Here’s a weird one. The Telegraph is reporting that Apple is threatening legal action against In Icons, a Hong Kong-based company, for their creation of a realistic Steve Jobs figurine. This figurine, which In Icons is currently taking preorders for, is slated to launch next month, is twelve inches in size, and costs $99.99 plus shipping.
Personality rights are different from one state to another here in the US. However, California, where Jobs worked and lived, has a law in place that prevents unauthorized usage of a person’s likeness, signature, or even voice for their lifetime, plus 70 years after their passing. It seems that Apple is going to make sure we wait that 70 years.
Which brings me to why Apple would even care. At first blush they shouldn’t, and probably wouldn’t care. However, public ignorance, would quickly associate this figurine with Apple, and likely even assumed that they manufactured it. That looks tacky regardless if Apple were doing it or not. But then again, the kind of person that would spend $100+ on a Steve Jobs action figure would probably know better by default.
What a weird story, and proof that anybody, anywhere, will try to capitalize off of someone’s death.