|[2:00 PM] Apple To Mac Greeting Card Web Site: Get Out Or Else!
Simon Jones, the operator of MacCards.com, has announced that he shutting the site down after legal threats from Apple. MacCards.com was a greeting card web site that offered lots of Mac and Apple oriented e-mail greeting cards, many of which used Apple trademarked images and logos. Mr. Jones says that while Apple would have been fine with the site continuing so long as all trademarked images were removed, he can't see bothering any more. According to Mr. Jones:
If you are visiting this Web site today expecting to see a collection of great Mac related ecards promoting the Macintosh and other Apple products, then sadly, like so many other Mac users out there, you will be disappointed to learn that after nearly a year online, the 'Mac Cards' web site has been forced to shut down.
On March 21 lawyers acting on behalf of Apple wrote to me (Simon Jones, pictured right) stating that the Mac Cards site was in violation of Apple's trademarks and that the site created a presentation that mislead and confused you all into believing that the Mac Cards web site was actually an official Apple web site.
My option was to cease using all Apple owned trademarks and material or face being sued by Apple. However to be fair they did state that Mac Cards could continue as long as I did not use the Apple logo, the smiley face, the phrase 'Think different', or any Apple owned images and that I complied fully with all the rules and regulations set out on Apple's Legal information and notices web site. Although quite how the site could continue in any form after this, I am not sure?
Personally I understand Apple's need to protect its trademarks and its brand. However I think that wading into this situation waving a lawsuit is somewhat of an overreaction. It seems a rather harsh way to deal with a site that aimed to promoted the Macintosh and all other Apple products. To claim that I was somehow copying iCards is absurd.
Well Mac Cards is dead. I can't see how, under such strict rules, the site could continue. Besides which my enthusiasm to promote the Mac or any Apple product through hours of unpaid hard work, has been completely destroyed.
Perhaps Apple can look at the destruction of this Mac enthusiast web site as a victory, however I think it is sad that any company would treat it's loyal and faithful users in such a detached and tactless fashion.
You can read the above letter in full at the MacCards.com web site. There is also a forum being presented to discussion of these events.
The Mac Observer Spin: This is the bad side of our litigious society. Apple is forced to either pursue all violators of their trademarks or face losing them. This is the way the law works, at least in the States. Mr. Jones was operating MacCards.com out of the UK. It is also unfortunate that Apple has to have their legal team start these kinds of things, though it is not too conceivable for it to be any other way. IT is certainly a no-win situation for all parties as Apple loses some good faith with at least a few Mac users out there over these types of things.
We have known Mr. Jones since he first launched MacCards.com, and wish him the best of success in his next venture!
MacCards.com - Apple