Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is one brilliantly run company, which occasionally loses all perspective. Consider, for instance, Friday’s news that the company sent a “cease and desist order” demanding that a company called Podcast Ready stop using the terms Podcast Ready and MyPodder, alleging they violate Apple’s trademarks.
To put it bluntly, this is pretty stupid. Apple should be encouraging everything about podcasting: They help sell iPods, after all. The blogosphere is ripping them apart for this silly stunt.
Jason Calacanis says Apple has made “the worst trademark enforcement decision–ummm–ever….” He also has some advice for anyone who gets sued:
My advice to folks who get sued by Apple? Ignore Apple’s legal department, publish every communication from them, and let them try to put you out of business. Nothing could be better for an entrepreneur then to have their company shut down by Apple or Microsoft. It’s like Obi-wan getting cut in half by Darth Vadar with the knowledge that you’ll come back stronger. Apple cuts your startup in half and you’re made for live–you were killed by Steve Jobs. Wear it like a badge of honor.
Let them strike you down… it’s a beautiful act of non-violence and sacrifice.
Now, if you feel more aggressive I would hold the line. Apple could very well lose the trademark for podcasting and podcast. Apple legal will try and divide and conquer–that is why they are attacking one site at a time and doing this very covertly. The podcast companies should create a YouDontOwnPodcasting.com site and sign an open letter to Apple on it. All podcasters should read and promote the letter at the start of every podcast. If you want to get even more aggressive you could start a site call iPodOptions.com where you train folks on various alternative devices and software you can use to listen to podcasts.
Robert Scoble wonders how Apple’s policy might affect his company, PodTech.net.
Blogger Leo Laporte thinks Podcasts should now be called Netcasts.
Ars Techinca suggests we replace the word “podcast” with “blathercasting.” Now that’s a good idea.