Hope and Change

I’m at a loss on this story:

The Associated Press has sued several retailers including Urban Outfitters for the unauthorised use of the Hope image created by artist Shepard Fairey.

What confuses me is how can you copyright a portrayal of a person? The picture under scrutiny here is that red, white, and blue image of the Obamessiah. Being it’s a, and I use the term very loosely, work of art based on a person shouldn’t that person get a say in how it is used? Can somebody just create a painting of me and then sell it but later sue me if I violate their copyright by using it? Couple this with the fact Obama is a public figured and the entire situation gets really dicey.

How the Hell did the Associated Press get a copyright on an artistic portrayal of a person? Did Obama even have a say in this issue? From where I’m sitting this is one fucked up situation.