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 In announcing the news about the Fairey revelation, the AP claimed that Fairey's lawyers had withdrawn from the case.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. identicon
    Vilis Inde, 18 Nov 2009 @ 8:21am

    Fairey's lawyers have withdrawn

    You are correct that the lawyers had not withdrawn as of the time of Fairey's announcement. They needed and have now recieved court approval to withdraw.
    You are also correct that Fairey's "mistakes" and creation of documents should not interefere with the legal issues of the case. That idealistic view, however, must be moderated by the fact that Fair-use cases are fact sensitive. If Fairey was mistaken about which photo he used, he may also be mistaken as to the purpose of the appropriation - commercial v. to help Obama win an election. He has lost credibility as to the facts.
    This is an interesting case that could give rise to an extension of the fair use doctrine. But this case should be settled. My guess, however, is that Fairey will keep exploiting the case to keep in the news.
    Finally, I hope that everyone is aware that Fairey himself does not like to have his images appropriated and turns to lawyers when this occurs.

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