The Associated Press sent a cease-and-desist letter to George Zimmerman over his latest painting because it is identical to one of the agency’s photographs.
Zimmerman responded on Twitter that he plans to sue AP over the matter.
His new orange and red painting features prosecutor Angela Corey, who brought charges against Zimmerman in April 2012.
"George Zimmerman clearly directly copied an AP photo to create his painting of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey," said Paul Colford, the director of media relations at AP. “The AP has sent a cease-and-desist letter asserting its copyright in the photo to the lawyer who recently represented Mr. Zimmerman. That lawyer has responded, and though she no longer represents Mr. Zimmerman, she will be forwarding the letter to him today.”
Photographer Rick Wilson says he was shocked and angry when he saw the painting, ABC News reported.
"You just can't take somebody else's work and make it your own,” Wilson said.
He called the use of his photo “extremely disrespectful and if not illegal. George Zimmerman is not a professional artist, what he is in this situation is just a scam artist.”
He claims Zimmerman literally copied his work.
“From my experience, he used a photo editing software, or he projected the picture onto a blank canvas and painted over it,” Wilson said.
Wilson has hired an attorney over the matter, although the copyright of the photo is held by AP.
“The issue for me is that Zimmerman doesn’t seem to respect anybody’s right, and he needs to move on from this Trayvon Martin, Angela Corey situation. Quit trying to capitalize off this whole incident,” Wilson’s attorney, John Phillips, told ABC News.
Zimmerman tweeted from his handle @TherealGeorgeZ, “No worries AP, I’ll just take whatever U sue me for off your table when I’m done suing you J Or… I could put out how much U offered me 2..”
To which Colford responded, “We don't know what he's talking about."
Zimmerman's last painting was sold on eBay for more than $100,000.