The Associated Press has filed lawsuits against three retailers–Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom’s, and Zumiez, Inc–for unauthorized use of the AP photograph underlying the iconic Obama “Hope” image on posters and t-shirts those retailers sold to customers.

The wire service, which filed the claims against the retailers in a federal court in New York on Wednesday, is seeking both actual damages and statutory damages of up to $150,000 for each instance of infringement.

Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the “Hope” image from an AP photograph in 2006 of then-Senator Barack Obama, is not named as a plaintiff with AP in the lawsuit. Two years ago, AP sued Fairey for copyright infringement, alleging unauthorized use of the photograph to create the Hope image. This past January, AP and Fairey reached a legal truce, and agreed to share revenues from future licensing of the Hope image.

AP continues to view Fairey’s creation as an infringing work, even though it is no longer suing the artist. For instance, in its claims against the retailers, AP says that “Mr. Fairey used the Obama photo without AP’s permission in making the Infringing Work.”

AP continues to press an infringement claim against Obey Clothing, a company started by Fairey that makes clothing featuring the Hope image. Obey Clothing supplies the retailers named in the new lawsuits.

“The Associated Press has an obligation to its members… and to its own writers and photographers, to vigilantly protect the copyrights in the stories and photographs that they create every day,” spokesperson Paul Colford said in a prepared statement. “When a commercial entity such as these retailers, or the company that sold the shirts to them, gets something for nothing by using an AP photo without credit or compensation, it undermines the AP’s ability to cover the news and devalues the work that our journalists do, often in dangerous locations where they may literally risk life and limb to cover a story.”

Tags:

COMMENTS

MORE POSTS

Reuters Editor to Staff: Cover Trump Admin Like Other Unwelcoming Governments

Posted by on Wednesday February 1, 2017 | Uncategorized

Reuters has published a message from Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler to his staff that outlines how the news agency should cover the Trump administration in a “challenging” climate. “It’s not every day that a U.S. president calls journalists ‘among the most dishonest human beings on earth’ or that his chief strategist dubs the media ‘the opposition... More

Patagonia’s New Catalogue Uses Florian Schulz’s Photos to Push Arctic Refuge Conservation

Posted by on Monday December 5, 2016 | Uncategorized

Patagonia is using their recent winter catalogue to raise awareness of an environmental issue they’ve been working on for years: Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling and other resource exploitation. The outdoor clothing and gear company licensed images for the catalogue and its communications from conservation photographer Florian Schulz, who is currently... More

RMSP to Launch a New Eight Month Program for Career Minded Students

Posted by on Tuesday September 6, 2016 | Uncategorized

(Sponsored by RMSP) Rocky Mountain School of Photography (RMSP), based in Missoula, Montana, will be launching a new eight month program in 2017 that will be tailored to students who are serious about pursuing a career in photography. With a working title of Professional Intensive, the curriculum team at RMSP is putting the finishing touches... More