The following is an account by a friend of mine, Borhan, evidencing, yet again, the lack of both journalistic and quality care by most Iranian satellite stations.
As I was flipping channels out of curiosity to see if anyone with 1/10 brain about producing TV material has arrived on Persian satellite television to surprise me with something bearable, I stopped to look at some sort of auction on Kanal Yek Television (Channel One) was having with a lady who looked like Shirin Ebadi with a shorter hair-cut at 9:20PM on August 26, 2007. After a few seconds I noticed she was using the word IPod to describe the product, when I looked and listened closer, I noticed that the product was indeed NOT apple’s Ipod but rather one of these many Chinese knock-offs of Ipod [The linked product is the closest thing to that I could find online]. I was furious that this lady in her 40’s probably was constantly spitting out “Ipod this, this Ipod that!” So I pick up the phone and call their station in LA at 818-884-5422 and to see what’s going on…
(This conversation was in Farsi, and I’ll try to translate it as best as I can remember)
(B)orhan: excuse me are these real Ipod you’re selling on TV?
(K)anal (Y)ek: No, they’re not, they’re a similar product.
B: Well, your host is continuously using the word Ipod and I think it’s misleading
KY: People can ask us and we’ll tell them that it’s not a real Ipod
B: I can’t believe what you’re doing, this is fraud…You can’t even use the word Ipod, “Ipod” the name is copyrighted by Apple and if I record a copy of your auction and send it to apple there will be a lawsuit waiting by your door soon.
KY: Well people call these mp3 players Ipods and that’s what we’re doing
B: Your audience doesn’t really know the difference between a real Ipod and these knock offs, the only thing they do know is that the Retail Price of $340 you’re advertising is the price of a real Ipod [nano] (Actually the most expensive 8 GIG IPod nano is only $250)
KY: How much did you say the Ipods are?
B: The same $300-400 you’re advertising
KY: Well ours are only $109.
B: I know that! I’m trying to tell you, you can’t mislead people by using the word Ipod, first it’s not honest and second you and your station are liable for violating Apple’s Copyright and fraud and if I send them a tape of this there will be a lawsuit that’ll hit your door soon.
KY: Well sir, this is a free country if you’re so “BIKAR” [in English: Jobless, you have nothing better to do] to call us and tell us these things you should send the video to Apple and have them file a lawsuit.
B: I know it is, If it was a real Ipod you wouldn’t be able to sell it for $109, it’s a cheap Chinese knock off that you can buy online for $50 that’s you’re selling for $109. What’s pissing me off more is how you reflect on me as an Iranian here. I don’t want people to be able to see that Iranians are crooks and are defrauding our own people so blatantly on International TV!
I’m not sure if the person I talked to communicated to the host, but she reduced the usage of the word Ipod, however she did not stop, and I decided to record as much of it as I can with my cellphone to have some sort of evidence.During the few minutes that I recorded she said it 2 more times and that’s what I have on Video.
Considering the average audience of these satellite channels are my parents’ age (Late 40’s and early 50’s) and considering the fact that neither of my parents would probably be able to tell an Ipod nano from an Iphone or an Ipod or even a slick looking remote control apart, I found Kanal Yek’s (Channel One) presentation disgustingly disturbing. If my mom thought I really wanted an Ipod and she saw that auction, and she had heard from sources that the price of an Ipod is about $300, with that “Retail Price” tag on the screen for $340 and their sale price of $109, she would have definitely been compelled to buy that product for me only to find out that she was screwed into buying an Ipod nano knock off which I probably didn’t even want.
This type of Iranian business conduct has to be stopped, unfortunately the people exposed to these poor quality programs are often also unaware of a lot of reality for the exact reason of watching Iranian music videos followed by cheap commercials followed by auctions on TV. Thus, it is now up to us second generation Iranians to make these so called sly business men and women pay for what they’re doing. This is by no means the first time such an offense has taken place on these channels and it probably won’t be the last. Thousands of people from back home bought into the “Magical Belts” (most of them knock offs of the original that hardly worked in the first place) that helped you loose weight or the unapproved diet pills. Again the audience in Iran who watches this garbage sometimes has less knowledge and less access to knowledge to know any better. So again it comes back to us. It is our responsibility to not let these people get away with shattering our identity. It is hard enough trying to offset US’s media machine, and these guys only make it worse.
Call to Action:
It is not very likely for apple to take any action against Channel One as it is very insignificant compared to Apple. But with some pressure from the community, they might do a minimal pursuit which will probably scare the hell out of Channel One. So, please e-mail apple and demand that an action be taken against Channel One’s copyright infringement of the Ipod. Also call Channel One and tell them and let them know what you think 818-884-5422. Apple Inc. is registered with the United States Copyright Office as a Service Provider (refer to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 17 USC 512). Notifications of claimed copyright infringement should be submitted to Apple’s Copyright Agent at firstname.lastname@example.org. From Apple’s Legal Contacts.