AP: Wankers Of The Year
It's only February: but this qualifies:
On buttons, posters and Web sites, the image was everywhere during last year's presidential campaign: a pensive Barack Obama looking upward, as if to the future, splashed in a Warholesque red, white and blue and underlined with the caption HOPE.
Designed by Shepard Fairey, a Los-Angeles based street artist, the image has led to sales of hundreds of thousands of posters and stickers, and has become so much in demand that copies signed by Fairey have been purchased for thousands of dollars on eBay.
The image, Fairey has acknowledged, is based on an Associated Press photograph, taken in April 2006 by Mannie Garcia on assignment for the AP at the National Press Club in Washington.
The AP says it owns the copyright, and wants credit and compensation. Fairey disagrees.
This is just a failing media company trying to capitalize off of someone else's art. When you are an artist who cannot get a public figure to come in for a sitting, you can appropriate images under the concept of fair use. The AP does not have a copyright on Barack Obama's image, and that's what Fairey used.