As the co-author of The Business Podcasting Bible, this topic obviously has me interested – but other parts of me want to chime in here as well. Time for some free form thinking here:
Strategy – Apple is the default player and producer of the hottest thing to hit media and didn’t do a thing to start the revelolution. People dream of winning lotteries with a smaller payout than this. Steve’s iPod was all about the music initially, he was just smart enough to go with the market. If we take Leo’s suggestion and got to a generic term for all of this, Apple goes back to producer of ‘their’ version of the hottest thing. Why would they possibly want this? I’d certainly sell my Apple stock if this happened.
Legality – Podcasting ain’t their term, they didn’t come up with it, and if they want to claim “Pod” is theirs, I sure do hope their licensing the mark from Peapod.com (remember them) and the writers for Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Not a lawyer, don’t play one on TV (or a VIDEO PODCAST), but this doesn’t seem that hard.
Common Sense – Has Microsoft ever sent a cease and desist for someone using the term Word Processing claiming brand confusion with Microsoft Word? Why would they? This is the kind of branding they want. Don’t the Google guys hear a “ka-ching” in their mind everytime they hear the word Google used as a verb? When Valleyschwag launched, did the Valleywag folk freak out? There are times when other people use your term that are really really good.
Monopolistic – Podcast Ready is a direct competitor to iTunes. And, if they do things right, they could be a real competitor very soon. Let’s be honest, this letter went out because of this fact – and nothing else. Someone thought they could squash a competitor with some legaleeze.
Karma – Calacanis types love to scream about how Digg was built on the backs of the real people who built the content that made it king. Yet, somehow, everyone loves the very Apple who launched a Podcast Directory that sold a boatload more iPods and then stuck Katie Couric’s “Notebook” where the Daily Source Code used to be. This can, and will, only come back to bite them on the Apple. Steve, your products let us create the luv – let’s share it a little.
Nuff said, time for Saturday morning pancakes with my 6 year old daughter who told me the Pink iPod (Nano) at the Apple Store is “just the kind” she wanted.