Artist Sues Apple Over Inappropriate Use Of Her Work In Macbook Pro Ads

A small business might get away with misappropriating a piece of artwork for commercial purposes. But Apple? Yeah, that's probably going to get noticed -- especially if it were to use such an image in a keynote for the latest Macbook Pro and then prominently display it in related advertising.

The image in question, called "Eye Closeup" (above) was created by one Sabine Liewald. Based in Switzerland, Liewald is claiming that Apple did not appropriately licence the photo for use in advertising. The company did however get the proper permissions for "'comping' (or layout) purposes only", according to Patently Apple.

Obviously, if Apple has used the photo without correctly licencing it, Liewald is entitled to whatever damages she is owed. That said, I doubt Apple's intent was malicious; it's entirely possible someone in Apple's marketing department had a brain fade and accidentally slipped the image into "OK to use" folder. It's unlikely Apple would skimp on the necessary payment either.

If you're wondering whether Apple is taking the claim seriously, all one has to do is browse over to the "Design and layout" section for the retina Macbook Pro on the Apple website, where you'll see a very different eye image.

[Patently Apple]

Image: Apple



    You doubt apples intent was malicious? I agree, it wasn't malicious in the strict terminology of the word, but when you combine this with the current clock copying what you have is a company too full of it's own importance to think that the little man will stand up to them in these situations. For a company that is flat out sueing everyone for copyright this is just arrogance at it's best.

      My thoughts exactly. I guess the profits are more than enough to pay for lawyers and settlements IF they get caught out.

      Yes that's exactly what it looks like to me too,
      I wonder how many others there are out there that have had their work swiped ?

        Try this site...

        The site is dedicated to shaming those who think it's ok to take others art and use it without permission.

        Last edited 14/10/12 12:41 am

      It certainly wasn't malicious, for the simple reason that it makes them look bad, regardless of morals. However yes, you'd think a company so famously litigious would be a bit more aware of these things.

    .... wow I'd like to know what would've happened if it was Microsoft that did this.... Tell me, why the hell does Apple get to act like arrogant wankers, WORSE than what Microsoft did in the past... and get away with it....?

    Where's the AntiTrust suit against the prevalent smartphone manufacturer LOCKING OUT all alternative web browsers from it's walled garden?

    Seriously LB, do you think that Apple's marketing department don't follow strict procedures with 3rd party content? I reckon it was a manager saving some of their budget thinking that no one would notice or, if someone did notice, be too intimidated by a 0.1 Gig company to do anything about it.

    Who cares if it wasn't malicious. If the situation was reversed I'm sure apple would pounce on the opurtunity to get some money out of them

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