Feeds

Apple legal threat to Steve Jobs doll deemed 'bogus'

'Personality rights' die when we do

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

It appears that Apple's threatened lawsuit against the Chinese manufacturer of a Steve Jobs action figure may be baseless. At least in the US. At least in most states.

"Apple's legal claim is largely bogus," writes Jeff Roberts for the digital-content watchdog, paidContent.org.

The interwebs were abuzz on Thursday about The Telegraph's report that Apple had sent a letter to the doll-making firm, In Icons, which said in part that the company's use of late Apple cofounder's likeness was a "criminal offense".

Not so, says Roberts – and he presents a rather convincing case for the bogosity of Cupertino's claim that the company owns the rights to Jobs' likeness.

While we the living do, indeed, own the rights to our own likenessess, such rights may cease when we slough off this mortal coil. "Under American law," Roberts writes, "so-called 'personality rights' exist only at the state level – there is no federal law. And only about a dozen states recognize image rights after death."

Interestingly, one of those states is Jobs' birthplace of California, the most populous state in the US. The second most populus state, Texas, also has some protection for the personality rights of the dead, but the third most populous state, New York, provides no protection whatsover.

In addition, Apple may have no rights to Jobs' name either. As Roberts points out, Apple's own list of the 178 terms for which it enjoys trademark rights doesn't have its cofounder's name on it. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.