Apple Threatens Go Inside Magazine with Article Takedown Notice
EDITORIAL NOTE: February 2, 2012 — My, there’s an Apple Chill in the air this morning! I posted the this update to my original article and, as I did there, I have done here: Removed any and all Apple quotations…
UPDATE: February 2, 2012 — 24 hours have come and gone since Apple gave me 24 hours to remove this entire article from publication.
Apple Supervisor James finally called me back this morning to confirm the Takedown Notice was real — bad grammar and all — and that it came from Apple. He asked me if Apple did anything to me for not taking down the article and I told him, “No.” So far, all my Apple IDs and developer access and iTunes Match and such were still active.
Then James then told me I could risk doing nothing with this article and see what happens next, or I could just remove the quoted responses from AppleCare support in this article and that should be enough.
When I told him removing the quotes would not put me in compliance with the Takedown Notice because Apple demanded the removal of the entire article, James said I could wait and see if the Apple legal department contacted me again or not and then decide what to do.
He said Apple “didn’t want me to feel more threatened than you already are.”
I asked him to send me an email confirming that removing the quoted email would legally satisfy Apple’s Takedown Notice, and he said he’d check on that and get back to me.
In the meantime, and in the spirit of Apple Fellowship — and, more importantly, of not wanting to deal with this all day every day any longer — I have removed the Apple email responses from this article. If you want to read the full text of the Takedown Notice — you can still read it on Tech Crunch — at least until Apple forces them to take it down.
SOPA and PIPA certainly stung — but there’s nothing quite like having Apple directly slap you in the face.
I was having such a good day today. Then Apple threatened me in a nasty email and the next thing I know, my world is exploding on Tech Crunch:
Here’s how it all happened.
For 13 days or so, I’ve been waiting for a transfer of my AppleCare warranty from one Thunderbolt display to a replacement display. I wrote about the ridiculousness of the transfer process — Warning: Check Your AppleCare Support Profile! — in Go Inside Magazine.
At the end of my boredom rope, I sent this reply to Apple this morning:
It’s been five days [since the last “please wait 24-48 hours” email from Apple] and the transfer still hasn’t happened. Can this please be escalated to a Supervisor so the matter can successfully be resolved? I’d also like a real name and honest contact point for this ongoing mess.
My blog readers need an update on this serious silliness:
A couple of hours later, I received a voice mail message from Apple telling me the problem was resolved and thanks for being a customer.
An hour or so after that message, I received this nasty email from Apple that included the URL of my article I had just sent to AppleCare support. Isn’t it curious there’s no compliance footer in this takedown notice from Apple?
Here’s the text of that email:
[REMOVED BY APPLE REQUEST.]
Ten minutes after I received that takedown notice, I was sent another email from Apple apologizing for the delay in transferring my AppleCare warranty and that they appreciated having me as a customer.
The first thing that occurred to me is that this was some sort of spoof email — but there’s no such thing as a coincidence — and I checked out the email headers and the email looks to me like it tracks back to Apple.com. Here are the headers for your perusal:
Received: by 10.229.139.11 with SMTP id c11cs6543qcu;
Tue, 31 Jan 2012 12:45:48 -0800 (PST)
Received: by 10.68.227.165 with SMTP id sb5mr52307301pbc.80.1328042747448;
Tue, 31 Jan 2012 12:45:47 -0800 (PST)
Received: from psmtp.com (exprod7mx198.postini.com. [188.8.131.52])
by mx.google.com with SMTP id e6si27827813pbd.94.2012.01.31.12.45.46
Tue, 31 Jan 2012 12:45:47 -0800 (PST)
Received-SPF: pass (google.com: domain of email@example.com designates 184.108.40.206 as permitted sender) client-ip=220.127.116.11;
Authentication-Results: mx.google.com; spf=pass (google.com: domain of firstname.lastname@example.org designates 18.104.22.168 as permitted sender) email@example.com
Received: from mail-out.apple.com ([22.214.171.124]) (using TLSv1) by exprod7mx198.postini.com ([126.96.36.199]) with SMTP;
Tue, 31 Jan 2012 20:45:46 GMT
Received: from relay14.apple.com ([188.8.131.52])
by mail-out.apple.com (Oracle Communications Messaging Server 7u4-23.01
(184.108.40.206.0) 64bit (built Aug 10 2011))
with ESMTPS id for firstname.lastname@example.org; Tue,
31 Jan 2012 12:45:45 -0800 (PST)
Received: from dhcp017107154053.corp.apple.com
(using TLS with cipher AES128-SHA (AES128-SHA/128 bits))
(Client did not present a certificate)by relay14.apple.com (Apple SCV relay)
with SMTP id 7B.6F.18152.9F2582F4; Tue, 31 Jan 2012 12:45:45 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Apple Terms and Policy.
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2012 12:45:43 -0800
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.1251.1)
X-pstn-levels: (S: 0.43965/99.90000 CV:99.9000 FC:95.5390 LC:95.5390 R:95.9108 P:95.9108 M:94.9308 C:98.6951 )
X-pstn-cm-addresses: from (approved)
X-pstn-settings: 2 (0.5000:0.5000) s cv gt3 gt2 gt1 r p m c
X-pstn-addresses: from forward (org good) [2040/80]
X-pstn-nxpr: disp=neutral, email@example.com
rcptHash=ea4e2441ddcfd0f105b4f3846493c854108e458d, sourceip=220.127.116.11, version=1
Content-type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
[REMOVED BY APPLE REQUEST.]
Since I had no way to reply to — “firstname.lastname@example.org” — I picked up the phone and called Apple to try to get a clarification as to exactly WHAT my punishment would be if I didn’t “comply” with their takedown notice within 24 hours.
Sure, I could redact all the AppleCare responses from the blog article — which would make my original article even funnier — but that doesn’t seem to be enough for Apple. They want the entire article taken down in total! Oh, if they’d only done the transfer in the original 24-hour timeframe none of this woe would’ve happened!
I didn’t think email footers were legally binding — even though I failed to read or recognize the footers in question from Apple before I wrote the article. I didn’t reveal any names. I didn’t share the Apple.com email address I was corresponding with in order to try to resolve my problem.
Shouldn’t Apple want to be transparent in the support process? What’s there to hide? I did redact information in their responses that appeared to be internal and proprietary.
Are Apple going to cancel all my AppleCare subscriptions? Are they going to pull my Apple ID and block me from using iTunes Match and my 25,000 songs? Are they going to cancel my iPhone Beta participation even though this matter has nothing to do with that process?
After waiting on the phone for 45 minute with Apple — during which I emailed my favorite Tech blogs to see if they’d heard of such a takedown notice from Apple before (Thanks John Biggs!) — I finally spoke with a Supervisor who said he’d check into the matter. At his request, I forwarded the email to him. I also told him I needed to hear back from him before 24 hours expired because Apple was going to do something to me tomorrow. He promised to call me back by the end of the day.
I’ll update you as the process flows. When I know, you’ll know.