Excuse me for a moment, but doesn't Shepard Fairey's poster prove its own added value by the fact that it became a historical and cultural symbol for our generation? I mean, I'm not talking about the work of art itself--let's put aside the art critic hat for long enough to just look on its impact. I have a button with Shepard Fairey's image on my hat (bootlegged, Mr. Fairey! I apologize! I'm one of the generation of criminals...). I would not have the AP photo on a button on my hat (bootlegged or otherwise). Would TIME have done its post-election cover in the style of that AP Photo? Probably. But they didn't. They wanted Mr. Fairey's image because it came to define that entire election. That's added value. Don't look at the photo, look at its impact. It took AP months to realize it was their photo that Fairey had used!
The whole notion is irritating.