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Steve Jobs

Iconic Portrait Was RIPPED OFF ... Says Photog

4/2/2013 2:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Steve Jobs was vigilant in protecting his copyrights ... and now the photographer who shot his most iconic portrait is following Steve's lead ... and suing two artists who allegedly ripped him off ... TMZ has learned.

The man behind the suit is Albert M. Watson -- a prolific photographer who's considered one of the most influential people to ever wield a camera. He shot Steve's famous portrait during a 2006 photo shoot ... and claims he owns the rights to the work.

FYI -- the shot was used as the cover art on Walter Isaacson's biography, "Steve Jobs."

But in his lawsuit, filed in federal court in NY, Watson claims two well known artists -- Alex Guofeng Cao and David Datuna -- used his famous "Steve Jobs" portrait as the basis for new pieces ... but they never got proper permission.

Watson claims one of the unauthorized works, "Steve Jobs vs. Neil Armstrong, After Watson," has become popular and is being sold in multiple galleries across the country.

He also claims a Datuna/Cao ripoff, titled "Steve Jobs-Ayn Rand" was sold to a private collector for $210,000 back in 2011.

In his suit, Watson is demanding a judge put a stop to Datuna and Cao's actions -- claiming his "rights, business, goodwill and reputation have been and will continue to be irreparably harmed" if they continue to jack and sell his stuff.

He's asking for unspecified damages.

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24 COMMENTS

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1.

tgrfan42069    

thats what jobs was good for.ripping people off then suing when someone ripped him off

479 days ago
2.

writenow    

Good for him, I hope he collects big bucks and a heartfelt apology. Photographers are artists with cameras.

479 days ago
3.

Mick    

Sherlock is on the case! get'em Watson.

479 days ago
4.

James R. - Los Angeles    

Who's Steve Jobs?

479 days ago
5.

Sicsicpuppy    

Most iPhone users got ripped off too

479 days ago
6.

IwuvTMZ    

Elementary, My Dear Watson!

479 days ago
7.

TheEric    

When it takes two years to file your lawsuit (espcially when the photo in question was on a HIGH PROFILE book), your lawsuit is bullsh.i.t.

479 days ago
8.

Mrugowsky    

Everybody always wants to sue somebody else and look for someone to blame. Ridiculous.

479 days ago
9.

Rottweiler    

This "genius" is responsible for the most vacuous generation of losers who must be plugged into what? Some gossip and the ease of skipping off to the internet. Kids can't spell, read or have any intelligent conversation. They can't figure out how to fight their way out of a paper bag and worse yet they have become fat and physically complacent. This guy single handedly killed creativism, physicality and has promoted anti-socialism. Just ask any kid playing by themselves in the play ground while their drone parents are married to their I-phone 5,6,7 (what's next)?

479 days ago
10.

SoWhat    

Copyright and patents need to be returned to the way they were over 150 years ago or more, it's just gotten wayyyy out of hand and the way they are today it is the number one threat to innovation around the world.

479 days ago
11.

Paulina1982    

Who wants a pic of this ugly atheist @ Rottweiler I totally agree

479 days ago
12.

Mayu    

Jobs bragged about taking ideas from other people before they were able to patent them and getting the patent done first. He was nothing but a thief who was able to get other people's ideas to make him money. His whole career is based on being a copycat.

479 days ago
13.

johnnydanger    

I've seen this guy's mediocre, milquetoast work. It appears he's made an entire career out of being a one trick pony.

479 days ago
14.

DownSouth    

What a fkn douche bag.

479 days ago
15.

Lauri    

It's a true testament to Jobs that all of you haters exist. If he were mediocre, you would never have such a visceral response and would never feel the need to invent scandalous lies about him. As an Apple and Jobs fan, I think it's AWESOME!! Keep it up.

479 days ago
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