Random Thoughts 156

Posted on 7/10/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

July 10, 2007

Apple Sued Over Image Use

On June 27, Colorado photographer Louis Psihoyos filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against Apple, Inc.

Psihoyos, known in the image industry for long-term work with the National Geographic, says that the current Apple TV ad campaign and marketing materials use his photograph without permission or compensation. The image in question is the iconic wall of videos, with a center glow highlighting a silhouette of a seated man and monitor lights reflecting off the black floor.

The imagery used in Apple's ads is nearly identical in concept and composition -- and Psihoyos contends this is not mere coincidence. The lawsuit alleges that Apple and Psihoyos were negotiating licensing terms for the image when Apple backed out. Psihoyos's attorneys characterize Apple's subsequent use of similar imagery as knowingly disregarding the plaintiff's rights and depriving him of profits.

Industry insiders are abuzz with speculation about the reasoning behind Apple's actions.

John Harrington, a Washington, D.C.-based photographer and author of Best Business Practices for Photographers, offers an educated guess: Apple did not want to pay the high fees Psihoyos must have requested for such broad image exposure.

Dan Heller, a California photographer and author of several books, cautions that even cases that appear to be cut and dry are not that simple in reality. In
his popular business blog,
Heller writes: "What appears to us photographers to be a clear case is very highly likely to involve much more complicated (and legitimate) matters that are not yet known, nor established." As Heller points out, few details are available at the moment. The case has yet to make it onto the docket.

Apple may not have actually stolen Psihoyos's photo, but commissioned a new one to closely resemble it. However, conceptual plagiarism, an attempt to capitalize on a familiar visual, may still be problematic, should Psihoyos and his attorneys be able to prove this theory.

Masterfile Continues Design-Based Strategy, Wins More Awards

By: Julia Dudnik Stern

Masterfile is a stock house renown for cutting-edge design work. Recently, the agency captured three new graphic design awards from A&AD, AIGA and ADCC. This brings the total awards won by Masterfile to more than 50. John McDonald, vice president of marketing, says the agency's strategy is to be recognized as designer-friendly, and that the awards are a good indicator of its success.


Copyright © 2007 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

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