The Tribune‘s Ameet Sachdev has an amusing column today about a copyright lawyer who had to watch the Super Bowl specifically for Motorola’s Xoom tablet ad. The lawyer represents the copyright holder of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, which inspired Apple’s classic 1984 Super Bowl ad for the first Macintosh, which inspired Sunday’s Motorola ad, and he wanted to make sure that it didn’t rip off Orwell’s masterpiece.

I sent this article to my wife, who is a lawyer, because I thought she’d appreciate the irony. But she was also a comparative literature major who specialized in Russian and eastern European lit, and she pointed out that the plot and characters of Nineteen Eighty-Four are, um, highly influenced by Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, which was written 25 years before the former novel.