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Shepard Fairey pleads guilty in 'HOPE' poster criminal case

Shepard Fairey unveiling his portrait of then US president-elect Barack Obama before it was installed at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC (2009)

The civil lawsuit between artist Shepard Fairey and the Associated Press over the use of an image in his Barack Obama "HOPE" poster was settled out of court in 2011, however, the criminal case, stemming from Fairey's acknowledgement that he fabricated and destroyed information in the 2009 lawsuit, was just heard in a New York courtroom. 

Fairey pled guilty on Friday in federal court to one count of criminal contempt for misconduct he called  a "terrible decision." The Los Angeles street artist faces a maximum fine of $5,000 for the misdemeanor charge, and a maximum penalty of six months in prison. 

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement Friday that Fairey "went to extreme lengths to obtain an unfair and illegal advantage in his civil litigation." Upon realizing the image he'd used was not the image he thought, Fairy reportedly printed documents to support his claims, arranged for a witness to support false claims, and hid the truth until files were discovered.


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Another brick in the 'membership program': L.A. Times readers cry 'paywall'

The Los Angeles Times building.
Kevork Djansezian/AP

The L.A. Times is charging ahead with a fee-based model for its online content beginning March 5. 

A trend in reaction shows readers seemingly dissatisfied with the terminology of calling the pricing structure a "membership program" instead of the straightforward use of the word "paywall."

The newspaper attempts to explain the label distinction by saying, "although digital payment plans are commonly known as 'paywalls,' The Times is billing its plan as a 'membership program' that will include retail discounts, deals and giveaways, as well as access to digital news."

Are you planning to pay for Times "membership?"


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Los Angeles Times to introduce an online paywall

Photo by Calvin Fleming via Flickr Creative Commons

Hello paywall, goodbye unlimited free Web news. The L.A. Times will be charging people who don't subscribe to its daily print edition for unlimited online content starting March 5, it was announced on Friday. The cost of the L.A. Times "membership program" will vary based on whether a reader subscribes to the Sunday edition, or chooses digital-only access. Up to 15 articles about every month will be free for anyone. More information and community reaction to follow.


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Unfed for weeks, 50,000 hens found dead or dying on CA egg farm

Photo by Steven Lilley via Flickr Creative Commons

Animal neglect charges may be filed against the operator of a Central Valley chicken farm where authorities found about 50,000 dead or starving hens. The animals has not been fed in more than two weeks, according to officials, said the L.A. Times.

The hens were found on a property rented to A&L Poultry, following a citizen complaint about the business on Tuesday, the Modesto Bee reported. Company owner Andy Keung Cheung declined to comment when reached by phone by the newspaper.

The birds did not show signs of disease in initial veterinary testing. Annette Patton, executive director of the Stanislaus Animal Services agency, said one-third of the animals died of starvation and the others are in such poor health they will be euthanized.

The rising cost of feed may have contributed to the inhumane situation, said Bill Mattos, president of the California Poultry Federation. No information was immediately available about where A&L eggs were being sold. 


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Security breach at juvenile hall, teens found having sex

Photo by Richard Johnstone via Flickr Creative Commons

Security questions have been raised and two investigations have been launched after a girl and boy, both 17-years-old, both charged with violent crimes, were found having sex in a co-ed unit at Orange County Juvenile Hall on Feb. 12.

OC Sheriff's Department officials are investigating if the sex was consensual, and an internal investigation by the Probation Department is looking into the safety at the institution. It is unknown how the boy gained access to the girl's room where the two were found.

According to court records, both teenagers have been charged as adults in what are believed to be gang-related violent crimes, the OC Register reports.

The girl has been charged with attempted murder, second-degree robbery, attempting to dissuade a witness, firing a weapon into a home and other charges. She was taken into custody in January.


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