Apple sued for infringing ‘1000 TVs’ copyright

“Apple Inc . was sued by a Colorado resident who accused it of misappropriating an ‘iconic’ photo he possesses for the company’s popular iPhone,” Jonathan Stempel reports for Reuters.

“In a lawsuit filed Thursday with the federal court in Manhattan, widely published photographer Louis Psihoyos contends that Apple is using his ‘1000 TVs’ image in its ‘i.TV’ movie guide application for the iPhone,” Stempel reports.

“The plaintiff accused the Cupertino, California-based company of copyright infringement of his image, which was created in 2005,” Stempel reports. “He is seeking actual damages and other remedies that together are ‘reasonably believed’ to exceed $2 million, according to the complaint.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple didn’t produce “i.TV” for iPhone. The seller is clearly listed on the App Store as “Brad Pelo” and the app is copyrighted by i.TV, LLC.

We believe the image in question can be seen here and the case is against Apple for the opening sequence displayed by Apple TV, not the iPhone app “i.TV.”

We even covered that startup sequence here: Apple TV startup sequence still shots posted online – February 19, 2007

Apple TV startup movie:

Direct link to video via YouTube here.

If that’s really what Psihoyos is objecting to, it has nothing to do with iPhone, but might be of interest to LOGAN.

43 Comments

  1. @Deus Ex Technica, you are right, you cannot copyright an idea. But a copyright also covers “derivative works,” even if the derived art was created from scratch and changes to another medium or artistic style.

    The big question is whether the concept is “generic enough” that Apple cannot be justly accused of copying. I actually created a vaguely similar design for a publication (I work for a TV network), back in 2002. By “vaguely similar,” I mean it was a grid of TV monitors each showing different shows, floating over a blue background. Maybe I should be exploring my legal options! Ha, ha.

  2. The Apple TV intro an the image are similar but, Apple didn’t copy the image. They might have gotten the idea from the image. But, the copyright on the image doesn’t protect the concept of the image. it just protects the image itself.

  3. @ Botvinnik

    There is a bag making company in town here that used to run want ads for “seamstresses.” Someone pointed out to them that seamstress was slightly sexist. They needed a gender neutral word. Soon, they started running wand ads for “sewers.” :o)

  4. To kirkgray – that is very funny! LOL! I think the concept for multiple tv screens on any colored background have been in use for many many years. Hell, I did a series of images on my own with me as the subject.

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