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Apple Sues Steve Jobs Figurine Maker Over Likeness

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the false-idols-before-me dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 172

eldavojohn writes "Techdirt brings word that China-based MIC Gadget, the maker of a four inch 'SJ figurine,' is being sued by Apple to stop making the product. The fairly well detailed figurine went for $80 and the manufacturer offered updates as it quickly sold out of the first 300 and was subsequently sued before starting a second batch. The glasses, the black turtle neck, the salt and pepper beard, the blue jeans and the new balance sneakers — that is Steve Jobs' look and you don't even have to consider the smug look or the iPhone 4 in his hand while standing in a classic press event spotlight pose. So far, this notice for copyright infringement only exists for the 'SJ figurine' (no mention of Apple or Jobs in the store listing) but it appears other companies are allowing MIC Gadget some leeway with trademarks or perhaps they just haven't noticed yet. Could it be that Apple is just concerned that their followers are purchasing lead-painted false idols?"

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Father Steve expressly forbid this! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388034)

"Thou Shalt Not Make Graven Images or Question His Profits." It's right there in the Holy Mac User Guide, people!

Blows my business plan! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388448)

I was in the process of making a Steve Jobs blow-up doll - extra tight asshole and mouth - for the guys who always wanted to sleep with him.

It had the faux black turtle neck, rimless glasses, jeans, and razor stubble. The better model had a synthetic voice that said, "I'm am now introducing this new iMac." Hit the button again, and it cycles though all of Apple's products.

I was going to make a killing!

Re:Father Steve expressly forbid this! (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390922)

I can totally see a political-cartoon with Steve (with big head) looking at the statue... "I mean, it looks nothing like me... I'll sue!"

Funny.... (0, Redundant)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388090)

I was not aware SJ was a father and led a "Church Of Apple"...

Steve Jobs (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388250)

probably knows his customer base and doesn't want his likeness lubed up and inserted in unseemly places.

Re:Funny.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388786)

Father? FATHER??

He is our freaking GOD!

How dare you mock us!

Re:Funny.... (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390402)

Father? FATHER??

He is our freaking GOD!

How dare you mock us!

...no relation to Lord Xenu [enwp.org] then?

What is the basis for the suit? (5, Interesting)

brennanw (5761) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388092)

Has Apple trademarked Jobs' image? Or is there some kind of international law that covers selling the likeness of someone without their permission?

I'm not being snarky, I genuinely don't know.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (2, Informative)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388154)

Has Apple trademarked Jobs' image? Or is there some kind of international law that covers selling the likeness of someone without their permission?

I'm not being snarky, I genuinely don't know.

I had this same thought, and further, I'm pretty confident that there's no trademark issue here. Apple doesn't make figurines. The whole thing is a caricature and doesn't threaten the computer business in any way. Now, if Apple WERE in the action figure business, or had entered into a contract with someone who was, then we might have an issue of greater importance.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388276)

What I don't understand is how Apple has standing to sue; Jobs should do his dirty work himself, and if I was an Apple shareholder I'd be annoyed Jobs was using the company resources for his own personal purposes.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388320)

Apple has the standing to sue, because the most obvious trademark being infringed is the Apple logo that forms the base of the figurine.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389338)

Ahhh, alright that makes more sense. Still idiotic for them to sue.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34390564)

Well this is using the exact logo, they've sued over far less infringing uses of apples in logos before [tomshardware.com] - and arguably much more idiotic.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389478)

As a work of parody, I don't think Apple has any kind of a case for trademark or copyright infringement. The most likely case I would think is that California confers on people a right of publicity. Again, I think this is a work of parody, and a very good one at that. I can't tell if it's meant to be an homage or a mockery of Jobs.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (2, Insightful)

knappe duivel (914316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390004)

if I was an Apple shareholder I'd be annoyed Jobs was using the company resources for his own personal purposes.

If you were an Apple shareholder you should be very, very, very grateful to Jobs for making you a lot of money.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389682)

I think there could be trademark issues, IF Apple had already trademarked Steve Jobs image. The executors of Lady Di have apparently trademarked any representation of her and want a cut of any commercial object that uses them as well as a veto on tastelessness. I am not sure that has been tested in court. But it requires Apple to have taken action first, which I am not aware that they have done.

If it is a recognizable logo, it doesn't have to be on something you make. If you put the Olympic rings on anything, the IOC will be after you in nothing flat, even if it is something like, say, a refrigerator that has no sporting use whatsoever.

Apple may say that Jobs appearance is inextricably tied to their brand. Fine, they should have said so in a trademark application before (assuming they haven't).

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390678)

Or maybe they just object to the huge Apple logo the figurine is standing on.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (4, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388158)

Look more closely at the base. It's the shape of the Apple logo. For sure, that's Apple's most important trademark. And trademarks have to be protected.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389078)

The figurine maker could easily make an argument on fair use grounds -- so long as the figurine doesn't make portable media players, smartphones, computers or other consumer electronics, I'd say they were pretty safe to claim fair use as an affirmative defense (IANAL, etc.) (And, no, I don't forsee Apple going into the figurine business.) (The rules that apply to trademark fair use aren't the same as the rules that apply to copyright fair use, but the legal intent is roughly the same.)

Where they get into trouble is in using Steve Jobs' own image without his consent; except that Apple doesn't have ground to sue for Steve Jobs' image, only Steve Jobs does.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388162)

As far as I know, faces of people can't be used for commerce without permission from the "owner". A notable exception to this are pics, photos or caricatures of politicians in certain context.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388198)

We've already been down this road with the religious nutjob, Chuck Norris. The t-shirt seller lost.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (4, Funny)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390684)

The t-shirt seller lost.

You expected Chuck Norris to lose?

Personality Rights (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388200)

It falls under personality rights [wikipedia.org] which varies country to country but in the United States it is proving to be a very dynamically changing landscape [usatoday.com] .

In reality this is probably just an annoyed Apple lawyer with too much time on his hand muscling a little guy into submission. They're foreign and can be made to look like leeches, I'm sure. The real kicker is that, as the lawyer on Techdirt mentions, there's no clear motive for this, is Apple making a competing figurine that they're losing sales on? Is the figurine somehow damaging to Mr. Jobs? If it's a parody of Steve Jobs doesn't that fall under fair use? So many questions but the answer will always be "Who has the most money and lawyers?" And that's Apple.

Re:Personality Rights (3, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388344)

It falls under straightforward trademark infringement for the shape of the base of the figurine.

Re:Personality Rights (2, Informative)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388404)

The real kicker is that, as the lawyer on Techdirt mentions, there's no clear motive for this, is Apple making a competing figurine that they're losing sales on?

the figurine is sitting on a big perfectly Apple-logo-shaped stand, the device in the figurine's hand has an iPhone UI sticker, and again, Apple logo on its back.

Not suing is setting a precedent that you can sell, literally, Apple branded merchandise without Apple's involvement.

Allowing people to make Apple-like products and Steve Jobs-like products also means Apple is losing control over the message of what Apple says to people.

The only way to not say something wrong to people, is to never say anything, and as we know Apple is notoriously tight-lipped. If third parties shape Apple's brand and perception, they lose a huge advantage they have in the moment in terms of control.

Apple is an extremely valuable brand, and you surely realize if they let one company sell these, thousands will follow soon.

Of course, many other companies may choose to ignore it, but that is not a problem of "morality". It's a matter of choice: Apple have the right under law to avoid those figures being produced, and they're using their rights.

Re:Personality Rights (2, Informative)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390544)

Not suing is setting a precedent that you can sell, literally, Apple branded merchandise without Apple's involvement.

But the same company is, literally, already doing that [micgadget.com] !

Re:Personality Rights (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389286)

The real kicker is that, as the lawyer on Techdirt mentions, there's no clear motive for this...

Apple's motive is clear, someone is making money off of people who are members of the cult of Apple and it isn't Apple. That is money they should be spending on Apple products. You say you've got an Ipod, Iphone, Ipad, Mac Air, MacBook and a Mac desktop, well if you still have money left buy a second one of one or more of those.

Re:Personality Rights (1)

ncy (1164535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389320)

well, i don't know about everybody else, but i'd feel somewhat uncomfortable if somebody was using my likeness in products around the world without my knowing. this would probably be especially frustrating to people who simply don't want that publicity, fame, and extra attention.

Re:Personality Rights (0)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390838)

i'd feel somewhat uncomfortable if somebody was using my likeness in products around the world without my knowing.

There there, Mr Nobody. What are the odds for that?

this would probably be especially frustrating to people who simply don't want that publicity, fame, and extra attention.

Like modesty incarnate, low-profiled Steve Jobs?

Re:Personality Rights (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390880)

Does "someone who doesn't want publicity, fame or attention" really sounds like an accurate description of Steve Jobs to you? I can understand he's annoyed they're using his image, but I can't say that someone who puts themselves so much in the limelight can really complain (even though I think they probably have a valid case for the figure's base and the fact he's holding an iPhone, the caricature aside).

Re:Personality Rights (1)

ncy (1164535) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390948)

certainly valid points, but what i'm talking about is based on rights; that is, if they can do it for him, what's going to stop them from doing it to anybody they please?" isn't that the whole purpose of model release forms? especially for those under-aged?

Re:Personality Rights (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390098)

It's a parody if it's mocking him, if it's just a representation of him they're profiting off his likeness.

Batman shagging catwoman is a parody.
Batman statues being sold at comic-cons is trademark infringement, that kind of thing.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

zigurat667 (1380959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388204)

I was wondering if Apple might have trademarked a cartoonesque drawing of Steve Jobs, otherwise this kind of caricature/parody should be protected by the freedom of speech.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388252)

Pretty sure that there is a law where you can't make money off someone else's likeness. It's one thing to sell advertising for a show where you film it on a public street or function and people know that they will be filmed.

in this case they are selling a doll

even the reality shows are scripted and anyone who appears in a non-public area has signed a contract agreeing to be on the show

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388390)

I don't think that's true. Madamme Tussauds usually have the subjects of their waxworks come to be measured and photographed for the model makers. But some of the waxworks are done without the celebrity's cooperation, and apparently that's OK.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388548)

Pretty sure that there is a law where you can't make money off someone else's likeness.

if there was such a thing all the tribute bands (bootleg beatles etc.) would have a tough time. However since they appear to be thriving - even though the Beatles "Apple" is nearly as protective as the other one - it appears as if there is not such a thing, even in China..

Anyhow, surely SJ's image is a personal property - something that he, personally should be protecting - not something that a company would get involved in (unless Apple somehow think they own Jobs)

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388254)

Actually I believe there is. Imagine in a few years if CGI gets good enough. You could have all sorts of "issues" come up. The new Tron movie will show if it is possible now.
I believe there are big exceptions for news and such.
Of course I think Apple should just let it go. Frankly it is just a good but of fun.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388814)

Apple hates fun.

simple business (3, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390408)

Apple hates fun.

That's because GNU/fun is FOSS.
Apple prefers iFun(tm), which is under the BSD license.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388302)

The only thing that Steve Jobs could sue for is that the figurines violates his right of publicity and use his celebrity to sell a product that he did not endorse. But Jobs himself and not Apple would have to assert that right. Since the figurine does not actually endorse a product but the product as a work of art, Jobs would likely lose that case though as First Amendment rights to free expression often trump right of publicity. The iPhone case that looks like a NES controller would more likely be found in favor of Nintendo if they wished to assert that the case violates their trademark (if Nintendo trademarked the design) and the gadget company is using it to sell a product that is not a work of art.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389192)

Since the figurine does not actually endorse a product but the product as a work of art, Jobs would likely lose that case though as First Amendment rights to free expression often trump right of publicity.

The generally accepted definition is "single and original work of art". So if an artist made exactly one statue and sold it to a wax museum type of establishment, the artist would be OK. Multiple bronze castings are getting questionable. But hundreds of copies, that's well into commercial work. Note that I am not your lawyer, but I have researched this. Because of the rise of rapid prototyping and CAD/CAM/CGI, its only a matter of time before we can buy computer generated "single and original works of art" all slightly different poses etc. What if I upload my single and original work of 3-D art to an internet site where anyone whom pleases can download it and print it out? That will be a rather interesting court case and is relevant to my interests.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (3, Informative)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388396)

If you follow enough links, it shows a snippit of the C&D email they received:

Unauthorized use of a person’s name and/or likeness constitutes a violation of California Civil Code Section 3344, which prohibits the use of any person’s name, photograph or likeness in a product without that person’s prior consent

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

pckl300 (1525891) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388952)

They're telling a Chinese manufacturer to obey California Civil Code? Good luck with that.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390038)

If the Chinese company is selling to people in California, then yes, they DO need to abide by the law. If they aren't selling to California then I'm pretty sure Apple doesn't have a leg (stem?) to stand on.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388418)

"is there some kind of international law that covers selling the likeness of someone without their permission?"

I doubt it, otherwise various dictators around the world would have used it in the past. (Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, George W Bush...

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388768)

According to the picture I saw, the SJ action figure is on an Apple Logo shaped stand...

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388770)

They did and they were planning to issue their own toys.
Liver sold separately.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389124)

Bravo!

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388906)

Quite a point.

Barring such a trademark, it would be Steve Jobs, and not Apple, that has standing to sue.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

milkmage (795746) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389042)

you can't sell a pro sports likeness (w/o a license) either... so why wouldn't it apply here?

this has a big fat NBA logo on the package
http://www.amazon.com/McFarlane-Toys-Sports-Picks-Bryant/dp/B002W9AC8C/ref=dp_cp_ob_t_title_2 [amazon.com]

i wonder if it still holds true if you remove the Lakers jersey and logo and just show him in street clothes - you can't say "Kobe Bryant" without thinking of the Lakers, similarly, "Steve Jobs" and Apple.

@nomadic - if you tried to sell a KB action figure, I'm pretty sure it would be the NBA lawyers on your ass, not Bryant's private attorney.

Re:What is the basis for the suit? (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390958)

Or is there some kind of international law that covers selling the likeness of someone without their permission?

There was a previous case involving Jeff Stryker, but they weren't copying the whole body...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Stryker [wikipedia.org]

Hold it wrong? (2, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388094)

The glasses, the black turtle neck, the salt and pepper beard, the blue jeans and the new balance sneakers

It also talks to you, although the speech cuts off if you hold it wrong.

Re:Hold it wrong? (1)

Lazareth (1756336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388124)

Well, it doesn't cut off completely. Rather, it pointedly informs you to "hold it right" and that "you're doing it wrong!" in a condescending tone.

I thought that this was decided (3, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388140)

It looks like he has a case under Chinese law:

In the People's Republic of China, rights of personality are established by statute. according to article 99 and 100 of the General Principle of Civil Law of the People's Republic of China, the right of name and the right of image are protected. It is prohibited to use other's image for commercial use without the person's consent.

Re:I thought that this was decided (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388844)

I can only respond with what I understand of U.S. law. This figure, in my opinion, is a parody figure and should be protected by free speech.

So far, according to what I have read, this is only a C&D letter from a lawyer. I have not seen this letter or the law suit claimed in the headline of this story. The stories I have read make no mention of a law suit at all. If a suit were filed, we could then have a better idea as to what law(s) are applicable in this case. I do know that it wouldn't go over well in U.S. courts, but Apple might have a case under Chinese law in Chinese courts.

Typically, such "intellectual property" claims as these need to be registered somewhere. It may be that China makes no such requirement, but I would be surprised. Has the "SJ Look" been registered somewhere? I know that in the US and all across Europe that clothing and "looks" are not protected under any intellectual property law as the fashion industry is essentially exempt from such protections. (This is why we have seen a lot of REALLY big labels and logos on clothing lately... clothing can be duplicated, but labels and branding cannot) So to charge that someone has violated "a look" by making a figure of a highly public personality is on pretty doubtful ground from the outside. We certainly need more information to see if there is really a case.

Re:I thought that this was decided (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389108)

We are talking about Right of Publicity [wikipedia.org] , which don't have to be registered. It appears that in the USA it is decided at a state level.

To date, twenty-eight states are on record as recognizing the Right of Publicity. Indiana is believed to have the most far-reaching Right of Publicity statutes in the world, providing recognition of the right for 100 years after death, and protecting not only the usual "name, image and likeness," but also signature, photograph, gestures, distinctive appearances, and mannerisms.

Re:I thought that this was decided (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389154)

Since he is suing the manufacturer in China to stop making the figurine, and not just stop distribution in the USA, I believe that this will be under Chinese law.

Re:I thought that this was decided (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389296)

I must have missed it. Where does it say that "he" (I presume you mean the Apple Computers company) has filed a law suit anywhere?

Re:I thought that this was decided (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34389574)

Some laws are only applicable to Chinese citizens. Is this one of those?

Re:I thought that this was decided (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389848)

What the heck do you mean? I think the Chinese should focus on taking down this one first [deviantart.com] .

Re:I thought that this was decided (0)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390928)

It looks like he has a case under Chinese law:

It is prohibited to use other's image for commercial use without the person's consent.

But they all look alike!

Voodoo (1)

Ceyx (32388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388142)

Maybe SJ is a beliver in Voodoo and afraid of angry customers ;-)

Copyright infringement? (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388166)

I don't see any Apple logo and the phone is too generic ... so what here is being unlawfully copied? It can't be Steve Jobs's likeness ... unless he is a CGI construct, robot or bio-engineered creature. Right of publicity infringement maybe.

The base of the figurine IS and Apple Logo! (1)

mrnick (108356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388234)

Look at what the the SJ figurine is standing on, it's clearly an Apple logo.

Please scan this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388180)

Somebody with a 3D scanner, please scan this and publish the results on the internet so that anybody with a 3D printer can churn these out ad infinitum.

bad likeness (5, Funny)

deathguppie (768263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388214)

I don't see how this even closely resembles Steve Jobs.. the head is waaay to small..

Apple owns Steve's likeness??? (1)

Mechanik (104328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388290)

Umm... what right does Apple have to sue over Steve's likeness? Shouldn't suit be brought by Steve himself rather than Apple? Did he sign over rights to his likeness to Apple?

I could see it if perhaps the figurine were based on a copyrighted image owned by Apple that contained Steve, but unless he's in a very specific pose or something it might be hard to prove.

Next thing we'll see is Apple trademarking Steve altogether and using him for their logo...

Re:Apple owns Steve's likeness??? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388406)

Take a closer look at the base of the figurine. Recognise it?

Re:Apple owns Steve's likeness??? (1)

Mechanik (104328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388492)

Take a closer look at the base of the figurine. Recognise it?

That will teach me to not RTFA and just go by the summary. The figurine clearly has an Apple logo for its base. However, the summary and article both make it sound as if Apple is suing over Steve's likeness, not the use of their logo. So, you can understand why I found it all confusing.

why would anyone buy this? (2, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388308)

Are turtle necks really that hot?

Re:why would anyone buy this? (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389254)

Are turtle necks really that hot?

They are very hot. That's why those of us who live in warmer climates prefer more open necklines, such as v-necks or T-shirts, to avoid heatstroke.

Current model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388354)

Is the pancreas intact?

Re:Current model (1)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388462)

Yes, but it does have a user replaceable liver.

Re:Current model (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389678)

Yes, but it does have a user replaceable liver.

..with Chianti and fava beans?

Perfect Likeness! (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388386)

Steve has an insanely big head!

Re:Perfect Likeness! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34390046)

This one is awesome. Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates [micgadget.com]

Its head is to small to be Steve Jobs (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388416)

It looks nothing like Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs' head is way bigger in real life.

Boycott! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388528)

When did a cease-and-desist letter [mobiledia.com] become a lawsuit [wikipedia.org] ? And when did trademark enter into the story? According to MIC's own website, the letter states "Unauthorized use of a person’s name and/or likeness constitutes a violation of California Civil Code Section 3344, which prohibits the use of any person’s name, photograph or likeness in a product without that person’s prior consent” bla bla bla" [micgadget.com] As a previous poster said [slashdot.org] , it's not a trademark issue.

Ah, well. Who needs to go to the orginal site when rumours and hearsay will suffice? Boycott Apple! Boycott Apple! [slashdot.org]

Precedent (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388578)

Can't believe there isn't vast precedent here. Companies have been making and selling figurines of famous people since before there were famous people. But of course Apple gets some press out of it.

There's A Statue for for That (1)

mattwrock (1630159) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388604)

In the People's Republic of China, rights of personality are established by statute.

I thought it should be STATUE instead!

He's a public figure (2, Insightful)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388626)

Sorry Apple, but you can stuff this "cease and disist letter" right up your ass. Steve Jobs is a public figure and this work can be considered a parody, regardless of it's "for profit" status. Don't you have an App in the App Store to censor out of existence?

I have plenty of Apple products, but it seems with every passing day Apple finds a way to make me like them less and less.

Re:He's a public figure (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388868)

Buying Apple products, furthers Apple's ability to control the universe.

Simply do not buy their overpriced, under featured junk.

Parody? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390378)

I thought the figure was not a parody at all, to me it was more like something you'd put in a shrine. Scary stuff.

Although if they also made a similar Bill Gates and Balmer figure, you could put them in one of those old vibrating electronic hockey sets and let them battle each other for supremacy.

This not bootleg. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34388856)

Good luck trying to get China to stop infringing /anything/!
http://google.com/search?q="this+not+bootleg"

What I really don't understand is why EVERYONE uses China for cheap labour, while China consistently produces copyright infringing bootlegs with minor variations?
Why the fuck is the USA (and probably everyone else) sending trillions of dollars to these copyright-disrespecting motherfuckers?

You're not really successful... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34388900)

... until there's an action figure of you.

Perfect for an Improv Everywhere mission (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389178)

Steve Jobs look-alike day!

http://improveverywhere.com/ [improveverywhere.com]

Imagine armies of folks emerging from the New York subways, all dressed up in Steve Jobs black turtlenecks and glasses. Even children, as well! They all head toward the NYC Apple Store. Half the onlookers are shocked, the other half laugh their asses off.

Simple solution (1)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389210)

They just have to rename the figurine to "Sosumi".

For v 2.0 ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34389280)

They could just revise it slightly, get rid of the apple logo base, and phone, and change the figure's name to Butthead CEO...

(Long-time Apple news-junkies/trivia-junkies should get that referance, I hope ;-) )

I just checked the MIC Gadget site (2, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389438)

The SJ Figurine doll is marked "Discontinued" and has been replaced by one called "Butt-Head Astronomer".

Surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34389546)

Apple suing someone for some bullshit. Same shit, different day. Fuck Apple. They are seriously the lamest brand on the planet.

Pro tip (1)

Mathness (145187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389704)

Pro tip to Slashdot users: Stuff one of the SJ figurines down the front of your pants* and even you can obtain a girl- or boyfriend.

* Please note that prolonged exposure can result in: Expensive cloth and hardware habits, occasional cravings for grilled shoes with squid dressing, becoming a sex symbol and/or growing a beard.

Is this available in wax? (2, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389800)

In a gift box along with a half-dozen 4" steel hat pins?

Shame on Apple (1)

twoears (1514043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34389802)

But what I'd like to see is a Larry Ellison voodoo doll.

But wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34389818)

This isn't Steve Jobs, this is Thom Mayne [princeton.edu] !

Sounds a bit like a case of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34389902)

"Butt Hole Astronomer" syndrome to me.

SJ Demands 12-inch figurine (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390006)

And, have it covered with veins. Which I'm sure the Macoholics will appreciate just in time for Christmas.

Sued? (1)

Joao (155665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390008)

I'm far from being an Apple fanboy or defender. But it doesn't look like a lawsuit to me. They send them an email telling the company to stop. It wasn't even an official cease and desist letter.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34390044)

Does it come with a spare liver ?

Eighty Dollars? (1)

aaaantoine (1540357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390434)

Even his likeness is overpriced.

What's the difference between me and Apple? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34391014)

I know I'm not a lawyer... and I know better than to try to make up new IP rights on the fly.

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