The reinvention of Florida gun nut George Zimmerman as a financially successful artist — albeit one clumsy with symbolism — has already gone south. Like his American-flag rendering, which was ripped off from some stock art, Zimmerman’s latest, a portrait of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey announcing he would be charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin, is not very original. Its copyright owner, the Associated Press, has already taken action.
“George Zimmerman clearly directly copied an AP photo to create his painting of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey,” Paul Colford, the AP director of media relations, told Animal New York. “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 That lawyer has responded, and though she no longer represents Mr.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.”
As noted by Gawker, the AP has a precedent for this kind of thing, having filed suit against the artist Shepard Fairey over his iconic Obama “Hope” poster, which was also based on an unlicensed AP photograph. (They settled, but Fairey was fined for destroying evidence.)
Knowing Zimmerman, however, he’ll probably get away with it.