Time ‘Person of the Year’ Cover Based on Photo by L.A. Weekly Photographer

We normally wouldn’t pay any attention to Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ issue here, except this year’s cover features a Shepard Fairey illustration that’s based on a photo taken by L.A. Weekly freelance photographer Ted Soqui.

Fairey, you will recall, was sued by the Associated Press for basing his Barack Obama ‘Hope’ illustration on an AP photo.

Copyright won’t be an issue in this instance, however, since Time obtained the picture from Soqui’s syndication service:

Soqui says he was a little surprised to see how closely Fairey’s design resembled his original snapshot. “They should have probably just used the image,” he says. “But I think what they’re trying to do is not make it about the person, but the feeling.”

Anyway, there’s no lawsuit in the works. Soqui says he’s only “stoked, pleased and honored” to have contributed to the historic issue.

“I had to take a lot of [copies of the photo] down, because TIME wanted to control the image,” he says. “They crossed their T’s and dotted their I’s.” However, one copy remains, on Soqui’s personal photo blog.

Leave a Reply