artists.  Today, The AP issued a statement accusing me of “making attacks” on them.  I don’t feel the need to respond to that in detail, because my lawyer already has (CLICK HERE FOR LAWYER’S RESPONSE)

As I have stated before I am fighting the AP to protect the rights of all artists but I do want to emphasize one other important point.  I’m not accusing the AP of infringing anybody’s rights.  I’m saying everyone should have the same broad rights of fair use and free expression, and that includes The AP.  I’m not questioning The AP’s legal right to do what it does.  But I am saying they have to be consistent.  They can’t have it both ways.  If AP photographs that do nothing but depict other artists’ work are protected by fair use, then my work has to be, too, because it’s at least as transformative, creative and expressive as The AP photos we identify in my response, if not much more so. If the AP has the right to do what it’s done, then so do I.

– Shepard