Yet Another Question Of Fair Use With A Picture Of Obama
from the just-can't-get-away-from-it dept
We all know about the ongoing legal fight over Shepard Fairey’s iconic Obama poster, but it looks like there may be another potential battle over a different photo. After the election last year, Time Magazine published a bunch of photos of Obama in college, taken by a fellow student Lisa Jack, that had never been seen outside of a small group of people. One of the photos, showed Obama smoking a cigarette. It’s probably not a huge surprise that a marijuana legalization group, NORML, has modified the image to create a poster. You can see the two juxtaposed here:
Not surprisingly, Jack is not at all happy about the use of the photo, leading to yet another set of questions about fair use:
“They do not have my permission,” said Jack, a psychology professor in Minnesota. These photos “are absolutely not to be used in this way. … I really made a grand effort to do this properly, and I’m very irritated. If I’d wanted these to be used for political purposes, I’d have sold them to Hillary years ago.”
Now, of course you can appreciate her feelings on this, in that she doesn’t want her photo used this way, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not legal. And, even though it’s buried at the end of the article, Jack later admits that “it’s really cool” that her image is considered “iconic” enough to use in that manner. The real question is whether or not Jack will actually do anything about this. Copyright law is not designed to be used to stifle speech (especially political speech), but we could soon see yet another fair use battle over a famous Obama image.