Mike Johnston from The Online Photographer alerted us that a team of investigators has traced the original photo used in photographer Joe Reifer’s JOEBAMA campaign back to a Thomas Hawk photo taken at the Lucky Ju Ju Pinball Gallery in May of 2007. The artist Shepard Fairey did not attend the art show, or have any comments on the JOEBAMA campaign initiative.
Photo Business expert John Harrington has not yet weighed in on whether the JOEBAMA image might qualify as a derivative-derivative work, or as a derivative-derivative-derivative work under the rules of U.S. Copyright Law. Although the Joe behind the JOEBAMA campaign has seen the film Oliver Twist a number of times (1948 version), both of his parents are in favor of this parody and have stated that the Orphan Works act probably does not apply.
Top researchers used a battered PC running Photoshop CS2 on their lunch break to construct this scientific image comparison:
The original image is below. Compare to the JOEBAMA campaign image above, and let me know what you think.