Steve Jobs figurine legal in most states, begins to hit eBay

We reported yesterday that Apple was requesting Chinese manufacturer In Icon to cease production of what is probably the most realistic Steve Jobs figurine to date. While we already knew CEO Tandy Cheung’s stance on Apple having the copyright to Steve’s likeness, a new report from Paid Content claimed the doll is in fact legal in most states and “Apple’s legal claim is largely bogus.”

The report explained that people do own the rights to their likeness, but most American states do not recognize these rights after death. In fact, according to Paid Content, only a dozen states currently recognize “personality rights” after death.

What this means is that Apple’s warning about the doll is an empty threat in most places. It may not even be able to stop others from using the name Steve Jobs as, surprisingly, the term does not appear on the company’s long list of registered trademarks.

In light of that news, several of the figurines appear to have made their way to different eBay stores globally. One —on the United States eBay store— is listed with a ‘Buy It Now’ price of US $138.88 and ships straight from Hong Kong. The figurines have also landed on the Australian eBay here. You can still preorder from In Icons’ official website for $109.99 with shipping expected to start in February. However, the website noted it is a ‘first-come, first-served’ policy with refunds being issued when initial limited stock runs out.

Paid Content cited the following list of states where the doll could potentially run into an issue, according to a recent paper on Dignitarian Posthumous Personality Rights:

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Rare Steve Jobs autographed iPod shuffle is up for auction on eBay (Update: Pulled)

Update: The auction was pulled, but it is unknown as to the reason.

A fourth-generation iPod shuffle autographed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is depicted in the image above. The owner put the device up for auction on eBay, and the bidding currently sits around US $4,000 US $10,000.

The iPod’s owner said he and three colleagues were invited to attend an Apple event in conjunction with the “innovators of tomorrow” program, where they had the rare opportunity to ask Jobs for his signature. After the event wrapped, the owner approached Jobs:

“I hear you’re not really one to give autographs, but I just gotta ask…. will you sign my iPod? It’s fine if you don’t want to. I’m not normally one to even ask for autographs.” 

According to the seller’s account, Jobs responded:
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New base iMac: $1050, iPod touch $160, more

From 9to5Toys.com:

Today only, Buy.com via eBay Daily Deals has the 21.5″ iMac Core i5 base configuration for $1049.99 with free shipping. That matches Best Buy’s Black Friday price (but with Tax in fewer locations) and the lowest we’ve seen.

Buy.com also offers the base model 13″ MacBook Pro for $1049.99 with free shipping (Update:OVER).  MacConnection offers almost the same machine for $999.

MacMall offers a number of Closeouts on new, one generation old MacBook Airs and Pros (w/$50 rebate), below:

(Bonus: Best Buy has iPod Touch 8GB in white or black for $189 with a $30 Gift card.  Amazon ‘matches’ this with music giftcard.) Read more

Apple joins other tech firms in Digital Due Process group

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes, Apple (and Dropbox) have joined up with the Digital Due Process group which seeks to modernize digital surveilance laws.

In April we launched “Who Has Your Back”, a campaign calling on major Internet companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft to stand with their users when it comes to government demands for users’ data. Today, we’re pleased to see that two of the thirteen companies highlighted in our petition, Apple and Dropbox, have agreed to one of our requests: that they stand up for user privacy in Congress by joining the Digital Due Process coalition.

Digital Due Process is a diverse coalition of privacy advocates like EFF, ACLU and the Center for Democracy & Technology and major companies like AT&T, eBay and Comcast that has come together with the shared goal of modernizing surveillance laws for the Internet age. The DDP coalition is especially focused on pressing Congress to update the woefully-outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act or “ECPA.”

The timing of the announcement would seem to coincide nicely with Apple’s iCloud release in the coming days. Now that Apple is a Cloud vendor (OK MobileMe, .mac, eworld were all Cloud too), it would be good to hear where they stand on giving private data to law enforcement or foreign governments.
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Apple requests safe return of its 3G MacBook Pro prototype

We told you a couple weeks ago about the possibility Apple was testing 3G MacBook Pro designs back in 2007 after a prototype popped up on Ebay recently. After reaching nearly $70,000 in bids, it looks like Apple is stepping in and requesting the device be returned.

A report from CNET today sheds a little more light on the current situation of the seller, who was allegedly contacted by Apple to return the machine to local Apple employees after the company had the eBay listing removed citing copyright, trademark, and IP infringement.

A little more back story surrounding the device and it’s eBay auction also emerged in the report… Read more

iPhone 4 prototype available on Ebay

Have you ever wanted to get your hands on an iPhone that Apple engineers have used for testing? If you’ve got 5 figures to blow on a non working phone, now’s your chance because an iPhone 4 prototype has shown up on Ebay. The listing comes from a user by the name of jtmaxo, who lists the device as ‘Apple iPhone 4 black APPLE GENUINE PROTOTYPE, GENUINE’. In the description the users states the device as a GSM iPhone labeled with the model number XXXXX FCC ID: BCGAXXXXX IC ID: 579C-AXXXXX.

Just like Gizmodo’s iPhone 4 prototype, the volume buttons are missing ‘+’ and ‘-’ labels and storage information (XXGB) on the back of the device. Also, the seller says the device won’t activate through an AT&T SIM card plugged in through iTunes. Lastly, on the front of the device a ‘DF1692′ label is shown, which is thought of as a tracking code used by Apple. When the seller searched the serial number on Apple.com, it returned no results. So, where did the seller get this device?

(update: the prices keep fluctuating.  It was over $100,000 last night but somehow is down to $7K this morning.  Apple will likely pull this auction anyway.)

via This is my next

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