Photographer sues Apple over promotional eyeball image

Apple has been sued by a Swiss photographer who claims that the electronics giant misused one of her images by including it in a promotion for its latest MacBook Pro computers.

The image in question featured during Apple's WWDC keynote in June.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Photographer Sabine Liewald claims that Apple acquired the rights to use the image of a model's eye (complete with make-up) for "layout purposes only", as opposed to commercial use. The complaint specifically points to examples where Apple ended up using the image in its advertising, including on its website.

The suit, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks a trial by jury to determine damages and potential lost profits. Liewald said that the image itself is covered under copyright, and "protected under the Byrne Convention as a non-United States work".

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment on the lawsuit.

This is not the first time that Apple has been sued by a photographer. Louis Psihoyos sued Apple twice, once in 2007 and again in 2009, for using something resembling his "1000 TVs" image in a promotion for its Apple TV set-top box product. (Disclosure: Psihoyos also sued CBS Corporation, the parent company of CBS Interactive, which publishes CNET over use of the same photo.) Apple is also well known for making some obscure shots famous, such as the photo that became the default background on the first iPad.

The suit was reported by Patently Apple.

You can read the whole complaint below:

Complaint -- SL vs. A

Via CNET.com

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