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Although he’s made a few questionable calls, there’s still a lot of good will behind Shepard Fairey, especially when he’s helping out the newly minted prez. But now that the flush of the election is over, the Associated Press has decided to take a few shots.

Fairey based the famous “Hope” poster off an AP photo, and even though all the proceeds went to Obama’s election fund, the AP wants Fairey to cough up some dough. The timing’s more than a little opportunistic—they had all of six months to notice the similarity, after all—and it’s as clear-cut a case of fair use as you could ask for, but lawyers will be lawyers.

We were getting a bit tired of old Shep, but this could be just what he needs to get us back on his side. After all, “First Amendment crusader” has a better ring to it than “street art opportunist.” So far the case hasn’t inspired any cheeky screenprints, but we bet we’ll see a few before this is over.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom