∞ Man sues iBird developer, Apple for copyright infringement

Martyn Stewart filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against iPhone developer Mitch Waite and Apple. Stewart records nature sounds for a living, and has done so for more than 35 years, according to the lawsuit. He claims in the lawsuit that Mitch Waite included his copyrighted sounds in his iBird applications for sale on Apple’s App Store, without permission.

Stewart says he has more than 3,500 bird sounds in their natural settings covered by a federal copyright registration.

Waite apparently contacted Stewart in 2007 to license his bird sounds for a Palm Pilot app he was developing. While an agreement between the two was never reached, Waite included the sounds in his iBird apps for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, the lawsuit claims.

There is little doubt that the sounds in the app are Stewart’s — Waite gave him credit on the About page of the apps as being the “Recordist.”

Apple is being included in the lawsuit because it used iBird to help promote the iPhone in national commercials, according to the lawsuit.

Stewart is asking the court for damages and “any profits of the Defendants attributable to the infringing acts.” He’s also asking the court to stop the sale of the app.