NEW YORK – An artist who created a famous image of Barack Obama before he became president sued The Associated Press on Monday, asking a judge to find that his use of an AP photo in creating the poster did not violate copyright law.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan said street artist Shepard Fairey did not violate the copyright of the April 2006 photograph because he dramatically changed the nature of the image.
The AP has said it is owed credit and compensation for the artist's rendition of the picture, taken by Mannie Garcia on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club in Washington.
Lawyers for Fairey acknowledged that the artist used the photograph. But they said he transformed the literal depiction into a "stunning, abstracted and idealized visual image that creates powerful new meaning and conveys a radically different message."