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MacBytes
Jan 7, 2005, 02:50 PM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Apple Bites The Fans That Feed It (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050107155036)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

iBook
Jan 7, 2005, 03:13 PM
The lawsuit seems completely misguided and unfounded to me. Not defending the actions of the people who leaked the information -- they've clearly broken some sort of NDA or other contractual agreement -- but I don't see the sense in suing thinksecret.com.

As best I can tell from the coverage, the site did not print incorrect information or libel an individual/company. Were the information inaccurate, it stands to reason that Apple could legally request the information be removed -- and then proceed from that basis.

The suit just strikes me as petty.

dejo
Jan 7, 2005, 04:42 PM
"But, this sort of stuff happens all the time in the tech industry."

Does that make it right? Let's just through all NDAs out the window then and see how the industry reacts.

nagromme
Jan 7, 2005, 04:43 PM
I can't answer whether Apple has a legal basis for going after TS. You'd think Apple's lawyers would know that, though ;) But I hope TS gets off the hook, and I do enjoy rumors.

On the flip side of my enjoyment is REAL harm done to Apple when its secrets get shared with competitors. That's not petty.

Mr. Anderson
Jan 7, 2005, 04:46 PM
I always thought that Apple gave these type of stories a cease and desist or you're going to get a law suit? If that's the case here, then TS deserves getting taken to court for not following Apple's warning.

Its all about the NDA and its sad that it has to be that way sometimes. But if they didn't do something about then they're basically saying that its ok.

D

fregedegpo
Jan 7, 2005, 05:45 PM
Apple is still in a precarious position, and the leak might have screwed up their game plan. There is much at stake for all Mac users. I think Apple is justified.

Kagetenshi
Jan 8, 2005, 03:01 AM
While I usually respect Forbes at least moderately, I think they don't know what they're talking about on this one.

Incidentally, while not conclusive word on the street is that Apple did send cease-and-desists, but they were ignored. I find it hard to believe that anyone could seriously mount the defense that they didn't know that the sort of specific details ThinkSecret has been posting were trade secrets, so ThinkSecret is clearly in the wrong and liable civilly if not criminally.

This isn't about biting the fans, it's about biting the spies.

~J

LethalWolfe
Jan 8, 2005, 03:20 AM
I always thought that Apple gave these type of stories a cease and desist or you're going to get a law suit? If that's the case here, then TS deserves getting taken to court for not following Apple's warning.

According to the c|net article that's on the front page of MR, Apple legal repeatedly contacted TS and were repeatedly ignored.


Anyway...
I'm glad to know that Lisa DiCarlo, the writer of the article, thinks the hand that feeds Apple belongs to Apple employees that violate their NDAs.
:rolleyes:

Apple isn't going after people who start/spread rumors they are going after employees who violate their NDAs. I'm still amazed at how many people can't/don't/won't realize that.


Lethal

Diatribe
Jan 8, 2005, 04:20 AM
I said it over in the other thread and I'll say it again.

I don't think they are after rumor sites, they want the names from within the company. And IF TS paid them then their butt too.

Just imagine if the iPod mini would've been known before and all the other companies would've been ready...
Now with the iPod flash, Creative already announced a 1GB player. This will cost Apple market share and money. If I were Apple I'd be more than pissed.

And I cannot blame Apple, I think they're doing the right thing.

wdlove
Jan 8, 2005, 12:10 PM
Competition is very fierce in the computer/technology business. A company having a product lead is very important. Apple was able to surprise its competition with the iPod and iTunes. That is why they are in the lead today. Someone working for Apple has no right to give out company secrets.

combatcolin
Jan 9, 2005, 11:12 AM
VERY VERY VERY annoying to have to click past some "advert" to get to the article.

mrgreen4242
Jan 9, 2005, 11:56 AM
I fail to see how this isn't freedom of the press. If Apple has internal leaks that's an APPLE problem, and no outside agency should have obligation to either help seal or find the leaks. The PRESS DOES have an obligation to print the news that they find to be accurate, or at least have every reason to believe is accurate at the time they publish it.

Now, if Apple wants to sue TS for the purpose of finding their leak, they should be required to pay legal expenses to determine if TS is legally obligated to reveal thier sources. If Apple wants to sue TS for damages because they published information that was leaked to them, they should be slapped down with a counter suit for legal costs and any damages in terms of loss of public respectability of TS. (Personally, I think that this suit has helped TS more than anything... assuming they get paid per advertisement exposure, all the coverage has got to be upping the page hits).

If TS approached an Apple employee and offered compensation for spilling the beans, they would be at least partially liable. But if the Apple employee gave them the info freely, without being asked, or even if the leaker asked TS for money without any prompting from TS, it's really all the leakers liability.

The whole thing is ridiculous, imo.

Rob

Diatribe
Jan 9, 2005, 01:45 PM
If TS approached an Apple employee and offered compensation for spilling the beans, they would be at least partially liable. Rob

Partially? You're kidding right?

whocares
Jan 9, 2005, 02:29 PM
All I have to say on this is that, so far, the lawsuit has only manage to increase media coverage of the $499 headless Mac (or whatever the products in question are).

This is either a negative side effect for Apple (most likely) or lost of free 'commercial' for Apple and its product(s). :rolleyes:

Kagetenshi
Jan 9, 2005, 02:46 PM
I fail to see how this isn't freedom of the press.

Try this on for size, then. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Nowhere does it guarantee the right of the press to bypass the rights of others, or to release trade secrets (the knowing disclosure of which is, in California, a criminal offense), or to conspire to violate contract law without repercussions. The first has been done. The second has been clearly done. The third is questionable, but there is clear and present tort on the part of ThinkSecret. This is clearly not a first-amendment issue; the government doesn't enter into it.

~J

LethalWolfe
Jan 9, 2005, 03:49 PM
All I have to say on this is that, so far, the lawsuit has only manage to increase media coverage of the $499 headless Mac (or whatever the products in question are).

This is either a negative side effect for Apple (most likely) or lost of free 'commercial' for Apple and its product(s). :rolleyes:

Short term loss in hopes of a long term gain. The cat is already out of the bag so Apple's willing to accept the press surrounding the lawsuit in hopes that the lawsuit will lead to fewer/no breaches of NDAs in the future.


Lethal

solvs
Jan 9, 2005, 10:06 PM
Try this on for size, then.
People like to hide behind the amendments, even if they don't know what they really mean.

iBook
Jan 10, 2005, 12:59 AM
This is not a First Amendment issue. The government is not impeding ThinkSecret.com's ability to print information or questioning the information it has printed.

This is a publicly held company suing another company. Plain and simple.

Constitutional issues simply are not at stake here.

What is at stake is Apple's credibility - does it really need to sue ThinkSecret? Why isn't it enough to sue the people who violated the NDA? ThinkSecret.com is not bound by the terms of an NDA that someone else signed with Apple.

Now, had ThinkSecret obtained the information by theft, it would be a different story. As it stands, I don't see the legal basis for Apple's claim.

Apple clearly has an ax to grind, IMHO.

Sun Baked
Jan 10, 2005, 02:05 AM
Apple clearly has an ax to grind, IMHO.Apple's lawyers have already ground their ax, now they want a head to chop off.

TS just happened to be the one to stick their neck out over the chopping block and yell "bite me" to the legal team by continuing to publish after Apple told them to stop.

iBook
Jan 10, 2005, 08:50 AM
Apple's lawyers have already ground their ax, now they want a head to chop off.

TS just happened to be the one to stick their neck out over the chopping block and yell "bite me" to the legal team by continuing to publish after Apple told them to stop.

I question what legal authority Apple has to tell ThinkSecret.com to "cease and desist." It is a news story about a product announcement.

There is fair use doctrine in the United States that allows this sort of coverage because it is for information purposes. It's why newspapers can write reviews of movies, for example.

kronos2611
Jan 10, 2005, 01:05 PM
the one point I took from the article I completely agree with - Apple appear to be trying hard to cause disruption in the Mac community. Unfortunately I don't think most of it is justified and is merely headline grabbing stuff.

the core issue is that Apple have a following. An actual real life following. Not just customers, you've got people who actively "spread the word" and promote the platform. I personally thing Apple need to start doing a bit more good press which hopefully will come in the next couple of days. Otherwise they could end up upsetting a large number of people....

Now I do agree that they should pursue any breaches of their NDA, be that internal or external to the company - that's a given. However, pulling out of expo's - and now removing the live feed from the Keynote tomorrow - well that's just not playing nice.