Obama Poster (Artist) v. Original Photo (Photographer/Associated Press)
NEW YORK - Hopefully the third time's a charm when it comes to settling the mess that is the lawsuit revolving around Shepard Fairey-s now-iconic Obama "Hope" poster. Mannie Garcia, the freelance photographer who snapped the original picture while on assignment for the Associated Press in 2006, has joined in the fight: On July 9, Garcia filed a claim stating that the AP is not the owner of the photo, a fact of which he says the organization is well aware.
Garcia argues that he was not technically an employee of the AP when he took the photo, since he was on a temporary assignment and ineligible to receive health benefits or vacation time. He is also challenging Fairey, whom he says unfairly copied the photo.
Fairey is involved in an ongoing dispute with the AP, which claims it owns the copyright for the original photo and accused him of stealing the image. The artist then counter sued when the wire service ran a picture of his poster - without permission - alongside the original photo in a story regarding the dispute.