Shepard Fairey: The Good News, The Bad News

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The good news is that yesterday in Boston a municipal clerk magistrate dropped seven of 17 vandalism charges that police wanted to bring against Fairey. The reason was lack of evidence that it was Fairey who performed the vandalism. Given how easy it is for anybody to download his materials from the internet and put them up, the police are going to have a hard time making some of the remaining charges stick unless they or a security camera caught Fairey himself in the act.

But as the Boston Globe reports, the trickiest charge for Fairey could be this:

…prosecutors said that one of the charges stems from the Jan. 24 discovery of a 6-by-8 foot mural painted on a condominium on Massachusetts Avenue that took “time and knowledge.”

Whose time and knowledge is what they’ll have to prove. Could this end up as a case in which an artist tries to convince a court that what looks like his work still isn’t his? Alternatively, if it’s really his, he could admit it and try to take a plea.

As for the bad news, Fairey will be back in court today to be arraigned on the charges that haven’t been dropped, plus some new ones. If convicted he could face as much as three years in state prison.

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