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Apple Sued Over Use of Image in i.TV App

Louie Psihoyos' "500 TVs‚" is the subject of a lengthy copyright suit. Louie Psihoyos' "500 TVs‚" is the subject of a lengthy copyright suit.
© Louie Psihoyos / Science Faction

For the second time, Colorado-based photographer Louie Psihoyos has filed a copyright lawsuit against Apple Computer for using one of his photographs without permission.

Psihoyos alleges that in 2008, Apple illegally incorporated his image into its first version of the i.TV, a free software application that lets users access their TiVo and Netflix accounts. The photograph in question, a shot of a man sitting in front of a dramatically curved wall of screens, titled "500 TVs‚" was registered by Psihoyos in 2005 and reportedly took him a month and $100,000 to create.

This current lawsuit, seeking $2 million in damages, follows Psihoyos' 2007 lawsuit claiming that Apple used images, identical or substantially similar‚ to his own to advertise iPhone and Apple TV products. Psihoyos also claimed that Apple, after negotiating but ultimately refusing to pay for the use of the, 500 TVs‚ image, knowingly went ahead and used it anyway. The case was eventually dismissed, suggesting that a settlement was reached.

Additionally, this current lawsuit, which names Apple Inc. and Apple Computer as the defendants, but not the application's creator, i.TV, will help determine whether Apple is responsible for iPhone applications developed by third-party companies.

i.TV, based in Palo Alto, Calif., developed the program in 2008 for the iPhone and iPod touch. The company recently launched i.TV 2.0 in August and does not currently feature Psihoyos' image.
A former National Geographic photographer, Psihoyos has also brought eight other copyright lawsuits, including one against National Geographic for which the federal appeals court ruled twice in favor of the magazine.