Did Apple rip off Christian Marclay?

You might have seen the recent "hello" video ad campaign from Apple. I love Apple, have used Apples for about 26 years (really), and am a stockholder. And, as I've written before here, I think iPhones are going to be quite nifty.

But have you seen Christian Marclay's "Telephones"? It's pretty much just like the Apple ad, but it's original, inventive, whimsical, it offers a full narrative arc, and it tells us something deep about our culture and ourselves, and it doesn't attempt to sell us anything. And it was produced in 1995. I saw it at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin last fall.

I don't know if they did a deal with Mr. Marclay (a wonderful artist whose works I've seen or heard in several media in several museums) or not. Do you know? If they didn't, I think they might have ripped him off.

[Update: well, I was off moving and at a conference all last week, and didn't stop to wonder if somebody had already noticed this somewhere else. Somebody had. There's even a link to a video clip with short voiceover.]

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Do you have proof that Apple knows who Mr. Marclay is?

Or that they have seen Mr. Marclay's work?

As someone who has written screen plays, I know that ideas cannot be copyrighted. Nor can Titles. Nor can a collage of screen clips from old movies. Only original dialogue may be copyrighted. Did Apple use the same screen clips as Mr. Marclay used? If not, then there are no grounds to your accusation.

Why then do you imply improper action, unless you have proof? Suspicion alone is not evidence. Are you engaged in slander?

Calm down :)

I'm not implying anything, nor am I engaged in slander (nor libel - look up the difference). I'm pointing out that the ideas seem similar, and asking if anybody knows if they did a deal. Like I said, if they knew about it, and didn't offer up anything, I think they might have ripped him off.

Not exactly a threat of legal action, or worthy of one, don't you think?

In any case, it's a shame that people will see this ad and think it's some new idea that hasn't been done before, all in the service of selling a geek toy (which I'll probably buy someday too, I'll admit). Maybe a few more people will now know about Christian Marclay and his work, too.

or it could be an homage

The Academy Awards is not a low profile space to rip someone off, and repurposed recreation is an accepted Hollywood tradition from the Magnificent Seven to Star Wars ...

It's the Agency

I would think the ad agency, the commercial idea's originator, might have a vague memory of Christian Marclay's film. Creativity often involves some form of imitation. Not that I would put advertising in the realm of high art. But to put the theft at Apple's feet misrepresents the likely reality.

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