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Art turns ugly in squabble over 'Hope'

EFF IN THE NEWS
February 13, 2009

Artist Shepard Fairey says that he has distributed more than 300,000 copies of his iconic poster of President Obama with the word "Hope" written underneath and that it has inspired countless other versions. Now, the 38-year-old Los Angeles street artist, who says he used an Associated Press photograph as a "visual reference" for his piece, is in the middle of a copyright battle that goes to the heart of how media is made, remixed and mashed up.

Given the notoriety of Fairey's iconic poster, "it is kind of the perfect storm," said Michael Kwun, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco digital advocacy organization. "It raises questions about what we as a culture and a legal society feel is proper."

Friday, February 13, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle
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