Apple Being Sued for Using Eye Closeup Image in MacBook Pro Promotion
A Swiss photographer recently filed a suit against Apple for allegedly using an incorrectly licensed image to help promote the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. The artist, Sabine Liewald, is asking for damages plus associated profits as compensation for Apple’s illegal use of the image without permission. Liewald says that Apple purchased the rights to use the image titled “Eye Closeup” for “layout purposes only,” but went on to display the photograph in a number of commercial applications.
Apple used the photograph to show off the company’s 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display when the product was announced in June as noted by CNET
. According to the claim, Apple obtained a high-resolution file of “Eye Closeup” for what is known as “comping” or layout purposes. Usually, comping images are provided at low-resolution and are often watermarked to prevent use in ads or marketing without receiving permission to do so from content owners.
Although the photograph isn’t considered a “United States work” by the Copyright Act, Liewald claims the image is covered by copyright law and is also “protected as under the Byrne Convention as a non-United States work.” He goes on to say that by “commercially exploiting” the image, Apple caused statutory damages while “obtaining significant economic gains,” suggested that the photograph is to be credited for a part of the success the MacBook Pro has seen.
We’ll have to wait and see what comes of the ordeal.