Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Fake Steve Jobs TV deal hits a snag

March 28, 2010: 4:10 PM ET

"iCon" has run into contractual problems, say sources close to the negotiations

Photos: NBC, Apple Inc.

It's only an Apple (AAPL) satire, but already the lawyers are playing Steve Jobs' kind of hardball.

Less than two weeks after the studio Media Rights Capital announced that it had struck a deal with the Epix channel to make a TV comedy series pilot called "iCon" -- "a scabrous satire of Silicon Valley and its most famous citizen," according to its creator -- the deal has hit a snag.

The pilot was to be overseen by Larry Charles, an Emmy-winning writer ("Seinfeld," "Curb Your Enthusiasm") and director ("Borat," "Religulous" and "BrĂ¼no") and written by Dan Lyons, the formerly anonymous author of The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs and now a Newsweek contributor.

The original contract gave MRC rights to Lyons' novel, "Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs — A Parody." But after the deal was announced, our sources say, the studio quietly added a clause by which it would have owned Lyons' blog as well.

Lyons' lawyers caught the change, and now the two sides are at loggerheads.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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