OK Go is claiming that Apple ripped off one of its videos in a promotional video for the launch of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.
According to the band, the video that Apple ripped off is its video for the song "The Writings on the Wall."
Not only that, but the band reportedly met with Apple to pitch the concept, after which the tech company declined. OK Go then used the concept for its own video. The "Perspective" video that Apple used uses the same production company, 1stAveMachine, and the same director.
The OK Go video essentially depicts the four band members lip-syncing to their song as they move around a room, with the viewers perception of the band being altered as they move and change costumes.
The Apple promotional video, like OK Go's video, is captured in one long shot. Instead of people, Apple's video shows words that illustrate the theme of changing perception.
Apart from the fact that the two videos are very similar, the videos being created by the same production company and directed by the same director seems like more than a coincidence.
"The videos speak for themselves and you can draw your own conclusions," said Andy Gershon, manager for OK Go. The band is reportedly exploring legal options, but may not have very many. According to Mark Lemley, a professor of law at Stanford University, taking someone else's creation and adapting it for another purpose is generally not a violation of copyright.
"You could imagine circumstances where there's a legal claim here, although I think it's unlikely to succeed," Lemley said. "That said, from a PR perspective, I'd say it wasn't a smart move by Apple."
This is not the first time that Apple may have landed in hot water for its videos. In 2005, the iPod ads featured dancing silhouettes and drew controversy because of the fact that they closely resembled an ad for Lugz boots. Only a year later, another ad closely resembled a video made by a band called the Postal Service.
In the case of the Postal Service video, Apple had also hired the same director as the music video.
Apple was also sued in 2007 after photographer Louis Psihoyos claimed that he had been negotiating with the company for the use of his photograph. Apple ended negotiations and then went on to use the photo anyway.
Apple has had an extremely busy week, unveiling the new line of iPhone's with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as the new Apple Watch. Legal issues could impact sales of these products.
Here are the videos for comparison. First up is Apple's promotion video "Perspective."
And here's OK Go's "The Writing's on the Wall" video.