Can You Trust AP Reporting On Its Own Lawsuit With Shepard Fairey?

from the fact-checking? dept

Earlier this week, we wrote about the incredibly dumb move by Shepard Fairey to lie and destroy evidence. The whole thing was just ridiculous -- though the Associated Press has been playing it up as if it's proof that its position on the lawsuit between the two has been vindicated. Of course, nothing is further from the truth. While it is incredibly stupid, it doesn't change the fair use questions at issue. But, if we're going to talk credibility, shouldn't the Associated Press be careful to actually fact check its own articles on a case involving itself? In announcing the news about the Fairey revelation, the AP claimed that Fairey's lawyers had withdrawn from the case. However, his lawyers say that's simply not true, though they may withdraw from the case.

What's really amazing, is the AP's response when this was brought to their attention:
A spokesman for the Associated Press said today that there were "numerous versions and updates" to the breaking news over the weekend and that he was not sure if the Associated Press had run a clarification or correction.
Sure it was "breaking news," but it involved the AP itself. You would think they would fact check the basics.

Filed Under: fact checking, shepard fairey

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  1. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 21 Oct 2009 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Checking the facts

    I regret that a comments thread must serve to impart information that could be obtained easily during the writing of the original blogpost if one were to simply contact the AP, as many still do.

    I think it's more valuable to have these conversations out in the open, where everyone can learn.

    So it's essential for me to stress here that the AP news staff has long demonstrated that it reports dispassionately and accurately about AP litigation and corporate developments, just as all large news organizations do routinely.

    Ok, but there do seem to be some questionable claims in the AP reports.

    As for Tuesday developments in the Fairey case, the AP's amended counterclaim and supporting documents, the subject of numerous stories elsewhere, can be found here:

    Going through the amended counterclaim, I still don't see any major difference at all. You still don't explain how it's not fair use when the AP itself DID NOT REALIZE the photo was from the AP itself. Clearly, that's evidence that it was transformative.

    I honestly can't understand what you guys are thinking in pursuing this case, other than that you are demonstrating a continuing and troubling (for a news agency!) misunderstanding of both copyright law and fair use.

    This is a bad idea.

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