Apple Sued By Fashion and Beauty Photographer for Copyright Infringement

Apple was sued for copyright infringement on Wednesday by Swiss fashion and beauty photographer Sabine Liewald. Her lawsuit (below) charges the technology company with unauthorized use of her copyrighted “Eye Closeup” photo in an advertising campaign for Macbook Pro computers, related materials, and a keynote speech, without first obtaining legal rights to license it from her New York City agent.

According to the complaint, Apple actually “requested a high-resolution file” of this specific photograph “for ‘comping’ (or layout) purposes only.” After reviewing it, Liewald maintains, the Cupertino-based company told her agent “that it did not intend to use the photograph” in its Macbook Pro ad campaign, but went ahead and did so anyway.

Liewald’s lawsuit contains low-resolution images in the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Exhibit 1 (insert, left) represents Sabine’s work, the lawsuit contends, while Exhibit 2 allegedly depicts Apple’s unauthorized use of her work in a Macbook Pro ad.

The photographer’s editorial list is extensive. Her work has appeared in fashion magazines like Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Style. Her client portfolio includes work for cosmetic companies that include Estée Lauder, Neiman Marcus, Nivea, Olay, and Shiseido.

You can read Liewald’s copyright infringement claims below, and track the case docket here

Complaint (Sabine Liewald v. Apple, Inc. and Apple Computers, Inc.)