Hope Poster Case Study

After reading the case study on Shepard Fairey, I personally believe that his use of Mannie Garcia’s photograph of Obama qualifies as fair use. While he did use a piece of work that did not belong to him and without consent, Fairey does raise a valid point that his Hope poster is transformative of the original. He not only performed some retouching but the photograph was used to create an entirely new creative product in support of Obama’s presidential campaign. He used the photo as a reference and a foundation for the poster. Therefore, I would consider Fairey as having followed the fair use guidelines.

However, I do stand with Fairey deserving of a penalty for tampering with evidence. At the beginning of the lawsuit, he insisted and truly thought that he had used a different photograph. But he was then shown and proven that the original source was in fact what he was being sued for by Associated Press. Especially since his initial mistake was genuine, Fairey should have admitted and disclosed it upon realizing.