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Steve Jobs e-mails terse response to upset Apple developer

post #1 of 214
Thread Starter 
When an emotional Mac developer wrote a lengthy e-mail about an issue to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, the multi-billionaire responded succinctly via his iPhone.

Development company The Little App Factory hit a stumbling block when Apple requested they change the name of their application iPodRip, which had been around since 2003. The software, which has more than five million downloads, allows users to transfer songs from their iPod and iPhone to their computer.

Apple requested that the company change the name of the application, because it had the word iPod in it. Jon Devor, CEO of The Little App Factory, decided he would take his issue directly to Jobs who, surprisingly, replied to his note. The e-mail reportedly read:

Change your apps name. Not that big of a deal.

Steve

Sent from my iPhone

In response, The Little App Factory changed the name of their software to iRip, avoiding any potential legal issues with Apple.

E-mails from Jobs, particularly short ones, are not unheard of. In 2008, the Apple co-founder told one Mac user that changes in video camera technology reduced the need for FireWire on the 13-inch MacBook.

Earlier this month, Jobs was named Fortune magazine's "CEO of the Decade" for his role in turning Apple into the most valuable company in Silicon Valley. The 54-year-old has helped his company dominate the portable music player space and change the smartphone business.

Devor's original e-mail is included in its entirety, courtesy CrunchGear:

Dear Mr. Jobs,

My name is John Devor and Im the co-owner of a small Mac shareware company named The Little App Factory and a long-term Apple customer and shareholder. I doubt youre aware but we recently received a letter from a law firm working on Apples behalf instructing us that we had violated several of Apples trademarks in our application iPodRip and asking us to cease using the name and Apple trademarks in our icons.

We have been distributing iPodRip since 2003 with the aim of providing a method to recover music, movies and photos from iPods and iPhones in the event of a serious hardware failure on their Mac which leads to data loss. Our goal has been to provide the highest quality product coupled with the highest quality service in a bid to resolve some of the angst that is generated by such an ordeal; service befitting of an Apple product. In this department we think we have succeeded as we have approximately 6 million customers, many Apple employees, music artists and other notable people in society. In fact Id argue that our customer service is the best of all competing applications in our niche as many of them are scams and frauds that leave Apple customers with a terrible taste in their collective mouths. We fear very much that tens of thousands of Apple customers looking to recover their own music and having heard of our product via word-of-mouth or otherwise, will instead find a product produced by one of our competitors, and will wind up the victim of a scam (one closely-named competitor charges a hidden monthly fee, for instance).

It is quite obvious that we mean Apple no harm with the use of the name iPodRip, or of the inclusion of trademarked items in our icons, and in fact I believe that we have been providing an excellent secondary service to Apple customers that has potentially caused you many repeat clients. In fact, we are quite aware that Apple support and store staff have recommended our software on numerous occasions as far back as 2004 so we have felt that we were doing something right!

With this in mind, we are in desperate need of some assistance and we beseech you to help us to protect our product and our shareware company, both of which we have put thousands upon thousands of hours of work into. Our company goal is to create Mac software of the highest quality with the best user experience possible. I myself dropped out of school recently to pursue a path in the Mac software industry, and you yourself have been a consistent inspiration for me.

If there is anything at all you can do with regards to this matter, we would be most grateful.

Best,

John Devor
post #2 of 214
nice.

That told em
post #3 of 214
Hmm, I think I can paraphrase that email:

"STFU"


post #4 of 214
Ha. I love it.

I could go in to how this guy - John Devor - probably felt entitled and was probably coddled as a youth, which is why he sent off this emotional e-mail plea to Steve Jobs, but I won't.
post #5 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliphord View Post

I could go in to how this guy - John Devor - probably felt entitled and was probably coddled as a youth, which is why he sent off this emotional e-mail plea to Steve Jobs, but I won't.

Let me just say that I think we're all grateful you didn't.
post #6 of 214
Perfect response.
post #7 of 214
Epic .
post #8 of 214
Wow.
and Wow.
post #9 of 214
It wasn't that big of a deal, now was it? People are so complicated, like doh!
post #10 of 214
Trademarks are very important--so important that this company really should have done their homework better before adopting "iPodRIP." That was a factually stupid move.

Jobs simply told him to fix it. The fact that he personally delivered the message should lend a good measure of sincerity and credibility.

The more popular a brand gets, the more important it is to hold the line on the proper use of its trademarks so as to prevent dilution and eventual reversion to the public domain.

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #11 of 214
Funny. He's like "Whatever. Change the name. Punk".
post #12 of 214
What does John expect from Steve? Changing the name of a product is not like asking them to ceasing making it and want a chunk of money from them. That said, if it's not that "big of a deal" why bother suing the small company?

There is a reason I hate copyright/trademark laws, it's all written in stone. You can sue people for using "ipod" in a product name that aren't even a direct competitor, what's next? Of course, the claim would be Apple spent money advertising that brand and others benefit from it...it wouldn't be right??? BTW, look up how Google defended itself from similar law sue from Geico years ago.
post #13 of 214
Classic
80 million iPhones by 2012. That's only 15% of the market.

http://www.iphonethailand.net
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80 million iPhones by 2012. That's only 15% of the market.

http://www.iphonethailand.net
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post #14 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo View Post

Funny. He's like "Whatever. Change the name. Punk".

More like "Change the name or I'll sue your ass."
Ahem-Steve obviously learned a thing or two over the years about lawsuits and names.
post #15 of 214
Is that this developer actually thought this would fly in the first place. If it was some other type of problem I would have been sympathetic, but he was flagrantly in violation of the trademark, so of COURSE they're going to have a problem with it. He should have been bending over backwards once legal got a hold of him, not trying to argue he should be able to keep the name. He's lucky he wasn't sued about it. Did he actually think they were going to go, "Well, okay, just for you buddy, we'll make a single exception."

Seriously. Blows my mind.
post #16 of 214
How exactly does one "email steve"? How do you get his email address?
post #17 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

How exactly does one "email steve"? How do you get his email address?

Maybe it was included with the cease and desist letter?
post #18 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

How exactly does one "email steve"? How do you get his email address?

I say just try the obvious:
jobs.steve@apple.com
post #19 of 214
Hm, if it's not that big of a deal, Steve, then why is Apple asking for the name change in the first place? \

It's not that big of a deal, right Steve? Right?? Steve??? Not that big of a deal????? Hello?? Can anybody hear me??? Not that big of a deal Apple??? So why the fuss Apple???? Steve????? Can we say, "hypocrisy?" Apparently it is a big deal to Apple, so why belittle it Stevieboy? Steve??? It's a bid deal for Apple???? Right??????? Steve?????? You there?

No answer! Steve's iPhone must be down, out of commission, no bars, no signal, dropped call because the cellular carrier HE said Apple would chose and fit their needs was AT&T (Cingular).

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #20 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Hm, if it's not that big of a deal, Steve, then why is Apple asking for the name change in the first place? \

It's not that big of a deal, right Steve? Right?? Steve??? Not that big of a deal????? Hello?? Can anybody hear me??? Not that big of a deal Apple??? So why the fuss Apple???? Steve????? Can we say, "hypocrisy?" Apparently it is a big deal to Apple, so why belittle it Stevieboy? Steve??? It's a bid deal for Apple???? Right??????? Steve?????? You there?

No answer! Steve's iPhone must be down, out of commission, no bars, no signal, dropped call because the cellular carrier HE said Apple would chose and fit their needs was AT&T (Cingular).

It's a trademark issue. A big deal in terms of the law. Not a big deal in terms of a dev changing the name in order to avoid legal troubles.
post #21 of 214
Perfect response by Steve. Just change the name. Moron.
post #22 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Hm, if it's not that big of a deal, Steve, then why is Apple asking for the name change in the first place? \

It's not that big of a deal, right Steve? Right?? Steve??? Not that big of a deal????? Hello?? Can anybody hear me??? Not that big of a deal Apple??? So why the fuss Apple???? Steve????? Can we say, "hypocrisy?" Apparently it is a big deal to Apple, so why belittle it Stevieboy? Steve??? It's a bid deal for Apple???? Right??????? Steve?????? You there?

No answer! Steve's iPhone must be down, out of commission, no bars, no signal, dropped call because the cellular carrier HE said Apple would chose and fit their needs was AT&T (Cingular).

Hey Einstein, changing the name is not that big of a deal. Keeping it is. Everyone got it, why not you?
post #23 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

How exactly does one "email steve"? How do you get his email address?

Try sjobs@apple.com If you do get a response, it may be from one of his henchmen.
post #24 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

More like "Change the name or I'll sue your ass."
.

While trying to be you usual smarta** and point out the obvious you got it all wrong again

"Change the name or I'll sue your ass" is what the lawyer's letter had already said.
post #25 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple requested they change the name of their application iPodRip, which had been around since 2003.

I can see how the developer wanted to keep the name he's been using for years, but he really should have known better in the first place. I'm actually surprised Apple hadn't sent him cease and desist letters long before he ever created an iPhone version of his app. He's basically been a squatter since 2003 and now is being asked to move off their property.
post #26 of 214
Steve Jobs has really devolved into an asshole -- a fuckhead to the highest degree.

I really can't wait until there's a real competitor to Apple. Apple and Steve Jobs have become arrogant little pricks.

A preemptive fuck you to anyone that disagrees with me. Yes, that means *YOU*.
post #27 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

Steve Jobs has really devolved into an asshole -- a fuckhead to the highest degree.

I really can't wait until there's a real competitor to Apple. Apple and Steve Jobs have become arrogant little pricks.

A preemptive fuck you to anyone that disagrees with me. Yes, that means *YOU*.

"devolved?" "have become?"

While I won't go as far as to say Jobs is "a fuckhead to the highest degree," I will say that Jobs has always been an "asshole" and "an arrogant little prick." Go to folklore.org and read the stories written by people who worked on the original Macintosh project and you'll see what I mean.
post #28 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by iStud View Post

While trying to be you usual smarta** and point out the obvious you got it all wrong again

"Change the name or I'll sue your ass" is what the lawyer's letter had already said.

Duh? And lawyer's usually work for and represent who?
Answer: Clients- and in this case Apple.

Hello?
post #29 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

Steve Jobs has really devolved into an asshole -- a fuckhead to the highest degree.

I really can't wait until there's a real competitor to Apple. Apple and Steve Jobs have become arrogant little pricks.

A preemptive fuck you to anyone that disagrees with me. Yes, that means *YOU*.

Well for one....there is no one competing on Apple's level. Name a company that provides the full hardware and software experience. Then offer such portable devices.

Apparently you have the proverbial "axe to grind".

Did Steve Job's personally piss in your cheerios© this morning?
post #30 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

How exactly does one "email steve"? How do you get his email address?

I remember noticing it in the cited topic of the firewire port, it was steve@apple.com.
post #31 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

How exactly does one "email steve"? How do you get his email address?

His e-mail address is actually steve@apple.com... Sometimes he'll reply...
post #32 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhetoric.assassin View Post

Well for one....there is no one competing on Apple's level. Name a company that provides the full hardware and software experience. Then offer such portable devices.

Apparently you have the proverbial "axe to grind".

Did Steve Job's personally piss in your cheerios© this morning?

No but I'm thinking about pissing in your cheerios tomorrow morning and make you eat them.
post #33 of 214
LOL

Not sent from my iPhone
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
Reply
post #34 of 214
If Motorola can't use "Droid" without permission, they can't use "iPod". Grow up.
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #35 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by mssteuer View Post

His e-mail address is actually steve@apple.com... Sometimes he'll reply...

also... steve@mac.com

he grabbed the first iTools email address, I got the second.
Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #36 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

No but I'm thinking about pissing in your cheerios tomorrow morning and make you eat them.

More like Apple Jacks.
post #37 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

Steve Jobs has really devolved into an asshole -- a fuckhead to the highest degree.

I really can't wait until there's a real competitor to Apple. Apple and Steve Jobs have become arrogant little pricks.

A preemptive fuck you to anyone that disagrees with me. Yes, that means *YOU*.

Now I am beginning to understand.

You've gotten the same letter before, i.e.,

Quote:
Change your name. Not that big of a deal.

Mom

Sent from my iSon
post #38 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Hm, if it's not that big of a deal, Steve, then why is Apple asking for the name change in the first place? \

You forget that there are two sides to the issue. If two guys are parked on the street talking to each other thus blocking the road. Someone would ask them to move off the road citing that it wouldn't be a big deal for them to do so. The fact that they are blocking the road is a a pretty big deal to the people that can't get by though.

Here Jobs is saying that changing the name of their app isn't a big deal. That doesn't mean that Apple protecting their trademarks isn't a big deal to Apple.
The key to enjoying these forums: User CP -> Edit Ignore List
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The key to enjoying these forums: User CP -> Edit Ignore List
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post #39 of 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It is quite obvious that we mean Apple no harm with the use of the name iPodRip, or of the inclusion of trademarked items in our icons, and in fact I believe that we have been providing an excellent secondary service to Apple customers that has potentially caused you many repeat clients.

Were I SJ, I wouldn't probably be able to answer that...

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #40 of 214
Well the letter is really overly long and the author comes off as a bit fawning in parts. Maybe Jobs wanted to make a point about brevity and how to use it.

There is also a grammatical mistake here: "... customers that has potentially caused you many repeat clients ..."

Personally, I would never, ever, send an email to Steve Jobs that wasn't perfectly formed at the very least. He's lucky he got an answer at all.
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