Cease And Desist (3/27/00)
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Another one bites the dust; as faithful viewer Ed Nelson reports, MacCards is no more. Do we detect the faint odor of Ninja Death Squad in the air? Nope, Apple's wetworks team is a lot more subtle than that-- they crash servers, sever network cables, intercept bandwidth payments, and make uncooperative webmasters "disappear" to get certain sites off the 'net. But MacCards was overtly shut down with a nasty letter, so what you're smelling there is the distinctive odor of Apple's lawyers.

MacCards, for those of you who missed it, was a site that specialized in e-cards "promoting the Macintosh and other Apple products." After almost a year online, last week the site's webmaster was notified by Apple Legal that MacCards was in violation of Apple's trademarks. Which, in fact, is undeniably true; the designs at MacCards featured every Apple trademark you can think of, including the Apple logo, the Mac OS smiley face, the phrase "Think Different," etc. MacCards was told to cease immediately or face a lawsuit. And while we agree with the webmaster that "wading into this situation waving a lawsuit" seems like "somewhat of an overreaction," our understanding is that in order for Apple to retain its legal rights regarding its intellectual property, that was pretty much the only thing they could have done.

We fully understand that Apple has to protect its trademarks and copyrights, or else it could lose them. We just think it's a bummer that, as things are, it wouldn't have been legally sufficient for Apple to call the MacCards guy and say, "hey, look, we love that you're promoting our products, but unfortunately, with the way trademark and copyright law exists today, we've got to tell you to stop." So we don't think it's right to cast Apple as the villains here, since their hands may well have been tied-- even if the shutdown of MacCards comes suspiciously soon after Apple's own iCards service debuted. Hey... wait a minute...


 
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The above scene was taken from the 3/27/00 episode:

March 27, 2000: You know it's spring, because the "Mac OS X on Intel" rumors are sprouting all over. Meanwhile, Apple's lawyers shut down the MacCards site, a mere two months after its own iCards site premiered, and Stephen King's Riding The Bullet finally surfaces for Mac users...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2182: The Grass Has Riz (3/27/00)   Spring has sprung-- heck, it sprang a week ago. But even though the Boston weather's been rather sunny and pleasant so far, we couldn't help but feel that something was missing. See, when winter's over, we just don't feel like we've shifted gears until one of the Classic Mac Rumors™ pokes its leafy green shoots out of the ground...

  • 2184: Downloading The Bullet (3/27/00)   Mac-using Stephen King fans, rejoice: a solution has materialized. When King's latest book, Riding The Bullet, was recently released only in e-book format, Mac users were left out in the cold...

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