After Apple released the special edition “U2 iPod,” someone bought one, added some songs from Negativeland, and tried to sell it on eBay as the “Special-Edition Negativeland vs. U2 iPod.” This got some attention at the time, but the auction disappeared, after Apple asked eBay to take it down — saying it violated their intellectual property rights. Wired News now says the same guy, Francis Hwang, is selling the iPod on his own website, while wondering what possible claim Apple could have over him selling stuff that he had purchased. This is an issue that’s only going to get more attention over the next few years as the rights of buyers gets increasingly confused thanks to things like EULAs and copy protection. Apple shouldn’t have any claim over it whatsoever, but in an age where everyone seems especially jumpy about intellectual property rights — just by claiming it was a violation, Hwang couldn’t sell a perfectly legal offering on eBay.
This is a sad trend. In the past Apple stopped trying to go after their base, just because of the PR effects. Now, are they reverting back to cease and desist tactics? and law suits?
Is it worth wrecking your community?
I would understand if someone was actually doing a Bad Thing, but geez.