Shepard Fairey Avoids Jail Time For Obama Poster

09/07/2012 4:07 PM |

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  • Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

After a drawn-out trial, Shepard Fairey has avoided jail time, and was instead sentenced earlier today to two years probation, 300 hours of community service, and a $25,000 fine for covering up his illegal use of an Associated Press photo in his iconic Obama “Hope” posters.

The judge cited Fairey’s “extensive charitable works” as well as his difficulties with Type 1 diabetes as factors in the decision, and for his part, Fairey apologized profusely for “violating the court’s trust,” calling it “the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

“I’m deeply ashamed and remorseful that I didn’t live up to my own standards of honesty and integrity,” said Fairey.

The prosecutors, who had insisted that Fairey deserved “some deprivation of liberty,” weren’t pleased, but the AP seems ready to accept the verdict and move on.

“After spending a great amount of time, energy and legal effort, all of us at The Associated Press are glad this matter is finally behind us,” said the AP’s President in a statement. “We hope this case will serve as a clear reminder to all of the importance of fair compensation for those who gather and produce original news content.”

That all seems reasonable to us. Unless that statement is somehow a jab at blogs? In which case, hey! We heard that!

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.