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View Full Version : November 17, 1994: Apple Settles with Carl Sagan


MacBytes
Nov 17, 2006, 07:51 AM
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Category: History
Link: November 17, 1994: Apple Settles with Carl Sagan (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20061117085120)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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Chundles
Nov 17, 2006, 07:57 AM
Yup, ordinary people have brain-explosions, Carl Sagan had a brain-supernova.

jholzner
Nov 17, 2006, 08:17 AM
What an ass. I've lost some respect for the guy.

RichP
Nov 17, 2006, 09:21 AM
What an ass. I've lost some respect for the guy.

I agree. Reminds me of when there was the the whole Ben and Jerry's "Cherry Garcia" thing. A company, albeit a for-profit one, honors someone with naming a quality product after them (not a mockery of the celebrity) and the celeb turns around and sues them.

ctango
Nov 17, 2006, 12:16 PM
I agree. Reminds me of when there was the the whole Ben and Jerry's "Cherry Garcia" thing. A company, albeit a for-profit one, honors someone with naming a quality product after them (not a mockery of the celebrity) and the celeb turns around and sues them.

Seems a little different though. That was a publicly sold product, what Sagan sued over was an internal name for a computer. DHA is a good acronym for him. I'd be interested in what the settlement was. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sagan) :

In 1994, Apple Computer began developing the Power Macintosh 7100. They chose the internal code name "Carl Sagan," the joke being that the mid-range PowerMac 7100 would make Apple "billions and billions".[14] Though the project name was strictly internal and never used in public marketing, when Sagan learned of this internal usage, he sued Apple Computer to use a different project name — other projects had names like "Cold fusion" and "Piltdown Man", and he was displeased at being associated with what he considered pseudoscience. Though Sagan lost the suit, Apple engineers complied with his demands anyway, renaming the project "BHA" (Butt-Head Astronomer). Sagan sued Apple for libel over the new name, claiming that it subjected him to contempt and ridicule. Sagan lost this lawsuit as well; still, the 7100 saw another name change: it was lastly called "LAW" (Lawyers Are Wimps).

For now on if anybody refers to Carl Sagan, I'll replace his name with "BHA" in my response, just to see if they know what I mean. If the don't I'll say it's Carl's real initials.

IJ Reilly
Nov 17, 2006, 12:29 PM
I remember thinking at the time that if anybody had grounds to sue Carl Sagan for defamation of character, it was Carl Sagan. He was such a widely admired person before he picked this stupid fight.

mainstreetmark
Nov 17, 2006, 02:55 PM
Yeah, I wished this would never have happened. I like Sagan quite a bit, and He (and Cosmos) is pretty well responsible for my astronomy knowledge. I have Cosmos on DVD. I've read his books, including Demon Haunted World, and Contact.

While I totally see his point about being associated with pseudoscience, bringing a lawsuit certainly shouldn't have been the course of action. It damaged my opinion of him. It's like finding out your favorite beer is really made from Michelobe Ultra.

I guess being a public figure requires one to maintain said public figureness.

Lixivial
Nov 17, 2006, 03:34 PM
I agree. Carl Sagan does know how to bring things to the general public -- he brought an otherwise obscure codename to the fore with a frivolous lawsuit. If he hadn't have brought the lawsuit about, this codename would have been relegated to obscurity.

nagromme
Nov 17, 2006, 03:51 PM
I keep hoping the Cosmos sountrack will pop up on iTunes.

Marble
Nov 17, 2006, 11:19 PM
I like Apple when they're plucky. :D

Lixivial
Nov 17, 2006, 11:35 PM
I like Apple when they're plucky.

Indeed. I still use Sosumi as my default system sound. :)