When you decide you are going to sue someone, rule numbah one, DON’T FUCKING LIE!
Angry Zen Minion Brendan Hong sends word that Shepard Fairey sued the AP under false pretense. The AP claimed he used a solo photo of Obama for his HOPE poster. In Fairey’s suit, he claims to have used a different photo that depicted Obama and George Clooney. Turns out the AP was correct and Fairey misremembered. To quote Fairey:
In an attempt to conceal my mistake, I submitted false images and deleted other images.
I sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment and I take full responsibility for my actions which were mine alone. I am taking every step to correct the information and I regret I did not come forward sooner.
Let’s also get some quotage from papers filed by Fairey’s attorneys last Friday:
Mr. Fairey was apparently mistaken about the photograph he used when his original complaint for declaratory relief was filed on February 9, 2009.
After the original complaint was filed, Mr. Fairey realized his mistake. Instead of acknowledging that mistake, Mr. Fairey attempted to delete the electronic files he had used in creating the illustration at issue. He also created, and delivered to his counsel for production, new documents to make it appear as though he had used the Clooney photograph as his reference.
When you sue someone with false evidence, um, you’re doing it wrong! Regardless of whether or not you think Fairey’s work is straight up plagiarism or appropriation, he completely undermined any semblance of credibility he might have had by lying.
If you believe so much in your work, asshole, why lie? Tell the fucking truth and let the courts do their fucking job. The AP might have lost their suit! There are an awful lot of artists, fans, and copyright lawyers on your side, you big douche. Hell, the fucking administration fucking loves you! And what do you do? You fuck it up and slap them all in the face because you just had to show the AP you had a bigger dick. Ugh.
Fairey’s case could have helped define more clearly the bounds of fair use versus copyright. Now? It’s just a failed appropriation.