John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple Wants to Keep Jobs Figure Out of Action

If you preordered a “Super Realistic Steve Jobs 12-Inch Collectible Figure” from In Icons, hoping to someday pit it against your Action-Arm Steve Ballmer (chair sold separately) or place it in a home shrine alongside other Apple devotional items, don’t get your hopes up. The Chinese manufacturer has run afoul of Apple.

The Telegraph reports that Apple has slapped In Icons with a cease and desist order, claiming the creepily realistic figure violates its copyrights and trademarks. The $99.99 figure is currently available for preorder from In Icons with an expected shipping date of sometime in February.

If it ships at all.

Apple has taken exception to Jobs action figures in the past and succeeded in keeping them off the market. In 2010, it prevented the Hong Kong-based M.I.C. Gadget Store from selling a figurine of the Apple co-founder, arguing that the use of Jobs’s likeness was unauthorized and a violation of California law.

The company will undoubtedly take a similar tack here, though it may have a bigger fight on its hands this time around. In Icons CEO Tandy Cheung says he has no plans to pull the Jobs action figure off the market.

“Apple can do anything they like,” Cheung told ABC News. “I will not stop; we already started production. Steve Jobs is not an actor, he’s just a celebrity. … There is no copyright protection for a normal person. Steve Jobs is not a product. … so I don’t think Apple has the copyright of him.”

We’ll see, I guess.

Should the Jobs action figure actually make it to market, In Icons probably shouldn’t count on too much revenue from accessories. I mean, how many black turtlenecks does a doll need?

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik