Why Is The AP Invoking The DMCA Over The Obama Poster?
from the dmca-abuse dept
We’ve been covering the ongoing legal brouhaha between the Associated Press and Shepard Fairey over whether or not his iconic Obama poster was copyright infringement of an Associated Press photo — with most of the focus being on whether or not the use was protected by fair use. However, the EFF is noting something quite odd (and quite troubling) in the AP’s countersuit against Fairey: it’s claiming that his post violates the DMCA. That should leave you scratching your head, considering that the DMCA seems almost entirely unrelated to Fairey making a poster. But the AP seems to be claiming that in removing the little copyright notice beneath its photo, Fairey violated section 1202.
As the EFF notes, since Fairey didn’t “strip” the data from the image, but merely appears to have cropped the image for his purposes, it’s hard to see how Fairey actually violated the DMCA here. However, more to the point, the EFF explains why this is likely been thrown into the case by the AP. By invoking the DMCA, it adds much greater potential statutory fines, than for a straight copyright infringement case. That gives the AP a much bigger potential award — which it can use to pressure Fairey into settling. As the EFF points out, such huge potential fines creates a pretty massive chilling effect on others — something all too common with the DMCA.