Apple Inc. has been facing a lawsuit in California for using a Jamie xx song in an iPhone 6 advertisement.
The lawsuit was filed by Jerome Lawson, the lead singer of The Persuasions, for using Jamie xx’s “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” in a 2015 iPhone 6 commercial.
Lawson contends the use of his sampled voice violates his right to publicity under California law, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter.
Lawson is not seeking copyright infringement. He, however, says the use of his voice in the commercial violates his “right of publicity,” The Verge reported.
According to the lawsuit, Lawson’s voice is “prominent and recognizable” in the commercial and it deceives fans into “falsely believing that Lawson endorsed Apple and the iPhone and / or that Lawson consented to the use of his voice to advertise Apple’s products.”
The lawsuit states that, under the California’s Right of Publicity Law, a person’s name, voice, likeness, photograph, and signature cannot be used “for purposes of advertising or selling, or soliciting purchases of products, merchandise, goods or services, without such person’s prior consent.”
Moreover, the lawsuit claims that the use of “Good Times” in the Apple Inc. commercial was a breach of agreements with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
Lawson claims that he was offered a compensation by Apple’s ad agency Media Arts Lab. According to the singer, the agency contacted him and admitted its mistake of not obtaining his permission to use the song. He was then offered the “minimum” compensation required under SAG rules stating that any use of a song in a commercial must include “separate bargaining” with singers.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the ruling in this case could have a big effect on sampling and copyright in music.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Other Apple Lawsuit
Meanwhile, Apple Inc. is fighting a legal battle again chip giant Qualcomm.
Apple claims that Qualcomm has repeatedly charged the company for royalties which it has no rights to. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission also filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm for unfairly licensing a number of its patents.
According to the CNBC report, Qaulcomm has taken “radical steps,” including “withholding nearly $1 billion in payments from Apple as retaliation for responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them.” Qualcomm was filed $854 million by Korean regulators for unfair trade practices in December 2016.
Apple says that the chip giant charges it around five times more than all its other cellular patent licensors put together.
In response, Qualcomm said that it is still reviewing the complaint, but believes that Apple’s claims are “baseless.”
“We welcome the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court where we will be entitled to full discovery of Apple’s practices and a robust examination of the merits,” Qualcomm Executive Vice President and General Counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement.