AP, Photographer to George Zimmerman: “Copyright Violation” on Latest Painting

Trayvon Martin’s acquitted murderer George Zimmerman has been slapped with a cease and desist letter by the Associated Press over his latest piece of artwork crap painting. The painting, featuring Florida State Attorney Angela Corey, is clearly copied form an widely circulated AP photograph, taken by Rick Wilson. Wilson also retained legal counsel to uphold his copyright. In a statement to Talking Points Memo and ANIMAL New York.  AP spokesperson Paul Colford said:

George Zimmerman clearly directly copied an AP photo to create his painting of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey. The AP has sent a cease-and-desist letter asserting its copyright in the photo to the lawyer who recently represented Zimmerman. That lawyer has responded, and though she no longer represents Mr. Zimmerman, she will be forwarding the letter to him today.

Zimmerman’s painting of Corey includes the  a quote from Corey:

I have respect for the American judicial system.

There is no basis for Fair Use, especially when looking at at the AP vs Shepard Fairey “Hope” poster case. There has not been substantial change, the use is not satirical or a parody, and it is clearly being reproduced for commercial purposes. Fairey lost his case under the same circumstances, and his “Hope” portrait of Obama had been more altered and done  in a style particular to Fairey (though one which can be competently created using Photoshop).

Zimmerman is selling  the really awful portrait on eBay. His last painting, which appeared to be copied from a Shutterstock photo, sold on eBay for $100,000.99. Reproductions of the first paintings are being sold on the auction site. Both works appear to have been made by projecting the image on to a canvas, then sketched in and painted. They are awful, turgid, and crappy.

At least John Wayne Gacy’s clown paintings were original.

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