So it turns out that the new Apple ads promoting their Intel chips looks very similar to a music video by emo band The Postal Service, who are crying foul saying “We did not approve this commercialization and are extremely disappointed …” The music video and the Apple ad were apparently directed by the same person, so it’s pretty easy to figure out who to blame. Some folks think it’s copyright infringement, some think it’s not, others think it should be considered parody, and others still don’t care much one way or t’other. I happen to think that whether or not it’s technically copyright infringement, it’s a crappy thing to do. There is an irony to it though – the US Postal Service actually wasn’t all that pleased with the band using their name, but they resolved it amicably by licensing the band the use of the name in exchange for the band agreeing to ship their Internet orders via USPS. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s how most trademark disputes should be resolved.
If you want to understand the controversy, check out this handy comparison video.