... "iPod Monday," is a weekly event at The Lift in Des Moines, Iowa where patrons
bringbrought along their iPods to play 15 minute playlists based around different themes. Unfortunately, the event's host and creator, Clint Curtis, is bringing the event to a close on its second anniversary (tomorrow) after receiving a cease & desist email from Apple. As the dispute is limited to Clint's use of the trademarked word "iPod," Clint could presumably have kept the event running under a different name. However, a quick read of his email correspondance with Apple reveals the reasoning for closing the event. As Clint points out, he sent several emails to Apple before starting the website and specifically asked for permission to use the term "iPod Monday," he's had visits by Apple employees, a mention on Apple.com, and has praise heaped upon him everytime he visits the local Apple Store, and he is also a loyal Apple customer and claims to have generated a lot of publicity for the company despite receiving no compensation. Unfortunately, that means nothing to Apple, who are still requesting that he cease using the name despite his pleadings. This all begs the question: why now? Why, after two years, many emails, and much publicity, is Apple cranking it up a gear? As is often the case with these kind of David and Goliath legal scenarios, Clint has only two possible choices: resign to his fate and accept the demands, or start a lengthly legal battle against a company he likes, for an event that probably isn't worth the financial cost to defend.
This is where I don't get the stance taken by Apple on the iPod name. ONLY in a case where the "user of the name" is making significantly measurable money (as a direct result of name association) from an event and potentially causing a tarnishing of the image through a malicious or unethical means should Apple be worried about this.