Some time ago, we wrote about the fascinating case of Shepard Fairey and the “Obama Hope” image (see Goliath Slays David). This is one of our most interesting blog entries, and we recommend it to any of our readers who might have somehow inadvertently missed it. Nevertheless, suffice it to say that Mr. Fairey sued The Associated Press, seeking a declaratory judgment that the said image did not infringe any AP copyright.
In its response, the AP alleged – and provided voluminous documentary support – that Mr. Fairey had infringed their copyrights, lied to the Copyright Office, fabricated and altered evidence and, in general, that he is not a nice person.
Apparently, as a result of the recently admitted evidence tampering, Mr. Fairey is now being investigated for possible criminal prosecution. He has, therefore, requested a six-month delay of depositions in the civil suit, due to concerns that he might feel compelled to plead the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination. He has also requested that the judge close a scheduled hearing in the case, in order to keep news of the criminal investigation out of the press. Not surprisingly, the AP opposed this, stating “[w]e opposed that because we’re the AP, and as a matter of policy, we don’t believe in closed courtrooms.” Seemingly, the AP doesn’t believe in humility either. In any event, the judge denied Fairey’s requests.
This case promises to provide even more entertainment, and we shall be following it closely.