Apple Has Pulled My Jony Ive Book Trailer



I had a jokey book trailer made to promote my new book about Jony Ive, Apple’s head designer. And Apple’s had it pulled off YouTube!

The video wasn’t even public. It was unlisted. I offered a sneak peek to readers who pre-ordered the book, which is being released next Thursday November 14.

The video pokes fun at Jony Ive, Apple and myself. But last night I got an email from Google saying that it had been disabled because of a copyright claim from Apple.

I had hoped that the video was protected by fair use. The rules of fair use are ambiguous, but in general, you are allowed to remix and re-use previous material, as long as the resulting work is “transformative.” If it adds “new expression or meaning” to the original, then it’s fair use. I think the book trailer did. It’s a classic remix of several previous Apple product videos. A parody. And parody is a form of expression generally protected from copyright claims.

Unfortunately,  Google’s appeals procedure is byzantine. The company is a black box. It blocks the video and there’s little you can do. The video has been posted to other services but not publicized in any way. I am planning to register a counter notification to protest the decision.

Here’s the note from Google:

Dear Leander Kahney:

We have disabled the following material as a result of a third-party notification from Apple Inc. claiming that this material is infringing:

Jony Ive Introduces a New Product!

Please Note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account. In order to prevent this from happening, please delete any videos to which you do not own the rights, and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube’s copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.

If one of your postings has been misidentified as infringing, you may submit a counter-notification. Information about this process is in our Help Center.

Please note that under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material was disabled due to mistake or misidentification may be liable for damages.


— The YouTube Team

I’m pretty pissed off. I had hoped better from Apple, a company I’ve followed and been a fan of for decades. Perhaps it’s some over-eager intern in the legal department who trawls the internet all day. Let’s hope.