Apple Threatens Site For Highlighting A Product Flaw

from the shouldn't-they-want-people-to-do-this? dept

Several months ago, a member of the message board Something Awful posted a pictorial on how to tweak a Macbook Pro so that it was less likely to overheat. Now Apple has sent a letter demanding that one of the pictures be taken down because it is a copyrighted image. What’s concerning the company, most likely, is not that the copyright was violated, but that the image is evidence that some poor manufacturing resulted in overheating. But wouldn’t they have been better admitting that there was a manufacturing problem and publicizing the fix? Now, because they’ve resorted to legal measures, the images are everywhere and they look like bullies who are unconcerned about product quality. Furthermore, by now they should know that trying to keep suppress a photo online is always a losing battle.

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Comments on “Apple Threatens Site For Highlighting A Product Flaw”

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Hairball says:

Mac hardware = t3h sux!

I work in IT doing lab machine repairs on campus. And the common saying around the shop is that ‘ only 10% of the machines that come in are Mac. But they are 90% of the work ‘. Every time something goes wrong with a Mac, it goes right back to apple. I really get sick of of Proprietary Apple BS. Great. Your machines look cooler than everyone elses’. Can you make them user servicable now? kthxbye

Jerslan says:

What copyright?

If the picture was taken by the poster (or by someone who gave him permission to use it) then no copyright has been violated. Once Apple sells you the Laptop you are pretty much free to do what you want with it, including take pictures of it and post it on your (or some other) site.

If the photo was a promotional photo of Apple’s and they have terms of use listed for it, then they have a case and have every right to ask that it be taken down.

Anonymous Coward says:

you know, you can have “generic” hardware on a computer that you made yourself and know will work and still have macOSX on it, people have done it before. Sorry if you’re too elitest in your choice of computer than to think that other people would perfer something they can actually work on and fix themselves instead of stuff that requires 5 days of waiting time without a computer to fix.

Apple should either make its hardware easier for users to tweak or get out of the business. Putting Windows on your computers will not get you more customers, it just shows that you want the easier fix. People want a PC that they can do anything with, not something that a company puts rules and restrictions on because they “own the rights”. Sell them the whole damn thing.

Jimmy the wonder squid says:

Re: Re:

Actually, Mr or Ms Coward, the majority of end users don’t care whether they can tweak, tune, or mod. Nor do they care whether it has windows or osx.

(Also, please note that when I say majority of end users, I mean the majority of computer customers, not the small minority of elitists like you and I who know how, and aren’t afraid, to crack open their case and fix what is wrong.)

These people, the customers, want a product that when they turn it on, it just works. They do want a computer they can do anything with, they just don’t care how it does it.

Whether we like it or not, Apple is tremendously successful at computers for the masses that are reliable, and the PC is a long, long way from their level of one touch computing.

Nobody says:

Re: Re:

One of the reasons why Apple uses specific hardware is so that Mac OS is more stable. I’m not saying there isn’t downsides to this, but if you want a stable Mac, then suck it up. And no, I don’t conside Windows stable if I have managed to get a blue screen of death 5 times and ended up having to reformat my HD because Windows won’t let me login (safe mode or not).

Average Joe says:

In my opinion, they should ditch the user friendly yey useless OS X, and get a real operating system running windows os ok for now, but I would prefer the looks of OS X and the features and stability of SUSE 10… Apple really needs to make their PCS sustomizable, thay way, they will get a big share of the market fair and square. They also have a lot to learn from Google, who so far has refused to be evil like MS, yahoo(sometimes), and others and is now the coolers serach engine/email service/page editor/calengdar/ whatever site on hte web!

Anonymous Coward says:

How much do you think Macs are different now?

I mean, this used to be a valid argument, that Macs had only good quality hardware, which resulted in good stability.

But, this can’t be said anymore.

CPU = same as PC

Chipsets = same as PC

video card = same as PC

hard drive = same as PC

optical drive = same as PC

IO chipset = same as PC.

RAM = same as PC.

LCD = same as PC (actually, most other PC notebooks use better screens with higher resolutions).

The only difference of a MacBook compared to ANY Intel Duo Core PC is that the MacBooks use EFI BIOS.

Where I do give Apple some credit is in their ability to package these components into their timy form factors. But, I mean, this doesn’t mean their components are any more superior to PC’s, just placed differently.

However, even with their small form factor designs, the new MacBooks still get way too hot for my tastes even though they are using a CPU that dissipates far less heat then the G4’s. The case is basically a big heatsink, and I find it really poor design that the keyboard gets almost too hot to touch in the area you know the CPU is under.

Apple should sacrifice a little bit of form for better function. Even if their MacBook was 1/4″ thicker just to put a little more heatpipes or larger fan would make more sense.

I am typing this on my Acer PC with never gets so hot that you can’t touch it or it becomes uncomfortable.

Ice Czar (user link) says:


–Not for Posting or Redistribution–

Via Email

May 2, 2006

Re: Infringement of Apple’s Intellectual Property Rights [email][/email]

Dear WebMaster:

Apple Computer, Inc. (“Apple”) recently noticed that Apple’s copyrighted material is available for download at your website [url][/url]. Specifically, there is a link to Apple’s Service Source manual for the MacBook Pro in the discussion thread at [url]…readid=1864582[/url].

The Service Source manual for the MacBook Pro is Apple’s intellectual property and is protected by U.S. copyright law. Linking to the manual on your website is an infringement of Apple’s copyrights. We therefore must insist that you immediately take all necessary steps to remove the Service Source manual and any other Apple copyrighted material from your site and to prevent further unauthorized use or distribution of Apple intellectual property.

Apple reserves its right to contact your Internet Service Provider in the event you do not comply with these demands.

The foregoing is not intended to be a complete statement of the facts, and shall not constitute a waiver of any of Apple’s rights or remedies, all of which are expressly reserved.

We would appreciate a reply by email to [email][/email] that you have complied, and we anticipate and appreciate your immediate cooperation.


Sue Carroll

Apple Legal

This transmission may be privileged and may contain confidential information intended only for the person(s) named above. Any other distribution, re-transmission, copying or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify me immediately by telephone or return e-mail, and delete this file/message from your system.


CC my email:

Dear Ms Carroll

You seem confused,

1. A Confidentiality Agreement requires, well, an agreement entered into by both parties.

2. If you host something on a website and fail to either encrypt it or place password access to it, deep linking is fair game.

3. Holding a copyright does not preclude fair use rights especially in direct relationship to an “issue” and subsequent “news”

4. Pressuring an ISP and invoking DMCA protections over a matter such as this, is not only an abuse of the provisions but will ensure this issue will quickly be hosted and rehashed ad nauseam outside their jurisdiction.

Thank you for pumping more air into this, it was a slow news day.

Ive personally exercised my rights under fair use to make a copy of the material in the event anyone ever forgets this issue.

Ice Czar


on the contrary they need to be slapped and hard

this is not protected content, that is not what copyrights are for

this is baldfaced bully tactics and they not only need to be called on them but made an example of.

They have absolutely no legal rights to protect the image now that it is directly tied into the context of this news issue

nor do they have the right to threaten a third party to suppress the issue.

Anonymous Coward says:

This page has nothing to do with ipod, braincrash. go find another page a different shade of white to spam.

The guy that commented about the hardware saying ‘just paced differently’; you really have no clue what you are talking about or what goes into designing digital boards with the capabilities and tollerances these do. Educate yourself a few years in electeonics and micros then say sorry.

Hardware issues with the Macs these days are now down to the custom built way they are made. There is no modular slot in, slap on plug in way like regular ATXx’s. And being of custom design it is hard to train to repair them or even troubleshoot them unless u have at least a little electronics nounce.

In my experience far less than 3% of all machines im asked to look at are Macs, and thats not through lack of them. Kids/students love em, even old folk like the 1 button not complicated approach. So theres plenty out there, they just dont break, and when they do, its severe, sent back and replaced. PCs, you just buy a new bit to replace the one that broke. pretty much what they do with the mac, only you dont get to buy the bit. That in my opinion is the only part of Apple that needs changing. People like playing with new parts, fitting them etc. well i do :p

p.s. Mr. S Mcgee: seek help.

Jeff says:

The origin of the picture

If its the picture I’m thinking about, its actually from a service manual. Therefore, Apple CAN claim copyright infringement. I love Apple computers. I’ve got a PowerMac G5, an iBook, two iPods, and a 17″ MacBook Pro on the way. But their legal team is a bunch of assholes.

The picture shows someone applying thermal grease to a cpu. But in the picture, it looks like a huge amount of thermal grease is being applied when in fact, very little should be applied.

Several people have opened their MacBooks and seen a lot more thermal grease on the chips than what is usually recommended. Its definitely a manufacturing quality issue and one that Apple will eventually own up to. Just like usual, they deny it for 6 months, then finally announce a program to fix the issues.

JR says:


I laugh everytime I read the argument that people want a PC because they can build it themselves and customize it. You guys live in your own small little fantasy world. The vast overwelming majority of people who buy PCs, do so because they are brainless idiots listening to the blueshirts at the mall. When they get it home, they don’t have a clue how open the case let alone customize it. If something happens to it, what do you think they are going to do? Bring it right back to the blueshirts. Nobody cares to customize/build their own PC except the 0.001% of the socially challenged attention starved people out there. Get a life.

jszpila (user link) says:

Re: Clueless

Insulting people on the internet is always indicative of an extremely active social life.

Whether or not people actually *do* customize there machines is one thing, but it’s nice ot have the *ability* to do it without scouring the earth in search of parts. It’s the principle of the thing.

From having to upgrade/fix my fiancee’s Mac a few times, I’ve learned the hard way that doing so is not a fun or easy task. Granted this is mainly on older hardware but I don’t like having my ability to fix a machine dictated by Jobs or Wozniak’s whimsy.

Anonymous Coward says:


the copyright protection does NOT preclude fair use in this issue, its a published service manual. It directly illustrates a proceedure impacting on the issue. The work is not reproduced in whole and being redistributed.—-000-.html

In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

as soon as you start putting that photo on shirts and its not related to a news item THEN its protected

not till then

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