Flutterby™! : First as Tragedy, next as Farce

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First as Tragedy, next as Farce

2011-02-08 15:27:55.077632+00 by petronius 4 comments

Speaking of Super Bowl ads: Many have approved of the Motorola Ad which features Apple robots wandering around with earbuds attached, a gentle satire on the justifiably famous Macintosh 1984 ad. However, there is a strange backstory, where Apple cultism collided with literary cultism.

According to the Chicago Tribune, in 1984 the guy who owned the film and TV rights to Orwell's novel (and who produced the well-received 1984 remake with Richard Burton) actually sent a cease-and-desist letter to Apple for violating his copyright. Apparently Apple never bothered to reply, and since the ad was never officially re-aired, nobody ever followed up. It now appears that the lawyers for the estate of the owner were carfully watching Sunday's ad to be ready to pounce on Motorola if need be. Its still wonderful that the company that did the original ad has ended up as the most closed-end, anal defender of their prerogatives since IBM in its heyday.

[ related topics: Apple Computer Technology and Culture Television Civil Liberties Sports Macintosh Copyright/Trademark ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2011-02-09 06:49:01.118946+00 by: ebradway

A the lawyers going to flay the copyright infringers with their earbuds?

#Comment Re: made: 2011-02-08 19:28:18.811403+00 by: petronius

The shakey legal ground here is about as solid as it gets. Apparently anything short of paranoid patrolling of your copyrights is considered nearly legal malpractice. Certainly that's the idea the lawyers are peddling to the owners of those rights, and the occasional kerfluffle is just good advertising. Its like the time many years ago that "60 Minutes" tracked down a totally abusive collections agency who was mercilessly harrassing debtors. Even though they were probably violating the law, their business increased as creditors decided that a few attack dogs might be just the thing to try.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-02-08 19:07:43.574952+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh, I also wonder how many levels of meta deep the 1984 as an ebook reference is there, given the kerfluffle over 1984 and Amazon's book licensing.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-02-08 16:13:39.9937+00 by: Dan Lyke

Wow! I *love* *love* *love* that Motorola is positioning their tablet as a creation device, because that's so directly counter to how the iPad is designed. Awesome!

I'm no entertainment lawyer, but I think there'd be shaky ground there as both of them just reference 1984, not excerpt it.