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Apple Goes After the Term 'Podcast' 419

Udo Schmitz writes "Earlier this year, Apple went up against companies using the word 'pod' in their product names. Now, Apple is going after the term 'podcasting'. Wired has the complete text of Apple's cease-and-desist letter to Podcast Ready." From the article: "Robert Scoble -- whose own company, PodTech, may be at risk in this witch hunt -- has weighed in on the issue by suggesting that the tech community as a whole adopt other terms like "audiocast" and 'videocast' (or alternately, 'audcast' and 'vidcast') to describe this type of content, while other folks feel that fighting Apple and generating a ton of negative press for Cupertino is the best solution. Our take? Apple should be happy that its golden goose is getting so much free publicity, and if it isn't, we know of several companies that probably wouldn't mind if zencast, zunecast, or sansacast became the preferred terminology."
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Apple Goes After the Term 'Podcast'

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  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) * <> on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:17AM (#16198845) Homepage Journal
    I guess I won't be able to drink coffee [], take photos [] and work on my ninja talents [].

    Trademarks are ridiculous when they're normal, everyday words. While I don't support trademark law, I can understand "Xerox," but pod? Come on.
    • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:22AM (#16198903)
      Didn't Apple basically ignore "podcasting" when it first started? Why would they bother to chase down people who are creating content that makes iTunes Store more attractive for those of us that couldn't give a shit about DRM music?

      I use iTunes for playing music and podcasts but I haven't visited the Music Store before iTunes 7 in a *long* time. Now that they are really pushing podcasting content on there, I'm all about finding free media.

      Don't piss off your userbase Apple, you should know better.
    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by itistoday ( 602304 )
      Worse still is that Apple is shooting themselves in the foot with this maneuver. It's better for their sales if the word "Pod" is on the tips of everyone's tongue; they're just killing of free advertising.
    • by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:36AM (#16199117)
      The problem is that "podcasting" comes directly from the iPod name and confuses a vast majority of consumers. Unlike possibly a pod of whales [], here the term actually is confusing and misleading. You would think that Apple would like the public thinking that podcasting is dependent upon (or has anything to do with) iPods, but I think their fear is that the term commoditizes iPods. They don't want iPod to become the next pliers, band-aid, or other generic term that was once a trademarked brand name. Moreover, they don't want people who ask for iPods for Christmas to get their competitors' products.
      • by cfulmer ( 3166 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:49AM (#16199291) Homepage Journal
        I dispute the second half of your premise -- I haven't found anybody who is both (1) familiar with the term and (2) associates it with Apple.

        I'd argue that the word "podcast" is already generic -- are there any audio blogs that don't call themselves podcasts?

        • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @11:05AM (#16199583) Journal
          I think you've just argued Apple's point for them. The word "iPod" is clearly and appropriately associated with Apple, and they have a trademark on it. The word "podcast" comes directly from "iPod," and yet isn't associated with them. A lawyer could easily argue that this is dilution of trademark.

          (Warning: IANAL)

          Another thing to remember: trademark isn't like copyright. Copyright requires no special action for you to initiate: your works are copyrighted to you, unless you sign those rights over to someone else, and copyright notices only serve to notify the people of your right. Trademarks, on the other hand, need to be registered and filed, often in multiple countries if you're a big company. In the US, if you get a trademark and don't defend infringements upon it in court, the courts can hold that your trademark has been invalidated.

          So in other words: if Apple doesn't do this, they may risk losing the trademark on the word "iPod." I think you can understand why they'd consider this bad.

          I'd argue that the word "podcast" is already generic -- are there any audio blogs that don't call themselves podcasts?

          Uh - yes [].
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Manitcor ( 218753 )
            the word "podcast" was first used back in early 2004, now how can Apple claim that this term hasnt already become part of the general vocab. I think this might be muddy. If they didnt want people dubbing thier works podcasts then apple should have jumped on it back in early 2004 when it started not over 2 years later.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by budgenator ( 254554 )
            The trademark for PODS, Portable On-demand Storage Systems is owned by Portable On-demand Storage Systems [], isn't that what an Ipod does, stores audio and video until demanded in a portable device?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by misleb ( 129952 )

          I dispute the second half of your premise -- I haven't found anybody who is both (1) familiar with the term and (2) associates it with Apple.

          When I first heard the term "podcast" I immediately thought it had something to do with the iPod. I thought it was some thing that iTunes did in in conjunction with an iPod to broadcast music on the internet (or maybe to your stereo). Sure, I eventually learned that this was not the case, but the poitn is that my initial thought associated podcast with the iPod. I wo

    • by LordEd ( 840443 )
      You also won't be invaded by aliens [] this week either.
    • by rjcarr ( 1002407 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @11:03AM (#16199553)
      Didn't Adam Curry more or less "invent" the term podcast? It was always my understanding that it stood for Personal On Demand Broadcast. Sure, not a great definition and a suspicious use of the term "pod", but justification nontheless. And how can apple complain now that they've host all sorts of third-party podcasts in iTunes for a while, and they clearly use the term "podcast". Doesn't seem like they are consistent at all.
      • by soliptic ( 665417 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @12:54PM (#16201185) Journal
        No. Making POD == "Personal on demand" was a lame backronym [] invented by Creative, trying to crowbar themselves into the picture when its quite obvious the "pod" in "podcast" refers to an iPod.*

        The "inventer" of the word (apparently a Ben Hammersley, not Adam Curry, but... meh) actually responded to Creative on this point in one of the funniest putting-corporation-in-its-place responses I have seen:
        Creative are talking rot. The pod in 'podcast' was obviously and blatantly meant to refer to the iPod. The accusation that I'd use such a clumsy acronym invites another one: stfu, kthxbye.
        Source: here []

        (* I am listening to my beloved Zen as I type this, and I don't like or own any Apple goods, so I'm not being a fanboy, I just genuinely think that was a lame thing for Creative to try...)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by MS-06FZ ( 832329 )
      I guess I won't be able to drink coffee []...

      Dude, if Apple were to destroy Coffe Pod, you should thank them. Have you ever had pod coffee? It is nasty.
    • by xigxag ( 167441 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @11:23AM (#16199849)
      I wonder how useful this kind of aggressive C&Ding is in actually protecting one's market share? I mean, let's say Apple lost trademark protection over the word "iPod," and it becomes a generic term. They're still the Apple iPod. They've still got the domain. They can still call themselves "The Original iPod." They've still got iTunes and their proprietary DRM. And they still have control over the lion's share of the market. As long as they still have their product design and logo trademarked, nobody will mistake a knock-off iPod with the real thing, and any company that starts calling its player an iPod is just setting itself up for a poor comparison with the real thing, and at best anonymity, at worst, disrepute.

      For a contrast, look at what happened to Xerox. They once had a commanding lead in photocopies, so much that their name nearly became verbed. They no longer suffer that threat, thanks to their efforts to protect their trademark. But neither do they have their commanding lead any more.

      Hmm, looks like someone else [] wondered about this before I did.
      • by akahige ( 622549 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @12:33PM (#16200871)
        This is not a Cease and Desist order. It's a polite request to withdraw a trademark filing application. Didn't you bother to read TFA? Of course, the /. editors didn't bother to do that before posting the story, and the guys who wrote the Wired blog entry don't seem to understand the letter, either. All they did was see the words "Apple" and "IPod" and recognize that the letter is from a law firm and instantly work themselves into a tizzy.

        To sum up for those that can't be bothered: Apple owns the trademarks "IPOD" and "POD". These people filed a trademark application which incorporates those existing trademarks in their proposed trademarks. Apple would like them to withdraw the application. It's all part of the process. No harm, no foul. That's why you don't instantly get trademarks -- they go through this sort of review and examination process.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by saddino ( 183491 )
      Trademarks are ridiculous when they're normal, everyday words.


      these don't bother you?
    • 2001 redux (Score:4, Funny)

      by MrFlibbs ( 945469 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @12:56PM (#16201215)
      "Open the pod bay doors, Hal."

      "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that. Steve Jobs won't let me."
  • About Time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joshetc ( 955226 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:18AM (#16198859)
    I'm so glad to see them doing this. I must say the term "podcast" has to be one of the most annoying buzzwords I've ever heard.
    • by TopShelf ( 92521 )
      So what would be a proper alternative? Something like "webcast" perhaps?
    • by ari_j ( 90255 )
      As long as you keep all forms and derivatives of "blog" on the list, I'll agree that "podcast" is one of the most annoying buzzwords in use.
  • by richdun ( 672214 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:19AM (#16198861)
    Sony has announced it is going after the words "walk" and "man," though a couple decades late. Come on, had to make this into an anti-Sony argument. Just wouldn't feel right...
    • OK, I'll bite (Score:4, Insightful)

      by WebCowboy ( 196209 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @11:18AM (#16199751)
      Come on, had to make this into an anti-Sony argument. Just wouldn't feel right.

      I'd be happy to oblige...

      Sony, in fact, HAS vigourously defended [] its "walkman" trademark right from the beginning (right from the beginning, not "a couple of decades late"--I remember when Sony went after a Canadian electronics store for advertising a sale on "personal stereos" made by Sony's competitors as a "Walkman Sale" back in the mid 1980s). Sony is amongst the most agressive defenders of trademark in the world, and unfortunately it seems Apple is following in its footsteps and threatening a world of hurt for anyone naming their handheld products /*pod*/ or /^i*/.

      I understand why Apple defends their industrial designs as they are tangible characteristics of Apple products and a lot of time, effort and money is put into the look, shape and usability features. It seems really unfair that Apple should spend so much time making a Mac look like a Mac just to have some goofily-named Taiwanese plastics company barf out replica cases jury-rigged to accomodate generic PC motherboards. But claiming ownership of the word "pod" or the 9th letter of the alphabet? That is just petty and greedy. Compete on the merits of your product, not on some silly brand name, and let the fledgling market for accessories to your products thrive. Sure brand dilution is a valid concern, but lets be realistic--Xerox is still around even as its coporate marque bacame a noun and verb in the dictionary. Kimberly-clark continues to make a lot of money with Kleenex even though everyone calls all sorts of other tissues Kleenex out of habit and Google continues to thrive even as its identity has come to mean "search the internet" in general.

      Sometimes a little brand dilution can be a good thing. Yes, I understand Apple wants to make sure some cheap-ass purveyor of junky accessories doesn't pretend to be affiliated with Apple but there are other approaches to take. For example licensing terms could be kept relaxed and Apple could have a little "Apple approved" logo for 3rd party manufacturers (like "intel inside" or the "VHS logo" or "Designed for Windows"). Consumers would then know it was a 3rd party product but that it met Apple's quality standards...and forget about fighting the junky stuff unless they fraudulently use the "Apple approved" logo. Done right this can work quite well--it helped VHS beat Beta for example. Let "Podcasting" and "iThingy" and "PodPouch" and whatever other pod-wannabes and i-philes survive and thrive.

      In the abcense of common sense though, let me propose an alternative to the word "podcasting". "Audcasting" and "vidcasting" are even dumber sounding and limiting (it implies only moving video or sound, not a combination of media). "Zunecasting" just helps Microsoft marketing and MS needs none of our help there. So, how about PEERCASTING. The term BROADCASTING covers all sorts of media distributed from one central point to widespread areas simultaneously, so PEERCASTING would be an apt description of what we call podcasting now--distribution of media from one point to other, individual points on-demand. Peercastig is already used by a few people to refer to distribution via BitTorrent or other P2P networks and podcasting isn't THAT far off in overall concept.
  • Good luck apple. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:19AM (#16198863) Homepage
    It is a generic term now and only a judge that is either mentially retarted or paid by apple to be corrupt would see it any other way.

    On the other hand, is the management at apple losing their grip? they should have told the legal department to back off on things that benefit them heavily.
  • by rwven ( 663186 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:22AM (#16198895)
    In response to Apple's ridiculous stand on "podcast," CBS is now referring to their "podcasts" as "netcasts." []
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by multisync ( 218450 )
      In response to Apple's ridiculous stand on "podcast," CBS is now referring to their "podcasts" as "netcasts."

      Fishermen are consulting with their lawyers.
  • Didn't Google almost do the same thing? (I think they only made a statement of discontent with the liberal use of the 'verb', "google".) This should elicit the same response: Apple should be happy that the ever growing lexicon of the English language is practically doing their marketing for them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DAldredge ( 2353 )
      google owns the rights to the word google while apple doesn't own the rights to the term podcast.
    • At least "google" is the name of google, the company. Did Apple even coin the term "podcast" itself?
    • Not the same. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by argent ( 18001 ) <peter@slashdot . ... t a r o> on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:37AM (#16199131) Homepage Journal
      Google originated the term "google" in the context of search engines. And they do go after businesses who used the term "google" in ways that implied a connection to Google.

      Apple didn't originate the term "podcast" in the context of downloaded radio programs. Here they are going after a company using it in that context... but ALSO using another term (myPodder) that's a clear infringment of the trademarks Apple has claimed.

      It's not at all clear that Apple is claiming the term "podcast", and if they did they wouldn't have as nearly as strong a position as Google.
  • Pod nazis? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:23AM (#16198907) Homepage Journal
    Is this just a bit over the top? The wording of the cease and desist letter is vague enough that they could replace "PodCast Ready" (an LLC) any company or product name that contains the word "Pod", or any word that is "phonetically similar" to Pod. Not to mention that they have a trademark pending for the word "Pod" even though the have no product, branch, or line under the name "Pod".

    It's crap like this that would make me buy a Zen and call it my "F!Pod".

  • Our take? Apple should be happy blahblah blah blah blahblah!"


    First you bitch about the baby, now you bitch 'cause we're not married! What's it gonna take to shut you the hell up...?
  • So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Codger ( 96717 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:24AM (#16198931)
    Looks to me like Apple is going after companies trying to profit from their trademark. They're not going after the term Podcasting in general use, they're simply trying to stop companies from using the term in for-profit activities. The term obviously refers to iPods, so it makes sense to me that Apple would defend their trademark in this way.

    Moderation: -1, Apple Fan-Boi

    • by Trillan ( 597339 )
      Yes, it's one thing to use the term. It's quite another to name your company using it.
    • Unfortunately for apple...they dont own the trademark on Podcast so they might want to stop pretending they do.
    • Apples going to have problems with this case. Had they acted quickly they might have a case. But they have let the public go around freely using the term Podcast for almost 2 years now. Its too late your trademark has already been dilluted, atleast insomuch as Podcast goes.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The letter is clear enough:

      ...While Apple, of course, has no general objection to proper use of the descriptive term "podcast" as part of a trademark for goods and services offered in the podcasting field, it cannot allow marks that go beyond this legitimate use and infringe on Apple's rights in POD and IPOD...

      They aren't complaining about podcasting, they just don't want a company that's called "mypodder", since that'd be alarmingly close to iPod according to them. Podcasting is okay. They even state

  • but doesn't Cupertino deserve a sarcast for this?
  • Devil's Advocate (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SiO2 ( 124860 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:25AM (#16198949) Homepage
    I know most of the slashdot crowd is going to deride this move on Apple's part as completely stupid. I agree to a certain extent. However, consider the fact that if a trademark holder does not vigorously defend their trademark, they stand to lose it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by teh loon ( 974951 )
      This seems to be similar to what Google was doing a while ago.
      However, I don't think podcast is an actual apple trademark, so I'm not too sure if one can treat this case like the Google's case.
    • Except that they do no hold the trademark on the words 'pod' or 'podcast'.

      I think your reality check bounced.

  • by Dr. Hok ( 702268 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:27AM (#16198967)
    Enough is enough, the young Jedi reportedly said,I convert to the dark side of the force!
  • I guess they're worried about "iPod" becoming a generic term — if I could demonstrate that "pod" just meant "audio file" or "MP3 player", I might also be able to argue that just adding a lower-case i to the beginning of the word doesn't really make it a distinguishing mark.

    But the widespread use of the (clearly generic) term "podcast" gets Apple's iPod brand plenty of credibility and exposure. By moving against a potential threat, they risk stifling a guaranteed benefit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:28AM (#16198989)
    No offense to anyone here, but this article caught a little bit of speed elsewhere by the title, when in reality, Apple is going after the use of iPod (a registered trademark), but nowhere in the letter is it indicated that 'podcasting' is not to be used. Please read the cease and desist letter. Hopefully someone will update the headline so that the title is more reflective of what's going on here...seems like the other company involved may be trying to garner sympathy from the "big, bad" apple. Apple is perfectly within their right to protect their product's trademark.

    • Apple is perfectly within their right to protect their product's trademark.

      Actually, they have to defend it. IANAL, but I think you have to enforce your trademarks in this manner, otherwise you might risk loosing them.
    • You're right (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Udo Schmitz ( 738216 )
      They don't subject to the term "podcasting". I read that somewhere, but didn't check it.

      But some problem could be that /. has a funny understanding of editing. Here's my original submission:

      While news are out that Apple wants to stop companies [] from using terms like "podcast" or "pod", Wired has the complete text [] of Apple's cease-and-desist letter to Podcast Ready. Obviously Apple is under the delusion that people call their iPods not, well "iPod",but instead just "Pod". I suggest all /.ers write a nice and

  • by mrn121 ( 673604 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:28AM (#16198991) Homepage
    I am not an Apple lover, nor am I an Apple hater, so I think I am well qualified to throw in my two cents here. Steve Jobs works his ass off (and is so proud) to be the industry leader in the portable mp3 market. He has made it very clear that he wants the whole world to think of "iPod" when they think of an mp3 player, and yet the second that people actually do begin to genericize the word "iPod," he flips out. Which is it? Kleenex, Xerox, Band-Aid, Coke etc. will tell you that it is better to be an industry leader and have people try to copy/genericize your name than to never have your name associated with a generic product. Then again, those companies won't hesitate to sue over misuse of their names either.
  • Which Apple? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ratbert42 ( 452340 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:29AM (#16198995)
    Wait, is this Apple, the record company, or Apple, the computer company that infringed on the record company's name? I'm so confused.
  • The term "podcast" was clearly a surprise to Apple. They didn't even start using the term even casually, let alone in a product, until it was already in world-wide generic use.

    It's not clear to me that they have a policy of going after people who use the term "Podcast" in business. The other term, "myPodder", is clearly the kind of thing that Apple has gone after in the past. Without that, would Apple's lawyers have acted? This could simply be an attack lawyer going overboard.
  • In other news, Apple is also suing individuals and organizations who use the phrase "litigious bastards" to describe companies other than Apple. "We realize we're coming late to the game on this one," said Artie Schleibel, the head of Apple's legal department, "but we're working harder to capture that brand than any other company right now. That has to tell you something."
  • ...sort out your crazy lawyer system! How did you let all the stoopid and dangerous people get to be in charge of all you nice folks? We'd all be laughing around the rest of the world if it wasn't so stupid and also worrying, the way your legal-shark system prioritises name/IP/copyright chasing to the detriment of goodwill and common sense and energy spent on actual innovation. MacDonalds trying to prevent Scottish local butchers selling burgers they've made in their shops, Indian farmers looking over their
  • Pods is a slang term meaning "testicles".

    Way to kick everyone in the crotch, Apple.

    The only bright side to this that I can see is MAYBE George Lucas will get sued for the term "pod racing" and all known copies of Episode I will be forced to undergo re-editing to bring the film in line with his true original vision.
  • by g_adams27 ( 581237 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:35AM (#16199113)

    Leo Laporte is also floating the idea of switching the term to "netcast". [] Bonus advantage: helps clue people in that they don't need an iPod to listen to a "podcast" (which understandably is a common misunderstanding by those who hear the term for the first time).

  • probably wouldn't mind if zencast, zunecast, or sansacast became the preferred terminology

    Yeah right. You wouldn't have thought Apple would be doing this either till now...

  • Why not (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lightblade ( 938965 )
    Just call it an iCast...everything else has 'i' in front of it and Apple doesn't seem to mind.
  • I had decided that my next machine was going to be a nice Intel Mac after 15 years of PCs. On the strength of this, I'm not sure I want to give my hard earned money to a firm who are going to start playing silly like this. I could just about forgive their last attempt but this is getting out of control. As the OP said, it's free advertising! OTOH I suppose it's also true that in the US at least a company has to be seen to try to protect a trademark otherwise they could lose it. Ah dammit, choices, choices.
  • Apple should be happy that its golden goose is getting so much free publicity

    First off, Apple is too legally aggressive in my opinion, so this is not a defense of the company in general. However, my non-lawyer understanding here is that they may be at risk of trademark dillusion if they don't go after this kind of thing. It isn't clear cut, and different judges will rule differently, so they're erring on the side of caution. This may just be a legally prudent action to keep their trademark.

    Of course, if
  • "Podcast" is in the lexicon, and Apple should be happy about it. But it would seem to me that also means they can't control what other for-profits (or anyone else) do with it - after all, it's a part of everyday speech now.

    However logic rarely seems to be too involved with legal cases, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
  • 3. Profit! (Score:3, Funny)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:43AM (#16199201)
    In related news:

    "Microsoft goes after people having windows in their apartments, Sun sues people that sell and drink, or talk about java."

    "Google sues all massively big numbers with typos. Suggests people use smaller numbers."

    "AOL sues all Americans that are On-Line, tells people to pick: either be on-line abroad, or be Americans."

    "After Adobe went after people using 'Flash' based trademarks /that's for real btw/, now they go after construction companies using adobe."

    "News Corp. sues all news media, newspapers and news bulletins in the world."

    "Companies using dictionary word based trademarks go after dictionaries including their trademarks."

    "Practises in trademark law threaten the Universe to collapse from a massive lapse of logic. Won't happen because Apple is suing the Universe for making use of 'Logic', a company trademark they own."
  • From the letter:

    While Apple, of course, has no general objections to the proper use of the descriptive term "podcast" as part of a trademark for goods and services offerend in the podcasting field, it cannot allow marks that go beyond this legitimate use and infringe on Apple's rights in POD and IPOD.

    I'm an Apple kid. I grew up on Macs. I own an iPod or two. I'm not necessarily defending Apple in their aggressive attack on everything 'pod' ('ipod' I can understand...). However, it looks as though they're

  • It's so sad to see such a big successful company act so childish.

    I brings a tear to my eye, that I'll have to wipe off with a kleenex, using the same hand that has a band-aid on it from a cut that I got while accidentally breaking a glass that I tried to pour some coke into. I broke the glass because I stumbled on my gimpy foot that's wrapped up in an ace bandage.

    Well, I'm done with this story, so now I'll go googling for some travel ideas for my vacation that I will probably priceline the tickets on. After
    • I swear to god I didn't get half the things you're talking about.

      ace? priceline? e-mail? spam? are these supposed to be trademarks that have become generic? was glass supposed to be one (you said it enough times)?
  • "Who're we going to sue today Mr. Shyster?"

    "I dunno Mr. Pettifogger, how about we find something to annoy all those Apple iPod fanboys?"

    "Might be hard Mr. Shyster...the RIAA already has a lock on the easy stuff."

    "Ooo! Ooo! I know! We'll sue the podcasters for IP infringment and copyright hijacking! That'll do it!"

    "Brilliant Mr. Shyster! Simply *brilliant*! Who says we have skulls filled with mush?"

    "Aye! We're thinking like lawyers now!"
  • How about paudcasts? Or pawedcasts? ;-)
  • According to Wikipedia [], the #1 think that POD can be an abbreviation for is Satan (aka the Prince Of Darkness).

    Ah. It all fits now - the iPod is a tool of the devil.

  • Summary is WRONG (Score:5, Informative)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:53AM (#16199363)
    Read the actual cease-and-desist letter [].

    Apple is asking the company to stop using the term "MyPodder". They explicitly state they are not asking them to stop using their company name "Podcast Ready" (see the bottom of the second-to-last paragraph, page two).

    Is it too much to ask that the editors read the actual story before approving it?

  • I don't agree with this at all, but anyone who called it "podcasting" was a complete moron to begin with.
  • RTFA extract (Score:5, Informative)

    by bidule ( 173941 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @10:59AM (#16199467) Homepage
    RTF S&D letter
    While Apple, of course, has no general objection to proper use of the descriptive term "podcast" as part of a trademark for goods and services offered in the podcasting field, it cannot allow marks that go beyond this legitimate use and infringe on Apple's rights in POD and IPOD.

    RTF headline
    Now, Apple is going after the term 'podcasting'.

    Why can't submitters at least RTFS&DL.
  • I know what Apple can use, asscast = Apple Simple Syndication cast.
  • by sokoban ( 142301 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @12:15PM (#16200655) Homepage
    I know this is slashdot and nobody will RTFA, but they are going after a company that is (it seems) trying to associate itself with the iPod in order to gain credibility. Their trademarked software is called "myPodder" and they are also applying for a trademark for "podcast ready". I tried out their program for a while and it basically works like the podcast features in iTunes, but not quite as nice. Personally, I don't think that myPodder is a very good name for the software. This software has little to do with the 'Pod' part of podcasting, but everything to do with the casting part. I think something like "myPodcaster" would be a better name as it more accurately describes what the software does and further differentiates it from Apple's offerings. The "podcast ready" thing is kind of lame IMO. It doesn't seem to really step on Apple's toes too much, but they're all up in arms about it, and it seems like a kind of silly thing to attempt to trademark. The readiness of software or hardware to deal with the RSS/audio of a podcast is not unique to any program, nor IMO, the company should change the name of their software, but still be able to use the term "podcast ready" without it being trademarked.
  • by d0n quix0te ( 304783 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @12:17PM (#16200675)
    I think the C&D is clearly valid. Apple is not objecting to the use of the word podcast in general. They only want to stop PodTech from trademarking 'Podcast Ready'. If PodTech manages to trademark 'Podcast ready' then they could have ask Apple to stop using the term podcast since it is a derivative term.

  • by cmacb ( 547347 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @01:12PM (#16201431) Homepage Journal

    * the dryish fruit of some plants, contains one to many seeds and usually flattened

    * a group of whales.

    * Developed ovary or fruit.

    * with animals such as whales, dolphins, or porpoises, the term describes a family or social group that stays together; roughly equivalent to a flock or school.

    We went through this with Windows. Just because Microsoft was stupid enough to name an OS after a commonly used word doesn't mean we all have to stop using that word. We routinely continue to use the word with respect to a clear piece of hardware on the exterior of our dwellings, and we even talk of "windows" in a generic sense as user interfaces elements.

    Why Apple chose the word "pod" I don't know, but I'm sure that the world's podiatrists aren't about to desecrate their diplomas and substitute "foot doctor".

    This move can only be bad for Apple, and the timing couldn't be better for Microsoft for us to pick another word that doesn't remind us of the device that got detachable music devices into almost every American household (even thought they were far from being the first such device).

    This is the sort of thing, common in Apple's history, where 10 year hence hindsight will have them saying "What were we thinking?!"

    Apparently, they never learn.
  • DUMB (Score:3, Funny)

    by killermookie ( 708026 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @03:14PM (#16203555) Homepage
    ...has weighed in on the issue by suggesting that the tech community as a whole adopt other terms like "audiocast" and 'videocast' (or alternately, 'audcast' and 'vidcast')...

    Actually, let's uses acast and vcast.

    On second thought, a and v...

    [does hand gestures to indicate audiocast and videocast]
  • Hyperbole . . . (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dausha ( 546002 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2006 @05:01PM (#16205701) Homepage
    The very title of this news item is hyperbole. The C&D letter clearly states it does not target primary use of podcast (i.e., Podcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio or video programs, over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers.)[1] There's even a web site that uses "podcast" in its URL.[2]. Apple is zealously protecting its registered trademarks from a company that pre-loads and resells iPods, which creates an impression on some of a relationship between Apple and that company.

    Everybody needs to step away from the keyboard and think things through before they start stammering about how an evil corporation is trying to trademark and deny use of commonly used words. A Trademark is a relationship between the consumer and the company that represents the goodwill fostered by the company. A consumer should expect that an item with a given trademark will be what they expect, and not some two-bit knockoff.

    [1]: []
    [2]: []
  • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter@slashdot . ... t a r o> on Wednesday September 27, 2006 @09:38AM (#16213733) Homepage Journal
    This is to the authors of the innumerable articles flaming about Apple without actually bothering to find out what's going on. Like the one two or three articles below this.

    You didn't read the fucking letter. You didn't even read the comments RIGHT HERE that point out Apple is NOT going after "podcast". They have 'no general objection to proper use of the descriptive term "podcast" as part of a trademark for goods and services offered in the podcasting field'. It's right there in the letter. Can't you people read?

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel