“While I’ve kept this story quiet for more than two years, it is my hope that by sharing it, my colleagues in the photography world will understand that you can fight for your rights and win. It’s not easy. But it can be done.”
Shepard Fairey, of Obey Giant and the Obama Hope poster fame, is now well known to steal the images on which he bases his artwork. In 2011, Fairey and the Associated Press reached a settlement in their legal battle over Fairey’s appropriation of Mannie Garcia‘s photo for the Obama Hope poster. Fairey now faces jail time in a related criminal case after pleading guilty to charges relating to document destruction and manufacturing evidence in the civil suit.
Now, photographer Dina Douglas has come forward with some details regarding her dispute, and eventual settlement, with Shepard Fairey over Fairey’s usage of her image of a cancer survivor. According to Douglas, Fairey contacted the photographer and they agreed to terms of usage for the painter to base an image on the photographer’s work. Fairey did not follow the terms of their agreement, which included an image credit for the photographer. The law was on the photographer’s side, and after months of legal back and forth, Douglas and Fairey reached a confidential settlement. The details of the settlement aren’t revealed, but Douglas now receives credit alongside Fairey’s artwork. You can read more details of the case at the photographers blog. If nothing else, this serves as another example that photographers can fight for their rights and win.