Artist Sues Apple for Photography Copyright Infringement

Copyright Photographer Sabine Liewald has sued Apple for copyright infringement, accusing the company of using one of her photos to promote the MacBook Pro with Retina Display without a license. The photographer is asking for damages that include Apple's profits relating to use of the image, as well as statutory damages.

According to PatentlyApple, Ms. Liewald's claim said that Apple requested a high resolution version of her image from her agency, Factory Downtown, for layout purposes only. Ms. Liewald's page at the Factory Downtown site includes this specific image, which is called Eye Closeup.

This request did not include the acquisition of rights to use the image in advertising, and the complaint alleges that Apple was fully aware that it had not secured the necessary permission to use the image from either Ms. Liewald or Factory Downtown.

The complaint alleges that Apple informed the agency that it did not intend to use the image for advertising purposes. It also claims that Apple did so anyway, and mentions advertising, Apple's keynote address in which the device was introduced, and "related advertising materials."

The following exhibit was included in the complaint, which was filed with the U.S. District Court - Southern District of New York, as noted by PatentlyApple.

Complaint Exhibit

Complaint Exhibit

At the time MacBook Pro with Retina Display was announced, Apple used Ms. Liewald's image to demonstrate Photoshop. MTV Geek grabbed this screenshot from Apple's site on June 11th, the day the device was first shown.


Sabine Liewald Image at Center of Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Apple is currently using the image below to show off Photoshop. It' snot clear who owns that image or if it was changed as a response to this suit.

New Photoshop Image

Apple's Current Photoshop Demonstration Image

Copyright image made with help from Shutterstock.