Steve Jobs e-mails terse response to upset Apple developer

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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 I?m the co-owner of a small Mac shareware company named The Little App Factory and a long-term Apple customer and shareholder. I doubt you?re aware but we recently received a letter from a law firm working on Apple?s behalf instructing us that we had violated several of Apple?s 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 I?d 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
«13456711

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 219
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,588member
    nice.



    That told em
  • Reply 2 of 219
    Hmm, I think I can paraphrase that email:



    "STFU"





  • Reply 3 of 219
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 219
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 219
    Perfect response.
  • Reply 6 of 219
    Epic .
  • Reply 7 of 219
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Wow.

    and Wow.
  • Reply 8 of 219
    It wasn't that big of a deal, now was it? People are so complicated, like doh!
  • Reply 9 of 219
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 219
    takeotakeo Posts: 417member
    Funny. He's like "Whatever. Change the name. Punk".
  • Reply 11 of 219
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 219
    Classic
  • Reply 13 of 219
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 219
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 219
    How exactly does one "email steve"? How do you get his email address?
  • Reply 16 of 219
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    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?
  • Reply 17 of 219
    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:

    [email protected]
  • Reply 18 of 219
    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).
  • Reply 19 of 219
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 219
    Perfect response by Steve. Just change the name. Moron.
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