Lately I've been acting the part of the cranky libertarian, writing pieces about government overreach. So allow me to complain about an example of corporate hassling of citizens trying to have a good time.

Apparently a popular off-night event in downtown Des Moines has been iPod Mondays. A bunch of people bring in their digital music mixes to play at a bar.

But Apple resented this use of its trademark, particularly on the event's Web site, Lawyers sent warning emails and last night was the final hurrah.

Clearly, the organizers could come up with a different name -- but why should they? It's hard for me to believe that it hurts Apple to have the name of its player become the generic term for mp3 music devices or even parties.

I understand the need to protect copyrights, but does anyone think that Kimberly-Clark's bottom line suffers when someone says "hand me a Kleenex," rather than "gimme a tissue"? Or even that the term "podcasting" doesn't help iPod sales in a way the phenomenon wouldn't had it been known as "zunecasting"?