Quibi Lawyers Protecting Name and Likeness from Podcast Fans

Two billion invested in Quibi to date has what in common with burning cash?

Yep, still waiting for cast to TV for Quibi.

Meanwhile, Quibi is still struggling to gain good press, while some of us that actually care can have a functional way to watch the content on the service. What’s taking their engineers so freaking long? It’s not like they’re climbing the Mount Everest of tech by hacking the cast TV blocking code inside Quibi’s innards.

Sigh. I hate it when IT departments drag their heels. But maybe it isn’t their fault, perhaps it’s somebody in management saying, “take your time on this, we want to see the way it is designed work”?

Whatever the reality, it’s not working.

And then there are problems that Quibi has which every big company with a weird name have: those that use that name without permission. Trademark infringement.

This is a rocky slope for companies: do we go after fans and insist they only use our silly, hard to spell name (Quiby, Quibee, Quibe, what is it?!) in a way that doesn’t confuse others thinking this is an “official” podcast? The legal world is pretty clear about precedents and if you do nothing then your legal claims weaken, but launch time is not the best time to threaten people that like what you’re doing and want to promote it for free.

“We’ve gotten messages from celebrities because they want to talk shit about Quibi,” Gibson said. “Everyone wants to shit on Quibi, but we’re the only ones who can do it because we don’t care about selling a show to them. Truly, the reason celebrities don’t want to be revealed is they still think, like, ‘Maybe I can sell a show to Quibi and make a little money off a sinking ship before the well runs dry.’” 

Quibi Sent These Podcasters A Cease-And-Desist, So Now They’re Out For Blood | HuffPost

Quibi isn’t technically or legally wrong in what they did to these podcasters. Frankly, using their name without permission is a bit obvious as being problematic, but the internet has a thieving side to it, sadly. We live in a cyberworld where asking for permission after the fact is more the norm than accepted practice.

Then there’s Bill Maher out there doing what he does best: skewering stupidity.

“You don’t have to tell me what Quibi is. I was sort of interested for a second but it passed,” said [Maher] of the short-form video service created by Jeffrey Katzenberg. “Let me guess, some assholes with MBAs raised a lot of money for an app that wastes teenagers’ time. My second guess just going by the name – a tiny country in the Middle East that lends money to Jared.”

Bill Maher Blasts Biden, Quibi And Americans
Who Are “Afraid Of Their Hands”

Quibi is trying to be more than an “app that wastes teenagers’ time” but that message is lost due to the obsoleted notion that you can control where people want to consume media.

Go ask the music industry how that works.

Eventually this is going to happen to movies. We’re going to cycle back around to doing something that people want to pay for. In music, that’s see artists/bands perform live. There is no way to consume that at home, they have to go out. For movies? Uh oh.

Quibi’s concept of we’re going to force you to watch it on your cell phone is so fundamentally flawed in 2020 that I’m shocked nobody raised their hand at the business table and said, “Um, we need to cast our content to televisions.” Maybe somebody internally did — or multiple people — only to be shut down by clueless senior management and executives.

We may never know. In the meantime, the clock is ticking on Quibi. Here’s some extremely helpful advice: get cast to TV functionality done and out here ASAP.

UPDATE 5/9/2020: Quibi’s co-founder Jeffery Katzenberg apologized to the podcast support team, Streamiverse:

“It was a mistake,” Katzenberg admits, but not without gently, professionally placing Quibi’s legal team under a quickly approaching bus. “It was lawyers doing what they believe they are supposed to do and protecting intellectual properties and copyrights and all of that stuff… It never made it to me until after the fact. The moment I heard it I went, ‘Oh my god, people doing what they thought was the right thing for what they thought were the right reasons.’ And it was a mistake, and I own it… It was not the way to manage or handle this.”

Well, well, well: Quibi CEO apologizes
on Streamiverse podcast for cease-and-desist

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