Yesterday, the Apple event launched with a video called “Perspective” in which messages appeared with each shift of the camera angle. But apparently this idea did not come from Apple’s marketing team alone. The band OK Go believe that Apple cribbed the concept from the beginning of their music video for “The Writing’s On the Wall.”
The band’s manager Andy Gershon told Bloomberg Businessweek that the group had a meeting with Apple in late April where they pitched the initial concept to the corporation. When Apple declined, the band decided to use the idea in their own work.
As further evidence to support their claim, it turns out that Apple also hired production company 1stAveMachine, the same people who produced OK Go’s video, to make “Perspective” for the Apple event.
OK Go is not the first band who has run into trouble with the Apple crew either. In 2005, The Postal Service addressed the comparison between their video for “Such Great Heights” and an Apple ad for the new Intel chip. In this case, Apple also hired the same directors, Josh Melnick and Xander Charity, who worked on the video for “Such Great Heights.”
OK Go claimed to be exploring their legal options. However, despite the strong resemblance between the opening of the two videos, they would likely have a very difficult time proving that the concept was their intellectual property. Those cases are tricky, at best.
For instance, there is a section in the middle of the OK Go video, with a series of cubes on the floor, that looks very similar to the street art of Aakash Nihalani. Nihalani has worked with musicians, such as Patrick Stump. Except there’s no attribution to Nihalani’s work for “The Writing’s On the Wall,” so it bangs the question — what can be considered simple inspiration and what counts as thievery?
Compare the two videos below and judge for yourself.