Sam Gold is an Apple fanboy.
For his bar mitzvah, he chose a visit to San Francisco — and the company’s headquarters — over a party.
His YouTube channel covered Apple the way the British press covers Harry and Meghan.
But Sam’s greatest accomplishment may be The (Unofficial) Apple Archive. Painstakingly and lovingly, using tools like the Wayback Machine, he amassed over 15,000 print and TV ads, keynote speeches, internal training videos and other material — even macOS and iOS wallpapers. The earliest is from 1979.
Previously, the material was posted on his own YouTube channel, and a Google Drive folder. Earlier this month, he uploaded all the video — nearly a terabyte of data* — to Vimeo.
Last week, the $1 trillion company sent him hundreds of takedown notices. Apple had removed nearly every video. Just 200 or so remain.
Sam is a Staples High School senior.
The news rocketed around the internet. The Verge — Vox Media’s tech news network — noted:
The takedowns shouldn’t really surprise anyone, since 1) these videos do presumably all belong to Apple, not Gold, 2) companies generally have a duty to protect their intellectual property, and 3) because Gold and Apple have seemingly been playing a game of whack-a-mole for a while now.
First came shock. “Do you know what it’s like getting 700 email notifications on your wrist in like 2 minutes?” Sam asked The Verge, referring to his (of course) Apple Watch. “Your wrist sorta goes numb from the vibrations.”
Then Sam fought back.
“My videos may be down but my spirit is up,” the homepage of Sam’s Apple Archives reads. “Standby please.”
Sam — who has not heard directly from Apple or its lawyers, despite emailing Apples’s VP of marketing communications — told The Verge that company employees, both past and present, have shown “overwhelming interest and support for what I’m doing.”
He understands that Apple “doesn’t dwell in the past.” But, he adds, “public company history preservation is invaluable for their devoted consumer base and researchers alike.”.
Sam would love to work with Apple, to create an official archive.
But for now, he’s figuring out how to get his massive archives back online.
Any copyright lawyers want to help? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a bonus, Sam will help you with any tech questions you have, for the rest of your life.
*Exactly how much is a terabyte? “A shitload,” Sam explains.