Judge In AP-Shepard Fairey Fair Use Suit Suggests Settlement

The judge presiding over the ongoing lawsuit between street artist Shepard Fairey and the Associated Press concerning the use of a photo of then-candidate Barack Obama told the parties they should settle and that “sooner or later” the wire service would prevail, the AP reported. But it didn’t convince the opposing sides, who appear as ready as ever to see the case through to at least the next level.

In an e-mail message to paidContent, Fairey’s attorney Geoffrey Stewart said, “We don’t believe Judge Hellerstein’s statement in court today indicates a pre-judgement of the case. We continue to believe there is a strong basis for fair use in this case, and Judge Hellerstein made clear that he hasn’t even begun to focus on the fair use issues.”

The judge made his remarks during a hearing in New York where, according to the AP report, he ordered Fairey’s lawyers to hand in records of discussions Fairey had with his attorneys before he filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against the AP in February 2009. The artist filed his suit after the wire service claimed that his use of a 2006 photo of Obama taken by then-AP photographer Mannie Garciain in creating his famous Hope and Progress posters.

The AP countersued Fairey the next month. The news co-op claims that Fairey used the Obama photo