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Apple sued for duping Apple TV image, hosting iTunes track

post #1 of 91
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Two lawsuits filed against Apple Inc. accuse the company of knowingly abusing musical and visual copyrights, including one copyright for a photo that eerily foreshadows imagery used in a national Apple TV advertising campaign.

One of the formal complaints was filed in Boulder, Colo., while the other was filed in San Francisco, Calif. Each demand a jury trial and seek financial restitution for what they allege is copyright infringement on the part of the consumer electronics maker.

The Boulder claim

On June 27, an eight-page Colorado suit charged that Apple's recent promotional campaign for Apple TV violates the copyright of an artistic photo by Louis Psihoyos, a professional photographer from the region.

As would be familiar to any current or prospective Apple TV owner, the wall-of-videos imagery used in the device's marketing materials bears an uncanny resemblance to Psihoyos' earlier image, right down to the black background and iconic glow at the center. Only the central object changes, with the lounging viewer of the first shot replaced by the Apple TV media hub in the second.



According to the complaint, both Apple and the photographer had been negotiating a license for the image in advance of the Apple TV ad campaign. Apple backed out of any such deal, but promptly began using the imagery anyway, Psihoyos' attorney Richard Kaudy wrote. In doing so, he added, Apple knowingly tossed aside the "rights and feelings" of the plaintiff and deprived him of potential profits.



A second, four-page civil complaint is brief but charges Apple, Canadian pop rocker Avril Lavigne, her songwriter Lucasz Gottwald ("Dr. Luke"), as well as music labels Almo Music and RCA Records, of willingly treading on the copyright for a 1979 musical piece.

Though the root cause for the May 25th suit is an unusual similarity between Lavigne's song "Girlfriend" and the older song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" by plaintiffs James Gangwer and Tommy Dunbar, it also claims that any company publishing the work -- whether it be Lavigne's labels or Apple's iTunes Store -- is guilty of allowing the infringement to continue.

If won by the original songwriters' law firm Phillips, Erlewine & Given, the suit would at a minimum collect damages and perceived lost profits but could alternately collect $150,000 for every infringement and skim interest on the pre-judgment financial award, potentially forcing a significant payout.

Both the Apple TV and "Girlfriend" suits have yet to reach trial or receive a schedule for their respective first days in court.

Apple's Apple TV startup media
post #2 of 91
So basically... Now Apple has MORE money from the iPhone, let's try to get enough things where they won't settle and we actually get the money.
post #3 of 91
These lawsuits are just negotiations on a different level.
post #4 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

These lawsuits are just negotiations on a different level.

Most commercial litigation is.
post #5 of 91
Uh.. how long has Apple TV been available, not to mention from the first time it was introduced? And only now does the photographer realize it looks like his picture. I'm not a professional, but do enjoy taking pictures If one of my images was copied, I'd be a little quicker in speaking up.
post #6 of 91
i doubt you can copyright the layout of a collection of photos - or else there'd be a lawsuit per hour based on a hundred years of graphic design. the central image is not the only thing that changes, the number of and the individual photo contents are different. resemblance? yes. an unauthorized copy of his photo? nope.
post #7 of 91
hey hey tú tú
odio tu novia
no no no no
necesitas una nueva
hey hey yo yo
podrÃ*a ser tu novia

hey hey tú tú
yo se que te gusto
no no no no
no es un secreto
hey hey yo yo
quiero ser tu novia

haha avril lavigne.
post #8 of 91
"rights and feelings"... BS. Anyone can make a video wall and put an object in the center of it.
post #9 of 91
I purchased Avril's "Girlfriend" song (and the video) because I thought it sounded really original and stood out in today's mix of rock music. It's a shame it's so similar to a song from 1977. And Avril didn't even write it? That sucks.

I wanna be your boyfriend -- by the Rubinoos
post #10 of 91
I want to side with the artist on this one. The image is clearly the same. Companies can copy concepts quite easily and not pay for them as they know they are hard to protect. For Apple to grumble about Microsoft stealing their interface designs and then do this is hypocritical.

Good artists are hard to come by and the more they lose out in cases like these, the more we suffer because the talent dries up. Artists should be among the highest paid people in the world and yet most are among the lowest paid, while scum-sucking lawyers are much higher up.
post #11 of 91
Looks like Apple's marketing firm can't come up with many original ideas...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z-PfeyrG9w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMOkfI7wCrI

If they are going to copy artists' style for their advertising campaigns they should give some form of compensation, even if it's a good amount of free macs and apple products.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0UjU0rtavE
post #12 of 91
Sadly, the only time an artist becomes one of the highest paid for a work is after the artist has been dead.
post #13 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

I purchased Avril's "Girlfriend" song (and the video) because I thought it sounded really original and stood out in today's mix of rock music. It's a shame it's so similar to a song from 1977. And Avril didn't even write it? That sucks.

I wanna be your boyfriend -- by the Rubinoos

I know. She has completely lost her street cred that she had when she hit the scene with skaterboy.

And to rip off such well respected and groundbreaking song-writers like James Gangwer and Tommy Dunbar. I feel completely sick and am going to go burn all my Avril Lavigne CDs, Shirts, Posters, and Lunchboxes.
post #14 of 91
1) Can you copyright that? Haven't there been other walls of TVs before that pic?

2) Why are they suing Apple? If you can sue the unbeknownst distributers shouldn't they also be suing Best Buy, Target, Amazon and everyone else who sells the song?
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post #15 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wojciechowski View Post

I know. She has completely lost her street cred that she had when she hit the scene with skaterboy.

And to rip off such well respected and groundbreaking song-writers like James Gangwer and Tommy Dunbar. I feel completely sick and am going to go burn all my Avril Lavigne CDs, Shirts, Posters, and Lunchboxes.

HAHA
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post #16 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wojciechowski View Post

Looks like Apple's marketing firm can't come up with many original ideas...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z-PfeyrG9w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMOkfI7wCrI

If they are going to copy artists' style for their advertising campaigns they should give some form of compensation, even if it's a good amount of free macs and apple products.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0UjU0rtavE

Both videos were filming the same kind of stuff in a similar facility, so they were bound to get similar imagery

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post

Sadly, the only time an artist becomes one of the highest paid for a work is after the artist has been dead.

This generalization is true when the artist is not a great businessman
post #17 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkerkay View Post

Uh.. how long has Apple TV been available, not to mention from the first time it was introduced? And only now does the photographer realize it looks like his picture. I'm not a professional, but do enjoy taking pictures If one of my images was copied, I'd be a little quicker in speaking up.

See the article above:

"both Apple and the photographer had been negotiating a license for the image in advance of the Apple TV ad campaign. Apple backed out of any such deal, but promptly began using the imagery anyway"

Apple should pay.

The AVRiL thing (sorry, been playing too much UT2004) is silly though, as far as involving Apple.
post #18 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

See the article above:

"both Apple and the photographer had been negotiating a license for the image in advance of the Apple TV ad campaign. Apple backed out of any such deal, but promptly began using the imagery anyway"

Apple should pay.

The AVRiL thing (sorry, been playing too much UT2004) is silly though, as far as involving Apple.

Yeah, why is everyone so concerned with Apple here? If they were talking with the artist about using the image, it's clearly a violation of the artist's work. Come on guys, not everything Apple does is great.
post #19 of 91
man, you're SO wrong, artists should not be the highest paid people. On the contrary, art should be free and I'm sure the majority of REAL artists would agree with me. Everyone needs money to live, THAT'S the problem.
And holy f*ing christ! You can only write so many melodies and so many lyrics in the english language, whoever wrote the original had enough time to make his money between 1977 and 200*.
ALL art is what we perceive twisted by our creativity, there is no such thing as PURE original work. Why do some people insist on punishing others for improving or re-rendering an idea. It's pride without the honor. Truly the new american way.
post #20 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianMojo View Post

Yeah, why is everyone so concerned with Apple here? If they were talking with the artist about using the image, it's clearly a violation of the artist's work. Come on guys, not everything Apple does is great.

But Apple didn't use his image. The created there own. Andy Warhol took famous pictures and recreated them in various ways. Was that an infringement? There are many examples of reproductions of images without attempting to copy it exactly. Are all those infringing? I seriously don't know the law here, but I wonder if Apple pulled out because legal said he had no case.
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post #21 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeAlamaiz View Post

Both videos were filming the same kind of stuff in a similar facility, so they were bound to get similar imagery



This generalization is true when the artist is not a great businessman

I don't know all the specifics, but I thought the company or the director for the music video was used for the commercial... Apple probably just told the guy, "just give us what you did in the music video".

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GOA

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GOA

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post #22 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

According to the complaint, both Apple and the photographer had been negotiating a license for the image in advance of the Apple TV ad campaign. Apple backed out of any such deal, but promptly began using the imagery anyway, Psihoyos' attorney Richard Kaudy wrote. In doing so, he added, Apple knowingly tossed aside the "rights and feelings" of the plaintiff and deprived him of potential profits.

Video walls have been around a while, they probably found the person Psihoyos originally swiped it from and paid them off. I understand Brighton University in the UK are also considering legal action against Apple...

It looks closer when the cleaner turns the lights off & relaxes in the podium chair for a crafty smoke and a look at that iPod advert

McD
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post #23 of 91
The similarities in the Girlfriend/Boyfriend songs are nothing like My Sweet Lord/He's So Fine. It's Just the first two lines of the refrain that have similar melodies and they aren't even exact note-for-note duplicates. The rest of the songs are different from each other.

Likewise the AppleTV artwork. As some other poster said, Apple did not use the photographer's image, or even parts of it. Took inspiration from it, yes. But reproduced? Noooooo. Some people might mistake the AppleTV image for the photographer's but nobody is claiming either image to be their trademark which would have greater protections against copying.
post #24 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeAlamaiz View Post

Both videos were filming the same kind of stuff in a similar facility, so they were bound to get similar imagery

You have got to be kidding me. It's the same f'ing shots. Same staging, angles, lighting, movement. The odds of the apple ad being coincidentally nearly identical to the music video are zero to none.
post #25 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

See the article above:

"both Apple and the photographer had been negotiating a license for the image in advance of the Apple TV ad campaign. Apple backed out of any such deal, but promptly began using the imagery anyway"

Apple should pay.

The AVRiL thing (sorry, been playing too much UT2004) is silly though, as far as involving Apple.

Don't get me wrong... I agree, there should be compensation.

All I'm saying is why did it take so long?
If they were in talks, why did it fall through?
Was the photographer asking too much, because it was Apple?

We don't know what happened and how it happened. My only observation was that it took the individual quite sometime to react.

I work in advertising, so I know how much copyrights can be an issue and am aware that you need to do the research, before hand. But just like the "iPhone" name was being used at the announcement, even though Apple was still in negotiations with Cisco. But they came to an agreement. And neither walked away from it. So why did Apple walk away?
post #26 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Likewise the AppleTV artwork. As some other poster said, Apple did not use the photographer's image, or even parts of it. Took inspiration from it, yes. But reproduced? Noooooo. Some people might mistake the AppleTV image for the photographer's but nobody is claiming either image to be their trademark which would have greater protections against copying.

So I can create a mouse that looks nearly identical to mickey mouse and make movies and a variety of other products with it's image and likeness, but as long as I don't call it "Mickey Mouse" I'm fine to do whatever I want with it????

Somehow I have a very strong feeling that a few corporations would have a problem with that. Specifically Disney/Pixar/Apple...

For anyone who knows anything about copyright laws, then they would know that disney is one of the strongest forces in protecting copyrights because they want to protect that goddamn mouse from public domain...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_B..._Extension_Act

If apple wants to stand on the same side of those bloodsuckers then they should at least practice what they preach.
post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post

Likewise the AppleTV artwork. As some other poster said, Apple did not use the photographer's image, or even parts of it. Took inspiration from it, yes. But reproduced? Noooooo. Some people might mistake the AppleTV image for the photographer's but nobody is claiming either image to be their trademark which would have greater protections against copying.


I tend to agree. There is a difference between inspiration and copying.

That would mean if I took a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in foogy weather and then I saw an image of the GGB in fog on flickr or somewhere else, I would have the right to go after that individual for taking a similar shot and using it as his/her own? No, no I wounldn't.

This is not the first time we've seen a wall of video screens... and it will not be the last.

Did Apple use it as inspiration... maybe. Should Apple pay/compensate... maybe. Is this just another individual trying to get some money... maybe.
post #28 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkerkay View Post

I tend to agree. There is a difference between inspiration and copying.

That would mean if I took a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in foogy weather and then I saw an image of the GGB in fog on flickr or somewhere else, I would have the right to go after that individual for taking a similar shot and using it as his/her own? No, no I wounldn't.

This is not the first time we've seen a wall of video screens... and it will not be the last.

Did Apple use it as inspiration... maybe. Should Apple pay/compensate... maybe. Is this just another individual trying to get some money... maybe.

What you say makes sense. Now, "The Matrix" should be suing both of them because they had TV screens in the center of the room with the architect.

Personally, I think it is more inspiration rather than xerox.
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post #29 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

man, you're SO wrong, artists should not be the highest paid people. On the contrary, art should be free and I'm sure the majority of REAL artists would agree with me. Everyone needs money to live, THAT'S the problem.

Which is why they should be paid well so that they don't have to waste their talent doing some other job in order to survive. I wasn't suggesting that artists should change their perception towards their own work but the way artists are treated needs to change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

ALL art is what we perceive twisted by our creativity, there is no such thing as PURE original work.

That doesn't stop art having an influence on people when it is presented or associated in a certain way. It also depends on what you mean by original. If it's the first time that you've seen it then it's original to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

Why do some people insist on punishing others for improving or re-rendering an idea. It's pride without the honor. Truly the new american way.

It's stealing, which I agree seems to be the new american way. Take what you can for yourself and to hell with everyone else. But as you say, there's nothing new there, that's the American Dream and always has been.

I suppose you think it's great that China has made a tphone and a Disney-style theme park and don't pay anything back to the original creators?
post #30 of 91
Regarding the ATV image: Why were they meeting in the first place? I assume the folks at Apple were asking permission or trying to license the image. I also assume (OK lots of assumptions here folks) negotiations didn't go well, can I assume a ridiculous price was asked? So Apple go it alone with a very similar look and feel but not the same exactly so I assume Apple (not being devoid of legal experts) feel they made enough changes to win any law suit. Did I miss any assumptions here? lol
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post #31 of 91
On the first, I really don't know, on the second point, I don't think there is enough information to make a judgment, I think there is a process that needs to be done but that's beyond me.
post #32 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wojciechowski View Post

You have got to be kidding me. It's the same f'ing shots. Same staging, angles, lighting, movement. The odds of the apple ad being coincidentally nearly identical to the music video are zero to none.

Right, because the people that made the one made the other. I don't know the exact details of ownership, but arguably "the people who made it" are free to make it again for another paying client, which is what happened AFAIK.
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post #33 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

man, you're SO wrong, artists should not be the highest paid people. On the contrary, art should be free and I'm sure the majority of REAL artists would agree with me. Everyone needs money to live, THAT'S the problem.

How do you determine what a "real" artist is? The concept sounds incredibly subjective, unless you have a bullshit metric such as whether or not they charge for their works. Good works of art take time to develop, who foots the bill of their living expenses? I think that in general, the people that enjoy the art could stand to do that. I'm not seeing a problem with that part. I do have a problem with how the labels conduct themselves, but advocating what is basically an abolition of copyright is a knee-jerk reaction.

Holding down a job to make ends meet and then working on art on the side is kind of self-defeating, that's like expecting people to punish themselves to have no life, just so you can have free art. It sounds very leech-like to me. If an artist choses that kind of life of their free will, that's fine, but I think placing that sort of expectation on them is quite unrealistic.
post #34 of 91
A lot of people seem to have a problem distinguishing between professional, make-a-living-at-it artists and some vague notion of "creativity" that presumably "everybody has" and that should be just shared around like a joint.

Probably because America has done such a thorough job of denigrating the whole idea of a "professional artist" as a either a phony and opportunist, at best, or an anti-social weirdo and parasite, at worst.

God knows not many people can make a living at it, given the total lack of funding or respect, so it's not surprising that the idea that it might be a "real" job that one might expect "real" compensation for would strike some as implausible.
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post #35 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Right, because the people that made the one made the other. I don't know the exact details of ownership, but arguably "the people who made it" are free to make it again for another paying client, which is what happened AFAIK.

Basically this is true, unless there is a contract stating otherwise, someone like a photographer owns the copyright of the photos they took, even if the job was paid for by someone else. If you paid someone take your picture, you couldn't legally copy your own picture without the photographer's permission. I never did like that idea, someday I'd like to look up how that particular tradition came to be, maybe there's a reason for it that's faded to obscurity.
post #36 of 91
wow its like you really need a magnified class to see the image in question there, if that guy gets any money, am goin to research all of google satelite image and if i see myself of my house their, am goin to wanna speak to his attornies, they might be some money for me to be claim there too
post #37 of 91
.....
post #38 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I seriously don't know the law here...

You really should put this at the beginning of your post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The created there own.

Legal threads always bring out the best and brightest!
post #39 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkerkay View Post

But just like the "iPhone" name was being used at the announcement, even though Apple was still in negotiations with Cisco. But they came to an agreement. And neither walked away from it. So why did Apple walk away?

Apple was in discussions with Cisco until January and decided to launch the iPhone without permission to use Cisco's trademark. Basically Apple broke off discussions to launch the product. The next day Cisco still hadn't heard from Apple and filed a lawsuit. Apple spokesman Steve Dowling called the lawsuit "silly".

This time Apple was in talks with the artist to license his image and pulled the same trick. I'm eagerly waiting to hear Steve Dowling defend that one.
post #40 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

What you say makes sense. Now, "The Matrix" should be suing both of them because they had TV screens in the center of the room with the architect.

Personally, I think it is more inspiration rather than xerox.

I was thinking the same thing, "The Matrix". I just didn't right it down. Thank you.
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