Shepard Fairey has launched a first strike in the battle over the “fair use” of Mannie Garcia’s 2006 photograph of Barack Obama. Fairey has sued the Associated Press seeking a declaration that the fair use doctrine gives him the right to use Garcia’s photo as the basis for his poster. To refresh your recollection, here are the two items side by side.
We’ve already had quite an interesting go-round on this issue in this thread — see the comments in that thread for some details and images from relevant “fair use” precedent.
Just for kicks, though, I thought I’d try my hand at this. The following took about 5 minutes, applying the out-of-the-box tools available in iPhoto to Garcia’s photograph. Someone skilled in Photoshop or another sophisticated graphics program could do a lot better in, say, an hour. IMHO, Garcia’s photo — the angle, the expression he captured, the out-of-focus flag in the background — is really good, and doesn’t require much “transformation” to get to an “iconic” image. (Though perhaps more than my poor skills are capable of!) I’m leaning toward Garcia in this battle.