Apple sued for duping Apple TV image, hosting iTunes track

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 90
    eruithildureruithildur Posts: 165member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 90
    mydomydo Posts: 1,888member
    These lawsuits are just negotiations on a different level.
  • Reply 3 of 90
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mydo View Post


    These lawsuits are just negotiations on a different level.



    Most commercial litigation is.
  • Reply 4 of 90
    bkerkaybkerkay Posts: 138member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 90
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 600member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 90
    josa92josa92 Posts: 193member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 90
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    "rights and feelings"... BS. Anyone can make a video wall and put an object in the center of it.
  • Reply 8 of 90
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,253member
    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
  • Reply 9 of 90
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,172moderator
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 90
    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
  • Reply 11 of 90
    jimdreamworxjimdreamworx Posts: 1,063member
    Sadly, the only time an artist becomes one of the highest paid for a work is after the artist has been dead.
  • Reply 12 of 90
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 90
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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?
  • Reply 14 of 90
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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
  • Reply 15 of 90
    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
  • Reply 16 of 90
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 90
    brianmojobrianmojo Posts: 28member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 90
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 90
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 90
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,512member
    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".
Sign In or Register to comment.