Apple Uses Unlicensed Photo for iPad Wallpaper

"The funny thing is that I don't even have a contract with them yet," says Richard Misrach

An impressive landscape photograph called "Pyramid Lake (at Night)" was featured at Apple’s January 27 event in San Francisco, when the Mac maker unveiled the highly anticipated iPad to the world. Apple hadn’t gotten around to licensing the image when the people attending Steve Jobs’ keynote gazed at it behind the 9.7-inch glass panel, yet its author is extremely pleased with the move. He is certain he and Apple will reach a fruitful agreement.

Generally, artists go ballistic when someone uses their works of art and don’t credit them properly, and for good reason too. Not Richard Misrach. He admits Apple had contacted him ahead of the January 27 event to license the photo, but the two parties never got around to signing the papers, for one reason or another.

Artinfo reveals that Misrach was first contacted by Apple a while ago in regards to ten images from his different series. Misrach rejected them. Then, two weeks ago (days before the iPad announcement), Misrach was contacted again from Cupertino, this time for a licensing of Pyramid Lake (at Night), a photo he had taken at a Native American reservation in Nevada, back in 2004. According to Artinfo, the two parties talked about a five-year, exclusive deal, with Apple saying it would use the image for screen-savers and stuff like that.

"I was in bed watching Inglorious Bastards when I got a call from Jeffrey FraenkeL, my dealer in San Francisco, and he said, 'Do you know what's going on live here?'" Misrach told Artinfo. "I was totally shocked. Naturally my other galleries started calling and my family was all atwitter, because it's a whole different world."

However, no papers have yet been signed.

"The funny thing is that I don't even have a contract with them yet, so they must have decided on it at the eleventh hour," Misrach revealed. "I'm sure they'll send me one quickly now. But I'm very happy, I'm sure it's fine, and the terms are good."

Softpedia note

Apple should compensate the artist double the original price they decided on, just for the incredibly positive attitude.

Misrach also explained that, "[Pyramid Lake (at Night) is] a long night exposure where the moon is lighting up the mountains in the distance. I shot it on an 8x10 camera, so the quality is really beautiful and you can see star trails going through the sky."


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