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Apple legal not amused by Steve Jobs figurine, halts $1,125 eBay sale

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Apple's legal team has taken apparently interest in sales of Steve Jobs figurines on eBay, canceling one listing that went to the highest bidder for $1,125.

A Canadian eBay seller contacted AppleInsider on Tuesday to share that they had sold a popular, rare Steve Jobs figurine on the bidding site. It went for a final price of $1,125, but eBay soon after allegedly canceled the listing.

A note from eBay indicated that the website had removed the listing due to a complaint received directly from Apple. It was said that the object "violates a celebrity's right of publicity."

"The rights owner or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the rights owner, Apple Inc., notified eBay that this listing violates intellectual property rights," the letter reads. "When eBay receives a report of this type of violation, we remove the listing to comply with the law."

That particular listing is no longer available on eBay. However, some figurines remain available for sale on eBay, calling into question whether Apple's legal action was an isolated incident, or evidence of a coming crackdown.

One listing on eBay reads "APPLE HAD ALL STEVE JOBS ACTION FIGURE AUCTIONS REMOVED! BUY IT NOW SO YOU CAN GET ONE! HURRY! NO GUARANTEE THAT THIS AUCTION WILL RUN A FULL DAY!"



The Steve Jobs figurine gained attention over the weekend, when one of them apparently sold on eBay for $2,500. The website MIC Gadget began selling them in November, but was promptly sent a cease and desist letter from Apple.

Apple's complaint to the website cited 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."

Source: eBay

The figurine shows Apple's chief executive in his trademark black mock turtleneck, blue jeans, and New Balance sneakers. He is shown holding up an iPhone, and is standing on a white Apple logo.

A charismatic figure who has legions of fans, Jobs is also very secretive with regards to his personal life. When Jobs experienced health troubles in recent years, he insisted that his condition was a "private matter."
post #2 of 35
He likes control.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"violates a celebrity's right of publicity."

Isn't publicity what every celebrity desires??!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's complaint to the website cited 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."

Hasn't Steve learned that laws don't matter! Health care not in the Constitution and a congressman says he doesn't care about the Constitution. Give you two guesses which party! Head of the IRS and Chairman of Ways and Means oversee projects that are far above their level to comprehend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A charismatic figure who has legions of fans, Jobs is also very secretive with regards to his personal life. When Jobs experienced health troubles in recent years, he insisted that his condition was a "private matter."

"private matter" - And yet it was only now that Apple took down the Wikileaks app? Incredible?!

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 #4 of 35
Apple defends its logo pretty vigorously. That's why they want to stop sales of the figurine.

If Steve Jobs were a famous actor, he could sue for an injunction against others profiting from his likeness without his permission. But he's a CEO, he gets paid $1 a year, and although he's a top-notch showman, he doesn't get paid for it.

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

He likes control.

And raising the asking price for products with an Apple logo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple

Isn't publicity what every celebrity desires??!

I think company executives are exempt from this to some extent though. TV and movie celebrities promote themselves heavily because they are the product they sell. Although Steve has said things like he 'wants to put a ding in the universe', I don't think it's that he wants his own identity to be that ding but what he does.

I kind of get that impression about all of the top people at Apple. They seem very private and are mainly passionate about what they do. We know very little about them and it's not a bad thing. Some people want their privacy and as individuals who don't promote themselves, I think they deserve it just as we would expect to.

It's easy to get into the frame of mind that people like Steve are different from people you see every day but they aren't. I don't think I'd like strangers to have plastic replicas of me in their house especially if the replica wasn't up to my standard. Those models don't look that good at all.

They could of course be planning to make future Mac recovery disks like this and they just want to kill the competition. The iMiniMe.
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

"private matter" - And yet it was only now that Apple took down the Wikileaks app? Incredible?!

Hello. Thanks for bringing in something that not only has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with what you've quoted, but is only intended to raise ire and pick up this train of conversation and throw it into the Pacific. Please don't post again until you've come up with something that makes sense within the context of this thread.

I mean, HONESTLY.

To be on-topic myself, health is a private matter. That Steve was sick should have been accurately and honestly reported as a function of his requirements as an executive and to the company. However, you (meaning anyone outside his family, facilities, and friends) have absolutely no right to know with what he is sick, much less have a 'play-by-play' on his recovery.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #7 of 35
long live Crapple ! the glorified phone seller.


lol
post #8 of 35
Apple's probably just upset that they didn't think of it first.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #9 of 35
Hello Steve Jobs,
big fan here.

I think someone has handed you an opportunity to make some real money to donate towards a transplant education fund. Come'on, you can work out some angle here that will make a lot of money , and you get to humble yourself and be a good sport for a good cause.

You can gronk that, can't ya?
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Apple defends its logo pretty vigorously. That's why they want to stop sales of the figurine.

They do, do that.
Quote:
If Steve Jobs were a famous actor, he could sue for an injunction against others profiting from his likeness without his permission. But he's a CEO, he gets paid $1 a year, and although he's a top-notch showman, he doesn't get paid for it.

It doesn't matter what they do for a living, you can be flipping burgers at Burger King but still have rights to your likeness. This is something people don't understand. Think about it why is modeling such a big business, not just for fashion but any sort of marketing.
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by 801 View Post

Hello Steve Jobs,
big fan here.

I think someone has handed you an opportunity to make some real money to donate towards a transplant education fund. Come'on, you can work out some angle here that will make a lot of money , and you get to humble yourself and be a good sport for a good cause.

You can gronk that, can't ya?

Good idea, but you probably mean "Grok" ...
post #12 of 35
As a long time eBay member, I reported two of the Steve Jobs Figure auctions as being in violation of eBay Infringement policies. It's not in eBay's best interest to allow counterfeit or unlicensed items to be auctioned. Other members likely filed complaints as well. The following is the content of eBay's email to me:

We will review the listing(s) you have reported for violations of our
Potentially Infringing Items policies. In order to keep eBay a safe and
fun place to trade, we often rely on members like you to bring such
violations to our attention.

In light of our privacy policy, we cannot share with you any action
taken by eBay with respect to this listing. If we determine that the
listing violates eBay policy, we may:

1. Send the seller an informational alert;
2. Remove the listing; or
3. Suspend the seller.

Account suspensions are usually reserved for those sellers that
repeatedly disregard policy.

If the item you reported does not appear on its face to be infringing,
we may refer it to the intellectual property rights owner for review. If
the rights owner has a good faith belief that the item is infringing,
they may choose to send eBay a formal request to remove the listing. For
more information on eBay's cooperation with rights owners, please visit:


http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidenc...s-vero-ov.html

For more information on eBay's Potentially Infringing Items policies,
please visit:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/item_allowed.html

In order for us to get to you in a timely manner, please do not respond
to this email. If you reply to this message we will not receive your
email. All communications should be sent through the link provided
above.

Thank you for your report.

Regards,

The eBay Community Watch Team
post #13 of 35
One defense that seems easy in this case is defending the figurine as parody, which enjoys a special protection thanks to case law (court rulings). I think that it would be a slam-dunk to argue that parodying Jobs as the swell-headed, iPhone hawking huckster portrayed by the figurines was a form parody and, thus, constitutionally protected.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmaxwell View Post

One defense that seems easy in this case is defending the figurine as parody, which enjoys a special protection thanks to case law (court rulings). I think that it would be a slam-dunk to argue that parodying Jobs as the swell-headed, iPhone hawking huckster portrayed by the figurines was a form parody and, thus, constitutionally protected.

Obviously, you are not a lawyer. You have the right of free speech confused with property rights.

At least I hope you're not a lawyer, please tell me you are not.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Apple defends its logo pretty vigorously. That's why they want to stop sales of the figurine.

If Steve Jobs were a famous actor, he could sue for an injunction against others profiting from his likeness without his permission. But he's a CEO, he gets paid $1 a year, and although he's a top-notch showman, he doesn't get paid for it.

In my opinion, the logo issue is (or should be) more significant than the likeness, though the likeness issue shouldn't be ignored. Given that a California law has been cited for this in a previous story, and eBay is based in California, they probably have to cancel because of the likeness issue as well.

The odd thing is, the posted note explaining the cancellation only mentions the "celebrity's right of publicity", not the trademarked logo. The formatting is such that it implies support for more than one reason for cancellation in the message, but only one was given.
post #16 of 35
you can still sell pieces of toast or globs of grease or knots in a plank that look like jesus, right?
post #17 of 35
Steve probably paid the guy in Canada like $10,000 for it, got the listing taken down, and then incinerated the thing.

Imagine if it were a Steve Ballmer goatse figurine though? You could store your paperclips and stuff in there and it'd make a nice conversation piece at the office. Maybe they could bundle them with brown Zunes.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by starburst View Post

Obviously, you are not a lawyer. You have the right of free speech confused with property rights.

At least I hope you're not a lawyer, please tell me you are not.

No, I am not a lawyer, but I have a very keen understanding of the law -- which you obviously do not. Why do you think that parody songs can be sold for profit without any royalties being paid to the original artist who wrote the melody? Are you even aware of the Supreme Court case brought against the creators of a commercial parody of Gone With The Wind? The court sided with the parody creators. You ought to do some reading before you post silly things like that.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by starburst View Post

As a long time eBay member, I reported two of the Steve Jobs Figure auctions as being in violation of eBay Infringement policies. It's not in eBay's best interest to allow counterfeit or unlicensed items to be auctioned. Other members likely filed complaints as well. The following is the content of eBay's email to me:

We will review the listing(s) you have reported for violations of our
Potentially Infringing Items policies. In order to keep eBay a safe and
fun place to trade, we often rely on members like you to bring such
violations to our attention.

In light of our privacy policy, we cannot share with you any action
taken by eBay with respect to this listing. If we determine that the
listing violates eBay policy, we may:

1. Send the seller an informational alert;
2. Remove the listing; or
3. Suspend the seller.

Account suspensions are usually reserved for those sellers that
repeatedly disregard policy.

If the item you reported does not appear on its face to be infringing,
we may refer it to the intellectual property rights owner for review. If
the rights owner has a good faith belief that the item is infringing,
they may choose to send eBay a formal request to remove the listing. For
more information on eBay's cooperation with rights owners, please visit:


http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidenc...s-vero-ov.html

For more information on eBay's Potentially Infringing Items policies,
please visit:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/item_allowed.html

In order for us to get to you in a timely manner, please do not respond
to this email. If you reply to this message we will not receive your
email. All communications should be sent through the link provided
above.

Thank you for your report.

Regards,

The eBay Community Watch Team

I hope you get a merrit badge from Steve himself!!!
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Isn't publicity what every celebrity desires??!

Yes, but outside of news items, they reserve the right to control who makes money off their name or image

Remember that Hollywood is a big industry in Cali. Without these kinds of laws, actors can't secure their living. Without that control I could, for example, make a digital version of the kid from Twilight, digitally recreate his voice etc and put him in as many movies as I wish. And he couldn't stop me. I could amass a not so small fortune off all the Twifreaks that folk to see him.

In the case of do nothing Celebs, control of their likeness is even more important because that literally is their living.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #21 of 35
Laugh a little Steve. The man is becoming unbearable. I want the 1998 Steve back!
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post

Laugh a little Steve. The man is becoming unbearable. I want the 1998 Steve back!

I'd prefer 1978 Steve.
post #23 of 35
I once dropped a deuce that looked a little like Bill Gates. I bet I could have sold it on eBay.
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by starburst View Post

As a long time eBay member, I reported two of the Steve Jobs Figure auctions as being in violation of eBay Infringement policies. It's not in eBay's best interest to allow counterfeit or unlicensed items to be auctioned. Other members likely filed complaints as well. The following is the content of eBay's email to me:

We will review the listing(s) you have reported for violations of our
Potentially Infringing Items policies. In order to keep eBay a safe and
fun place to trade, we often rely on members like you to bring such
violations to our attention.

In light of our privacy policy, we cannot share with you any action
taken by eBay with respect to this listing. If we determine that the
listing violates eBay policy, we may:

1. Send the seller an informational alert;
2. Remove the listing; or
3. Suspend the seller.

Account suspensions are usually reserved for those sellers that
repeatedly disregard policy.

If the item you reported does not appear on its face to be infringing,
we may refer it to the intellectual property rights owner for review. If
the rights owner has a good faith belief that the item is infringing,
they may choose to send eBay a formal request to remove the listing. For
more information on eBay's cooperation with rights owners, please visit:


http://pages.ebay.com/help/confidenc...s-vero-ov.html

For more information on eBay's Potentially Infringing Items policies,
please visit:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/item_allowed.html

In order for us to get to you in a timely manner, please do not respond
to this email. If you reply to this message we will not receive your
email. All communications should be sent through the link provided
above.

Thank you for your report.

Regards,

The eBay Community Watch Team

Dude thats kind of a jerk off thing to do no offense \
Late 2008 Unibody MacBook
32GB iPad Wifi+3G
16GB iPhone
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Late 2008 Unibody MacBook
32GB iPad Wifi+3G
16GB iPhone
Reply
post #25 of 35
Because they had their own Jobs figurine coming out in the spring?
This may be Steve's Tom-Cruise-on-the-couch moment if he isn't careful;
stock dives, Jobs bobble head figures appear in car windows.
He can't drive anywhere without seeing these ridiculous things in the
car in front of him...

I wonder if they could do anything if you took the figure as is and
replaced the head with an apple that has a bite taken out of it?

Now that would be a good bobble head figure..
post #26 of 35
Starburts imagines iInc calling on His behalf with some job offer: a "we need men like you" scenario;
this great acuity of marketplace sensitivity deserving high merit; senior VP of iMedia Control.
Summoned forthwith to Cupertino to appear before the great and powerful,
cringe and scrape ye before the iPresence.

Instead two weeks later a letter comes with a coupon for five free iTunes downloads.
The note just says "Thanks!" and at the bottom it's that well-known email address
instead of a signature.
post #27 of 35
bedouin : Hi, i'm the guy who reported that (and I still have the Famous CEO Action Figure). Steve did not pay 10000$, I would have take it !!!! hehe
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by starburst View Post

As a long time eBay member, I reported two of the Steve Jobs Figure auctions as being in violation of eBay Infringement policies. It's not in eBay's best interest to allow counterfeit or unlicensed items to be auctioned. Other members likely filed complaints as well. The following is the content of eBay's email to me:

People like you make the world and eBay worse day after day. This kind of ass licking is unbelievable. And copy/pasting a canned response shows a lot about you.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadkid08 View Post

Dude thats kind of a jerk off thing to do no offense \

... and someone reported it, I suppose you'd call him a jerkoff, too, eh?

It amazes me how some folks think that it's okay to violate other people's basic rights just because they're "famous" or wealthy or successful or well loved or much hated or whatever and have the audacity to label someone's action "jerk off" when they call out someone else's crime (yeah, it's technically a crime).

Dude, I hope you never have to deal with cracking down on people illegally trying to cash in on your life's work while the unwashed masses - who have no clue - stand around calling people names for trying to defend your rights. No offense.
post #30 of 35
label it art, make the next one of Jobs dressed as a woman, tell Apple to piss off.

PROBLEM SOLVED.
post #31 of 35
Frankly I'd sue eBay and Apple over this...

So what now, selling celebrity autographed items on eBay is now also illegal due to a 'celebrity's right of publicity'?

Sad that Apple is now the new Microsoft.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadkid08 View Post

Dude thats kind of a jerk off thing to do no offense \

He just made the mini-Steve A LOT more valuable though.
A is A
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A is A
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post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

... Health care not in the Constitution and a congressman says he doesn't care about the Constitution. ...

First of all, he said he doesn't, "worry about the Constitution." Otherwise, this is just another example of the right wing propaganda machine gone wild.

Secondly, there are plenty of things that are not specifically in the Constitution. For example, the Constitution doesn't say that murder or rape should be illegal. According to your logic and argument, laws against murder and rape are unconstitutional. Now, is that a society you want to live in, or are you ready to admit that a strict and literal interpretation of the Constitution as the guide to what can, and only what can, be done is absurd?
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It was said that the object "violates a celebrity's right of publicity."

Translated: "We're not amused because we didn't get royalties from it."

post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

First of all, he said he doesn't, "worry about the Constitution." Otherwise, this is just another example of the right wing propaganda machine gone wild.

Secondly, there are plenty of things that are not specifically in the Constitution. For example, the Constitution doesn't say that murder or rape should be illegal. According to your logic and argument, laws against murder and rape are unconstitutional. Now, is that a society you want to live in, or are you ready to admit that a strict and literal interpretation of the Constitution as the guide to what can, and only what can, be done is absurd?

Thank you.
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