Today, relationships between customers, major companies, and their competitors, are defined from the copyright rules that companies place on their consumers. Apple today is a very well establish and recognized company that continues to attract customers through their innovative and unique products. They have created a brand that people are attracted to and see as a “high status” brand, meaning that it is a status statement to own a Apple product. This is shown in the satirical show South Park, episode HUMANCENTiPAD, where the protagonist in the show Eric Cartman, insults his classmates who do not own an Ipad stating, “Hey! Where’s your Ipad? Oh Wait! Your not cool enough!” (South Park) Cartman, sees the Ipad as an item that shows what type of person someone is and how they relate to society. Even though the Ipad and other Apple products have created a strong relationship to their consumers, Apple has put many copyright laws and restrictions on their customers, but even more, customers allow themselves to be constantly tracked and researched by Apple. But Apple is not the only company that does this. Facebook continually tracks their members movement on their site, seeing what they are interested in, what their friends are interested in, and even more information on the members personal life. But consumers still have a loyalty to these brands even though they constantly have to worry about what information is being put out about them and what copyright rules they could be breaking. In Itunes terms and conditions they are many rules that prevent customers from freely using the content they bought. In the privacy section of the terms and agreement, they explain that if one turns on a specific feature, they will collect information on the music that is in and being played in the persons library.(Terms and Conditions) Though where it looks like Apple is giving the choice for the customer to allow their information to be released, the application is automatically turned on when one signs up for Itunes. If someone did not want their information to be released, they would have to manually turn off the application. Apple knowing that customers are usually unaware of the terms and agreement, they can get any information they need to help benefit them as a company.
Apple’s control of customs is again is satirized in the South Park episode HUMANCENTiPAD, where Kyle Broflovski is kidnaped and used in a experiment by Apple, because he agreed to the terms and agreement, which gave up his rights to Apple.(South Park) While this is obviously an exaggerated scenario, it highlights how major companies control their customers. William Patry explains in his book “Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars” how with push marketing, businesses create products that they want to sell, instead of creating products customers want.(Party 5) When Apple came out with the Iphone, it was in high demand and millions of people were attracted to the phone, even though it was not like anything out in the market then. Apple though made customers want to buy a fully touch screen phone, even when the slide out keyboards were the innovate phones during that time. Apple did not stop there, every year a new Iphone came out people wanted the newer version, although the phone did not ever make dramatic changes. Apple though, used catchy slogans like “The most amazing Iphone yet” and “The first phone to beat the Iphone”.
Companies and their consumers are in a consistent battle of copyright wars. Companies try to control their customers by different marketing strategies, and use of their terms and conditions. Every time a customer agrees to a term and condition they lose certain rights to that company even if the customer does not exactly what it is. Its not about what the people say anymore, its about what the companies decide.
Parker, Trey. “Humancentipad.” South Park. N.d. South Park Studios. South Park Studios. Web. 8 Sept. 2012. <http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s15e01-humancentipad>.
Patry, William F. Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars. New York: Oxford UP, 2009. Print.
“Terms and Conditions.” Apple. 08 Sept. 2012.