Friday, January 29, 2010

Fairey Said to Face Criminal Inquiry in Obama Photo Case; New York Times, 1/27/10

Robin Pogrebin, New York Times; Fairey Said to Face Criminal Inquiry in Obama Photo Case:

"A criminal investigation is pending against the artist Shepard Fairey in connection with his use of an Associated Press photograph of Barack Obama, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York revealed in a hearing on Tuesday, a lawyer involved in the case said on Wednesday.

At the hearing, Judge Hellerstein denied a motion by Mr. Fairey to delay a deposition in a civil case while the criminal investigation is pending. In a letter obtained by The New York Times, an attorney for Mr. Fairey also alluded to a criminal investigation. The letter requested that Tuesday’s hearing be sealed “based on the fact that the motion relates to a grand jury investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

“An open hearing on these issues would risk compromising the confidential nature of the criminal investigation,” added the letter, signed by Meir Feder, a lawyer at Jones Day. That motion was also denied.

The legal dispute hinges on whether Mr. Fairey had the right to use an A.P. photo of Mr. Obama for his “Hope” poster. In October, Mr. Fairey admitted that he had lied in court papers about using a different photograph of Mr. Obama, and that he had created false documents to cover the discrepancy."

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