Apple threatens iBuzz sex toy maker with legal action

Love Labs, the maker of iBuzz, an iPod sex toy, claims to have received a letter from Apple Computer, Inc. which states in part, “Our client owns the copyright in all the images used in its ‘Silhouette’ advertising campaign and actively polices its rights in order to protect itself and its consumers… Certain images used on your website (http://www.ibuzz.co.uk) may have been copied or substantially copied from those in which our client own the copyright, without our client’s consent… Your use of such images amounts to copyright infringement.”

Love Labs responds on their website, “Crikey. That’s a serious allegation. As [Apple’s lawyers] point out, their client ‘would be entitled to issue court proceedings against you seeking an injunction to prevent any further infringement of their rights and an award of damages or an account of profits and costs.’ Scary stuff.”

Love Labs writes, “The only fly in their argument is that we know exactly where the silhouettes in the iBuzz animation came from – and they certainly didn’t come from Apple. Our friend Gordo (who lives up the road) created the images and he’s still got the PhotoShop files to prove it. He traced them from pictures in his collection of (his inverted commas) ‘free-to-air porn.”

“While there is arguably a similarity of style between the iBuzz animation and Apple’s, it is settled law that copyright does not subsist in mere style or technique (my counsel tells me). So we think the allegation is unfounded,” Love Labs writes.

Love Labs writes, “But the iBuzz Web site has been online for a year, so why bother to write to us now? I don’t think they’ve only just noticed the site. When Love Labs launched iBuzz in America in February 2006, we sent an iBuzz to Steve Jobs as a birthday present. It was returned to us with ‘Product not ordered!’ scrawled in large letters across the receipt. Heh.”

“So what are we going to do with iBuzz.co.uk and our rude silhouette animation? As far as Love Labs is concerned, we were just about to relaunch the iBuzz.co.uk Web site anyway (no, really). And we have a spangly new animation for iBuzz Two that we’re going to use instead. So we don’t actually need the objectionable animation any more,” Love Labs writes.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Richard” and “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

The Register also covers the story with, “Apple a-quiver over iPod vibrator copyright clash,” here.
Sadly, as Love Labs seems prepared to pull the, uh… offending animation, this story seems to have ended prematurely. We would have enjoyed seeing the back and forth between the lawyers as they brought a trial to climax.

Related articles:
Apple objects to Japanese ‘gPod’ trademark for women’s sex aid – November 09, 2006
Love Labs creates ‘iBuzz’ his-and-her vibrating sex toy accessory for Apple iPod – November 16, 2005

30 Comments

  1. would have been great publicity for iBuzz.

    Too bad they didn’t stand stiff to the pressure. You know ride it out for a while. Give a little back and counter sue for false and misleading accusations.
    Turn up the vib on PR. They really limped out of this one early in the game. They could have found a back door deal.

    Cheeky bugga’s.

  2. Best Post Award contestant thus far is…deedubya. Hmm, not many people who visit this site have a sense of humour. Then again, maybe it’s the sex thing.

    We need a dose of ZuneTang, or perhaps good ol’ Sputnik might help us out. Are you guys out there?

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