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Microsoft Surface Earbuds: Rapper Will.i.am accuses tech giant of stealing design

The scorned musician dubbed the act as “culture theft”

October 03, 2019 / 02:27 PM IST
Rapper Will.i.am (Wikimedia)

Rapper Will.i.am (Wikimedia)


Seven-time Grammy Award-winning American rapper Will.i.am has accused technology giant Microsoft of stealing his design idea. In a series of social media posts, the musician has slammed the company for copying his company’s hit wireless button headphones.

William Adams had launched the super sleek tech gear, which resembled two buttons backed by a woven fabric cord, in the year 2016.

The earphones that looked like a metallic upgrade to vinyl records, was designed by André Leon Talley, a former Vogue editor. Now the rapper says that the ‘Surface Earbuds’ launched by Microsoft on October 2 is a rip-off of his design, which has only changed the colour of the gadget from black to white.

The scorned musician dubbed the act as “culture theft” and wrote on Twitter: “An African American start up struggling to inspire innercity kids with tech, only to find a GIANT steals our individuality & differentiation.”

Tagging Microsoft in the post, he asked the tech giant if they remember how he had showed them the design of his ear buttons four years ago.

Replying to his tweet, one of his followers also recalled how he had worn it to the Graham Norton show “a long time ago”.

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In yet another Twitter post, the superstar-cum-tech aspirant wrote: “When you meet with a big company in hopes to collaborate with your big dreams & ideas, on how tech Should speak to & from inner city to inspire inner city kids to take an interest in tech...and 4 years later that company copy’s the design and product you made is just sad...”.


He even shared photos of his product against Microsoft’s latest launch, to help his users understand why he is alleging it to be a complete copy of his earphone’s design aesthetics.
Jagyaseni Biswas
first published: Oct 3, 2019 02:27 pm

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