CrunchGear is reporting on a complaint email sent to Apple CEO Steve Jobs from The Little App Factory CEO John Devor regarding Apple’s request that Devor’s company change the name of iPodRip, an application that moves music off of customers iPods. Apple originally requested the name be changed because of the use of “iPod” in […]
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Jobs Responds to Developer Email: "Not that big of a deal"

tlaf_logo.pngCrunchGear is reporting on a complaint email sent to Apple CEO Steve Jobs from The Little App Factory CEO John Devor regarding Apple’s request that Devor’s company change the name of iPodRip, an application that moves music off of customers iPods. Apple originally requested the name be changed because of the use of “iPod” in the applications name, which of course is an Apple held trademark. The catch here is the fact that The Little App Factory has sold over 5 million copies of the application under the iPodRip name since 2003, and Apple is just now asking them to change the name, long after it has been established.

So, forgive me in advace, but here is John Dever’s email to Steve Jobs, in it’s entirety:

Dear Mr. Jobs,

My name is John Devor and I’m the co-owner of a small Mac shareware company named The Little App Factory and a long-term Apple customer and shareholder. I doubt you’re aware but we recently received a letter from a law firm working on Apple’s behalf instructing us that we had violated several of Apple’s trademarks in our application iPodRip and asking us to cease using the name and Apple trademarks in our icons.

We have been distributing iPodRip since 2003 with the aim of providing a method to recover music, movies and photos from iPods and iPhones in the event of a serious hardware failure on their Mac which leads to data loss. Our goal has been to provide the highest quality product coupled with the highest quality service in a bid to resolve some of the angst that is generated by such an ordeal; service befitting of an Apple product. In this department we think we have succeeded as we have approximately 6 million customers, many Apple employees, music artists and other notable people in society. In fact I’d argue that our customer service is the best of all competing applications in our niche as many of them are scams and frauds that leave Apple customers with a terrible taste in their collective mouths. We fear very much that tens of thousands of Apple customers looking to recover their own music and having heard of our product via word-of-mouth or otherwise, will instead find a product produced by one of our competitors, and will wind up the victim of a scam (one closely-named competitor charges a hidden monthly fee, for instance).

It is quite obvious that we mean Apple no harm with the use of the name iPodRip, or of the inclusion of trademarked items in our icons, and in fact I believe that we have been providing an excellent secondary service to Apple customers that has potentially caused you many repeat clients. In fact, we are quite aware that Apple support and store staff have recommended our software on numerous occasions as far back as 2004 so we have felt that we were doing something right!

With this in mind, we are in desperate need of some assistance and we beseech you to help us to protect our product and our shareware company, both of which we have put thousands upon thousands of hours of work into. Our company goal is to create Mac software of the highest quality with the best user experience possible. I myself dropped out of school recently to pursue a path in the Mac software industry, and you yourself have been a consistent inspiration for me.

If there is anything at all you can do with regards to this matter, we would be most grateful.

Best,

John Devor

Here is Mr. Jobs’ reply:

Change your apps name. Not that big of a deal.

Steve

Sent from my iPhone

It turns out that after the email exchange The Little App Factory did change iPodRip’s name to iRip, and removed the iPod icon from Evom, another of the company’s products.

I think the release of this email was intended to villainize Steve Jobs, which it might, for only a short while. That said, I think Jobs’s response says a lot about his management style, but more importantly his mentality behind developers, which might explain Apple’s views towards iPhone developers and the treatment they have been receiving from the company.

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