Apple demands Web sites kill iMac II pics

Naked iMac II spied on Web, then not, then back again, then not

Updated Apple today set its lawyers at the heels of a pair of Mac-oriented Web sites following the publication of a series of pictures showing the upcoming 'C2' iMac in its three configurations. US-based AppleInsider and German site MacNews both posted a shot of the 400MHz special edition iMac DV, with is sleek metallic silver casing, early this morning. MacNews also posted full-frontal shots of the standard C2 iMac in each of the five colour schemes the consumer computer currently ships in. A selection of 'from the rear' pics completed the selection. Soon after, however, Apple demanded the sites remove the pictures alleging their publication breached the company's copyrights. The lawyers are also believed to have threatened to sue for damages amounting to any loss Apple might take to iMac sales before the C2 machines are officially released. MacNews discretely removed the pics -- but AppleInsider made no bones about the fact that Apple had demanded the images be pulled from the site. Some of MacNews and AppleInsider's today appeared on a Dutch Mac site, but by early evening they too had been pulled at the request of Apple's lawyers. Apple's official line on rumours is not to comment, but the two sites' publication of the C2 pics clearly reveal the new iMac to be something more than mere speculation. That said, the published specifications of the new machines remain unofficial, and while the company can't now deny the existence of the C2, it can keep mum on what the boxes will contain. Apple's concern over the publication of the photos is understandable, and it does, after all, have a right to protect its intellectual property. However, with iMac sales tailing off -- at least in relation to other desktop PCs; the iMac has been missing from PC Data's list of the top five best-selling PCs in the US retail and mail order channels for the last two months -- it would be hard to prove that the appearance of the pics has harmed the company let alone to what degree. And Apple should take some comfort in the fact that users are clearly interested in the iMac and how it looks. When, for instance, was the last time anyone took a keen interest in what the next Compaq or Gateway box might look like? All of which is a sign that Apple really needs to get a move on and release the darn thing. ®

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