Disassociated Press

What ridiculousness is this – the Associated Press are going after Shephard Fairey for compensation and/or credit for the original image used for the famous Obama ‘Hope’ poster?

A poster that bears only some relation to the fairly generic original (look at the eyes or the tie for example), did not profit from – all profits went to the campaign – and I’ve heard even Manny Garcia, the AP staffer/freelancer who took the picture who is no longer with AP didn’t even recognise that it was his photo used on the poster.

I mean I can’t imagine the late great Alberto Korda (or worse: a corporation he worked for) going after those who used the Che image?

Ultimately although bootlegged as with the Obama poster, it benefited the cause. And Shephard Fairey redrew the image, cropped it and turned it into that poster, he didn’t hide where he got it from, and didn’t profit from it at all.

Love to know what Manny Garcia thinks – that such a historically important cultural object and poster gets the kind of litigation that Mr Korda would’ve balked at (well he couldn’t actually sue until recently because Cuba wasn’t a Berne Convention signatory, but he’s gone on record saying “I am not averse to its reproduction by those who wish to propagate his memory and the cause of social justice throughout the world” and only being against the commercial use of the image in such un-Che things as Smirnoff vodka).

Hmm, another case of a large media conglomerate not getting with the digital age, or even the sort of nearly 50 year old radical ethos that meant the Che image (and interestingly and wonderfully Korda’s legacy) persisted around the world for decades – too early to say whether this poster has made that sort of cultural leap, doubtful but certainly the biggest icon of Obama’s campaign and rule so far.

Apparently a copy is now in The Smithsonian…shame the Associated Press do not seem to get the spirit, fair use or radical nature of the work. Fools…I think their time has come, what with people twittering and taking pictures of live events and news – we first saw this majorly in 2005 with the bombs in London, yes people had cameras at 9/11 but it was the first time I saw mobile phone pics (one taken by someone I know – Alex, aka JetSetAlex, a previous mashup person) used on front pages of newspapers.

Times they are a’ changin, The Disassociated Press of Guerilla Media is coming.

I think Che would have liked the irony in that….

Relatio Clash

Tim B Written by:

One Comment

  1. lone-dragon
    February 8

    I thought the new boss was different than the old boss?
    I guess I was fooled again. Looks like you too!

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