I'm glad I took a screen shot of it when I first saw it this afternoon. Otherwise I'd believe it was just a figment-of-my-imagination.
Good Work, Gurl!!! Standing up for yourself. Your first contact post sounded so hesitant and wistfully-wondering.
'Right' was DEFINITELY on YOUR side!!!
We're glad you got the app pulled!
I assume that you are happy if they just stop using your work. Right.
BTW: If I remember correctly, the Apple Store is the only place where you can officially get apps for your iPhone. Other websites can only link to the app. You can't actually download it from other sources besides Apple.
If Apple pulls an app then it is gone.
We're glad you had a happy ending!
I would say that it depends on how many copies of the app were sold.
If only a few were sold, it wouldn't make much difference. Most apps only cost 99¢.
If they sold a bunch of copies then you probably should take legal action.
I assume you think a lot like I do on this matter.
If somebody asks permission and gives credit where credit is due I'll probably give permission for free or at least for a small fee. But, if somebody tries to pull one over on me, I'm likely to go after them.
In a case like this I'd give consideration to contacting the people who put out this act and making them an offer to license the image for a flat fee. $50 or $100. If they pay or even make a counter offer I'd let them use it. But, if they gave me a bunch of fluff about it I might go after them.
IANAL but I understand that a person who infringes on another's copyright can be liable for as much as $150,000.
I don't think you'll ever get that much in a case like this but you can certainly make their lives a living hell.
As I said, I would be happy if they just stopped using my stuff but it all depends on how they act.
Isn't Apple actually the responsible party here? It appears to me that if the app is only available to be downloaded through them, then it is their responsibility to make sure their sources are legitimate. Someone made money off of this, and in my eyes admitted guilt when they pulled it off with no questions asked. I'd be talking to someone at Apple and letting them know that I wanted to know how they were going to compensate me. Put it on their shoulders to advise you how many were downloaded and how much money was made. If we don't protect our own work and just let it go, we set a precedent. I'm a firm believer that we teach people how to treat us.
Apple is a huge company with a huge legal team and they don't need this kind of publiciity. You should deal directly with them, and let them deal with the people they got the image from. I'd be all over this one, just to send them a message. You may not even need an attorney - but they don't have to know you don't have one. You could contact the Attorney General in your state and they would have to look into it.
You're right on, Luann. I'm glad that I don't sound like the only paranoid one here. You know the Federal legal issues I'm dealing with, and that YES, ONE PERSON CAN "fight City Hall", and WIN, when 'Right' is on your side. I've done it twice in Small Claims Court and it's EXTREMELY satisfying. Shaking in my boots the whole time, but I knew I was right, which was what kept me going through all of the continuances!
Most definitely deal with Apple directly; they're the ones with the cadre of attorneys who are looking out for only Apple's interests.
They are at fault if you can prove that the other party did not own the Intellectual Property rights to this image, and they don't.
Luann & I have both had experience with this (as regular individual citizens) and Luann is giving you sound advice, Melissa.
Your provincial government must have some office like our Attorney General (top attorney in each State) who will stand in for the legal rights of its individuals.
Make a few more calls and find out who holds that office. They are generally willing to take on high-profile cases like this (Apple®.)
but I assume that the trouble would probably be more than it is worth.
The trouble you may be thinking of is monetary, but it's the IP angle that's most important.
Do you, as an artist, want to have your design ideas stolen from you and not fight that?
Protect what's yours and don't let it be taken from you, thinking that it's probably not worth the effort or bother.
I too think that there were many more downloads than you may suspect.
That company/individual should be made to pay for their error in judgment, as well as Apple® for their mistake in not checking their sources more thoroughly.