My, how things have changed in four years.
Federal prosecutors want Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the Barack Obama “Hope” poster, to serve time in prison following his misdemeanor conviction for destroying and fabricating documents in connection with a civil lawsuit over the iconic campaign image.
In advance of Friday’s scheduled sentencing of Fairey in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the Department of Justice has filed a memorandum arguing that a prison term for the 42-year-old artist would be “appropriate.”
“A sentence without any term of imprisonment sends a terrible message to those who might commit the same sort of criminal conduct,” wrote prosecutor Daniel Levy in a September 2 memo. “Encouraging parties to game the civil litigation system…creates terrible incentives and subverts the truth-finding function of civil litigation.”
Fairey, seen in the above mug shot, has admitted destroying electronic records and creating fake documents in an effort to thwart a copyright lawsuit brought by the Associated Press, which contended that Fairey had based the “Hope” image on a photo taken by an AP lensman.
Levy stated that Fairey reaped significant reputational and financial benefits from the Obama “Hope” image, which was created in early-2008. The prosecutor specifically cited the escalating combined profits of three Fairey companies, which grossed $2.93 million in 2007, $4.59 million in 2008, and $6.08 million in 2009.