Fairey Admits Lying Over 'Hope' Photo

Artist tried to conceal mistake with false evidence
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2009 9:50 AM CDT
The Fairey poster along with a photo of candidate Obama by AP photographer Manny Garcia.   (AP Photo/Manny Garcia/ Shepard Fairey)
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(Newser) – An unexpected twist in the Shepard Fairey copyright fight: The artist admits that he lied about which AP photo he used for his Obama Hope poster and submitted fake evidence to support his claim. His lawyers have now dropped him as the legal fight continues. "I am very sorry to have hurt and disappointed colleagues, friends, and family," said Fairey, who added that his actions shouldn't detract from the larger issue of an artist's right to fair use.

The case hinges on Fairey's use of an Obama photo by AP photographer Manny Garcia, notes the LA Times. Fairey insisted that the one he used has George Clooney in the frame and is covered under fair use. The AP countered that Fairey used a different image, a solo shot of Obama. Now Fairey says the AP is correct. "While I initially believed that the photo I referenced was a different one, I discovered early on in the case that I was wrong," says Fairey. "In an attempt to conceal my mistake, I submitted false images and deleted other images."