Steve Jobs tribute logo sparks copyright dispute

Three artists battle over ownership rights

The day after Steve Jobs’ death last week, Reuters published a story that has been marked as incorrectly attributing ownership of the commemorative Apple logo to a student in Hong Kong.

The logo, which incorporates Steve Jobs’ face into the Apple company logo, received a surplus of attention after going viral when Jonathan Mak published it online after learning of Jobs’ death. Reuters named the Hong Kong design student as the creator of the image in an article the morning after Jobs’ death, which prompted a clash among two other men who have since claimed ownership of the logo.  

Chris Thornley, a graphic designer who also is known as Raid71, says he created the image in May in the U.K. Los Angeles-based designer Farzin Adeli similarly argues that he created the logo in his parents’ home in Mill Valley, California the night of Jobs’ death on Oct. 5. 

Mak admitted to Reuters on Monday that he was not the original creator of the design, but said he had never seen the other two men’s designs before the launching of his own on the Internet. Mak told Reuters, “I didn’t rip off [Thornley’s] work. I still arrived at the solution on my own, and my conscience is still clear, but I’m more than happy to acknowledge the fact that somebody did it before me.” 

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