The AP threatens to sue George Zimmerman over a photo that he painted because they say the painting is taken from a photo that they took.
Zimmerman, who was acquitted in the murder of Trayvon Martin, had had a number of brushes with the law since his acquittal. He remains in hiding in an undisclosed location since there have been a number of threats on his life.
The photo in question is a photo of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey that the AP had taken on April 11, 2012 when she announced the second-degree murder charges against George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman, they say, made a painting of that same exact photo.
The AP photo shows Corey with her thumb and forefingers together.
Zimmerman’s painting looks very similar to the photo in question and added the words, “I have this much respect for the American judicial system”.
Zimmerman’s brother posted the photo on his Twitter account and also announced that the and his brother were in negotiations with possible buyers.
— Robert Zimmerman JR (@rzimmermanjr) January 22, 2014
That comment appears to have prompted the AP to threaten Zimmerman with legal actions.
George Zimmerman does not seem bothered by the potential lawsuit and implicated that the AP initially made an offer to him when he tweeted,
No worries AP, I'll just take whatever U sue me for off your tab when I'm done suing you 🙂 Or… I could put out how much U offered me 2..
— George Zimmerman (@TherealGeorgeZ) January 24, 2014
Was an offer made by the AP, and then when it was rebuffed, they decided to take legal action?
Is the AP being petty, or simply protecting the intellectual rights?
Many bloggers fear the strong arm, and vast legal budget, of the AP and, sadly, do not even use them a resource.
It’s important to note that a painting made from a photograph is known as a derivative work and it would therefore be prudent for aspiring artists to investigate the copyright situation of any photo they plan on using.