Shepard Fairey has released a statement and updated his filing in his fair use case with the AP. He writes:
“Throughout the case, there has been a question as to which Mannie Garcia photo I used as a reference to design the HOPE image. The AP claimed it was one photo, and I claimed it was another.
The new filings state for the record that the AP is correct about which photo I used as a reference and that I was mistaken. While I initially believed that the photo I referenced was a different one, I discovered early on in the case that I was wrong.
In an attempt to conceal my mistake I submitted false images and deleted other images. I sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment and I take full responsibility for my actions which were mine alone. I am taking every step to correct the information and I regret I did not come forward sooner.
I am very sorry to have hurt and disappointed colleagues, friends, and family who have supported me in this difficult case and trying time in my life.”
There is more to the statement which he has posted on his site.
It’s no secret that Shepard is a personal friend of mine and I’ve been very vocal about my support him and this case. My support has not been based on the fact that we are friends, but because I really do believe in the principals and importance of fair use, and feel this issue strikes at the heart of it. I think it’s in the financial interest of the AP to limit fair use, and I think it’s in the best interest of creatives, both professional and amateur alike, for fair use to upheld. I say that as a career publisher who has worked with and for musicians, visual artists, photographers and writers for the last 16 years. This statement by Shepard is obviously shocking and disappointing, but what will be more disappointing is if this takes focus away from the real issues the case brings up. I’ve always felt that the question of which photo was used was a footnote and I fear this now threatens to overshadow the much larger, and much more important discussion.