Apple may soon be facing some courtroom issues related to a snapshot by an accomplished photographer and a sugary song by pop singer Avril Lavigne, according to two recent sets of court documents that were reported by AppleInsider.
Both cases have yet to go to court.
The first suit, filed on May 25 in a San Francisco court, names Apple only peripherally. James Gangwer and Tommy Dunbar, the members of a 1970s band called the Rubinoos, allege that Canadian singer Lavigne's recent single "Girlfriend" borrowed a bit too liberally from their 1979 song "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend." Gangwer and Dunbar have charged Lavigne, her songwriter and her labels Almo Music and RCA Records in the suit, as well as Apple because it publishes and hosts the digital version of the song in its iTunes Store.
The second suit, filed June 27 in a Boulder, Colo., court, could be a bit more serious for Apple. It charges the company with copyright violation over the easily recognized "wall of images" used in promotional materials and advertisements for its Apple TV media center, alleging that a photographer's intellectual property was compromised. The imagery in the Apple TV ad, the suit says, is remarkably similar to an artistic image snapped by professional photographer Louie Psihoyos, who counts a high-profile stint at National Geographic and portraits of tech luminaries like Bill Gates and Larry Ellison among his resume highlights.
The complaint says Apple had been in negotiations with Psihoyos to use the image but that Apple had retreated from the talks and proceeded to use the photograph anyway, potentially depriving Psihoyos of profits.
Apple representatives did not immediately respond to calls for comment.