Nick Haley makes Apple iPhone ad (w/o permission), but then gets hired by Apple

October 27, 2007

News: NYT and Wired both report about Nick Haley, a UK student who remixed video from Apple — without permission — and made a new ad for the iPhone with music from a Brazilian band, CSS, “Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex.” Even though Haley didn’t get Apple’s permission to use its copyrighted images, Apple like the video so much it asked Haley to make a version for TV, to air tonight during the World Series.

Analysis: This is a fascinating example from a copyright perspective. The guy didn’t have copyright permission, but it turned out what he did was something that the copyright owner (at least one of them) ended up liking. (I don’t know whether the band authorized the use of its song or not.) I’m researching this kind of scenario in our Web 2.0 world and will be writing an article about the phenomenon. I think it has some serious implications for how we should understand the function of copyrights.