ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – The Associated Press has demanded that George Zimmerman halt the sale of one of his paintings because the news agency says it directly copies an AP photo.
Zimmerman’s painting depicts Jacksonville-based prosecutor Angela Corey holding her thumb and fingers together. An apparently made-up quote Zimmerman added to the piece reads, “I have this much respect for the American judicial system.” Corey’s office prosecuted Zimmerman for the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder last summer.
Zimmerman’s brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr., posted an image of the painting Wednesday on Twitter and tweeted a day later that they were in negotiations with possible buyers.
A letter with the AP’s demands said that Zimmerman’s painting was a direct copy of an AP photo taken at the April 2012 news conference where Corey announced Zimmerman would be charged with murder. It was taken for the AP by freelancer Rick Wilson. The news cooperative asked that any sale be blocked _ and that, if there has been a sale, that the AP be paid damages.
The AP sent the letter to Jayne Weintraub, one of a handful of attorneys who has recently represented Zimmerman. Weintraub said she no longer represents Zimmerman but said she will forward the letter to him.
“George Zimmerman clearly directly copied an AP photo to create his painting of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey,” AP spokesman Paul Colford said in a written statement.
Zimmerman sold another painting on eBay last month, with a winning bid of $100,099.99.
George Zimmerman’s exact whereabouts are unknown, and an email address and phone number for him could not be found. His brother, who has frequently served as his spokesman, did not immediately respond to an email.
On Twitter, George Zimmerman wrote Friday evening: “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..”
Responding to Zimmerman’s tweet, Colford, the AP spokesman, said: “We don’t know what he’s talking about.”
Martin’s fatal shooting sparked a nationwide debate about race and self-defense. Zimmerman was accused of racially profiling Martin and said he shot the teen to protect himself.
Artist Shepard Fairey got in a legal dispute with the AP after he used an AP photo in his famous Barack Obama “HOPE” poster. Fairey sued the AP in an effort to get a court declaration that he did not violate AP’s copyrights when he made the Obama image. The AP countersued, saying the uncredited, uncompensated use of its picture both violated copyright laws and was a threat to journalism.
Claims between the news agency and Fairey were settled in 2011, with Fairey agreeing to pay the AP $1.6 million.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.