Posts Tagged ‘sentenced’

No Jail Time for Fairey, Artist Punished with Fine and Probation

Shepard Fairey avoided jail time after all. The Obama HOPE poster artist was sentenced today to two years of probation and a $25,000 fine for using an AP photo without permission and then destroying evidence to cover his tracks. The New York Times writes that the entire dispute will be an interesting case study for fair use law:

When the case began in 2009, Mr. Fairey argued that his use of Associated Press imagery constituted fair use under copyright law. But the civil lawsuit was settled before that question was decided, and the two sides agreed to financial terms that were not disclosed. The parties also agreed to share the rights to make posters and merchandise bearing the “Hope” image. Mr. Fairey maintained that he had never personally profited from sales of the image, a contention The A.P. disputed.

[...] Until the settlement between Mr. Fairey and The Associated Press, the case was watched closely as one that might define more clearly the murky issues surrounding the fair-use exceptions to copyright protections. One of the central questions was whether Mr. Fairey’s creation, which became ubiquitous on street corners and T-shirts during and after Mr. Obama’s campaign, constituted a “transformative” use of the photograph, a use that is allowed under the law so that creative expression is not stifled.

In his official statement on the matter, AP CEO Gary Pruitt states, “We hope this case will serve as a clear reminder to all of the importance of fair compensation for those who gather and produce original news content.”


Image credit: Shepard Fairey at the ICA by WBUR

UK Teen Sentenced to Two Months in Jail for Snapping Courtroom Photo

A 19-year-old man in the UK has been sentenced to two months in prison for snapping a courtroom photo. Paul Thompson was sitting in a public gallery last week — the defendant was a friend who was on trial for robbery — when another friend texted him to ask where he was. Thompson decided to snap a picture with his Blackberry to explain why he couldn’t talk, but was quickly arrested by officers who noticed what he was doing. He was then sentenced to two months in prison for “contempt of court” by Judge Barbara Mensah, who wanted to send out a strong message:

There are notices all around the court building about not taking photographs in court. This is a serious offence and the message must go out that people cannot take photos.

Although two months in jail seems harsh, it could have been worse: CBS News notes that the law gives the courts the right to jail someone for up to two years for photography.

(via The Guardian via Small Aperture)


Update: Apparently the teen was being a lot more disruptive than most news sources are reporting. Thanks Tom.


Image credit: Courtroom by ☺ Lee J Haywood