Twitter / @rzimmermanjr

AP: George Zimmerman Stole Our Photo For His Painting

The Associated Press has issued a cease-and-desist letter on the sale of George Zimmerman's latest painting, claiming it violates the AP's copyright.

By Matt Picht | January 25, 2014

After he was acquitted in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin last July, George Zimmerman turned to painting in order to pass the time, and make a bit of money. But his latest work might land Zimmerman in more legal trouble — this time, for copyright infringement.

It all started when Zimmerman's brother tweeted this photo of Zimmerman's latest artistic work: a portrait of State Attorney Angela Corey, the prosecutor in Zimmerman's case. (Via Twitter / @rzimmermanjr)

So far, the painting has received mixed reactions. A panel of art critics for Time blasted the piece as "primitive", "paint by number", and "a desperate cry for attention."

But Mediaite notes Zimmerman's art also has a dedicated following. His last piece sold for $100,000 on eBay, and Zimmerman's former attorney called his new piece "cute."

But Rick Wilson, a freelance photographer for The Associated Press, is calling Zimmerman's piece something else: plagiarism.

"The Associated Press and a freelance photographer have sent him a cease and desist letter. Now, the photographer's attorney says Zimmerman ripped off that AP photo on the left to make the portrait on the right." (Via CNN)

"The AP says, in a letter to a former Zimmerman attorney, that if a sale is made they'll be seeking damages." (Via Central Florida News 13)

Wilson took the original photo on April 11, 2012 when Corey first announced she would be pressing charges against Zimmerman. He told the Orlando Sentinel"[Zimmerman]'s trying to profit and pass off, basically, a photograph as his own original artwork."

Zimmerman apparently isn't too concerned by the cease-and-desist letter. On Twitter, he wrote "No worries AP, I'll just take whatever U sue me for off your tab when I'm done suing you :-)" An AP spokesman said he has no idea what Zimmerman is talking about.

Of course, the AP's been down this road before, and with a much more iconic image.

In 2009 street artist Shepard Fairey got into a legal dispute with the AP over his iconic 2008 "Hope" poster, which was based on an AP portrait of President Obama. The two sides eventually settled out of court, but Fairey was slapped with fines and probation for destroying evidence in the case. (Via PetaPixel)

Zimmerman has yet to announce when or if he intends to sell his latest work, but his brother claims to have received several purchase offers via social media.

  TRENDING IN U.S. NEWS
The Vince Lombardi Trophy in front of Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos helmetsWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Mike Lawrie

Not All Super Bowl Ads Are Funny; Some Had A Serious Message

Quintonio LeGrier's mother attends a vigil for her son.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Scott Olson

Chicago Officer Sues Family Of Teen He Shot, Claims 'Emotional Trauma'

Daryush 'Roosh V' ValizadehWATCHLIST
Bartek Kucharczyk / CC BY SA 4.0

Donald Trump Gets A Not-So-Coveted Nod From Daryush 'Roosh' Valizadeh

Marchers walk down 5th Avenue during the 2014 Gay Pride March on June 29, 2014 in New York City.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Eric Thayer

New York Is The Latest State With A Ban On LGBT Conversion Therapy

Dr. Larycia Hawkins speaking at a press conference.WATCHLIST
Mdiaz1436 / CC BY SA 4.0

Professor Who Stood With Muslims Parts Ways With Christian School

CocktailWATCHLIST
mariobonifacio / CC BY SA 2.0

People Who've Passed The Bar Are More Likely To Drink At The Bar

The mugshot for Leon Teague.WATCHLIST
Chicago Police Department

Cat Gets Doused With Boiling Water In Viral Video, Man Charged

Rescue workers search the waters off of the Los Angeles coast for three missing people.WATCHLIST
KGTV

2 Small Planes Collide Off LA Coast, 3 People Missing

Various types of fentanyl patches are pictured.WATCHLIST
Alcibiades

Fentanyl Abuse, Overdoses On The Rise In New Hampshire

The $18,000 gold bar is pictured next to a paper clip for scale.WATCHLIST
Bavarian Police

Lucky Teenager Gets To Keep $18,000 Bar Of Gold She Found

New York City Fire Department officials at the scene of the crane collapse in lower Manhattan.WATCHLIST
New York City Fire Department

Officials Investigating What Caused A NYC Crane To Collapse, Killing 1

Customers wait outside of a Denny's.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Justin Sullivan

Denny's Settles Los Angeles Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Image of Johnny Cash and the tarantula species named after him.WATCHLIST
Joel Baldwin / Chris Hamilton et al.

There's A Tarantula Species Named After Johnny Cash

A crane collapsed in the Tribeca neighborhood of lower Manhattan.WATCHLIST
Twitter / @FDNY / @nycoem

At Least 1 Killed, Multiple Injured In New York City Crane Collapse

Photo from the U.S. Marshals Service wanted poster of Blake Fitzgerald and Brittany Nicole Harper.WATCHLIST
U.S. Marshals Service

1 Dead, 1 Injured After Wanted Couple Engages In Shootout With Police

Michael MooreWATCHLIST
Nicolas Genin / CC BY SA 2.0

Filmmaker Michael Moore Says He's In The ICU For Pneumonia

President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Shawn Thew

President Obama's New Long Shot: A $10 Tax On Oil

Adnan Syed's photoWATCHLIST
WMAR

'Serial' Subject Adnan Syed Has A 'Last-Ditch' Shot At A New Trial

A scientist examines mosquitos.WATCHLIST
WFTX

Gulf Coast States React To Growing Cases Of Zika Virus

A picture of a baby's swollen toe.WATCHLIST
Facebook / Scott Walker

A Dad's Warning On Facebook About Baby's Toe Goes Viral

Abby Wambach With BarbieWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Christian Petersen / Makers

The Latest Barbie Is Modeled After An Olympic Athlete Who's A Lesbian

Maurice White during a post-Grammy party in 2005.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Frederick M. Brown

Earth, Wind & Fire Co-Founder Maurice White Has Died

Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC., smiles while flanked by Nancy Retzlaff, chief commercial officer for Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC., during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, February 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. Shkreli invoked his 5th Amendment right not to testify to the committee that is examining the prescription drug market. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Mark Wilson

'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli Didn't Say Much At Congressional Hearing

An illuminated sign is seen outside the University of Central Florida's Progress Energy welcome center.WATCHLIST
keone / CC BY SA 2.0

63K Social Security Numbers Stolen In University Hack In Florida

Deray Mckesson attends the LinkedIn Next Wave Event at The Empire State Building in September 2015.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Joe Kohen

What Are Black Lives Matter Activist DeRay's Chances Of Being Mayor?

Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys is led to the sidelines by team officials after being sacked by the Carolina Panthers in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium on November 26, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Ronald Martinez

Quarterbacks May Not Be The Hottest Football Players After All

Sign in Okay, Oklahoma.WATCHLIST
KJRH

This Oklahoma School District Allows Employees To Carry Guns

Photo of Tony Burch witnessing the birth of his children on FaceTime.WATCHLIST
AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center, Hinsdale

Army Dad Overseas Watches Quadruplets Born On FaceTime

Roosh VWATCHLIST
Bartek Kucharczyk

Daryush 'Roosh' Valizadeh Cancels Neomasculinity Meetups Over Safety

The City of Flint Water Plant is illuminated by moonlight on January 23, 2016 in Flint, Michigan.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Brett Carlsen

300 Plumbers Install Water Filters In Flint, Michigan, For Free