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MacRumors
Apr 21, 2006, 10:34 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

SFGate publishes followup (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/04/21/BUGVCICCFA43.DTL&type=business) to the ongoing Apple lawsuit against leakers of an unreleased product codenamed Asteroid. Apple's lawyers argued that no one had the right to publish trade secrets:

Apple Computer Inc. argued Thursday that neither a journalist nor a blogger has the right to publish a company's trade secrets, in a case that could determine just how much protection publishers -- online or off -- have in the digital age.

The EFF's counter arguement claims that bloggers should protected by the same rights that shield journalists from disclosing a confidential source.

Apple reportedly faced tough questioning (http://news.com.com/Apple+argues+for+blogger+records/2100-1047_3-6063265.html?tag=nl) by the appellate court about their investigation.

"You don't really claim this is a new technology?" the presiding judge, Conrad Rushing, asked Apple's lawyer. "This [Asteroid] is plugging a guitar into a computer."

miketcool
Apr 21, 2006, 10:37 AM
That legal team never rests!

Eagon
Apr 21, 2006, 10:39 AM
although i love the leaks as much as the next person, i can see where apple are coming from

Mac Fly (film)
Apr 21, 2006, 10:43 AM
Slow news day:D

w00master
Apr 21, 2006, 10:43 AM
Despite being a fan of Apple, I really hope they don't win on this case.

w00master

Veritas&Equitas
Apr 21, 2006, 10:59 AM
What's really funny about this is the fact that if Microsoft or some other huge corporation did this, all of the Macboys on this site would be freaking out, saying how "big, bad and evil" those companies are. Yet, I guarantee, many people in the future of this thread will spin this the opposite way, saying how they support Apple all the way and the lawsuit "makes sense." I can see it now...sometimes the blinders are on pretty tight around here...

gkhaldi
Apr 21, 2006, 11:00 AM
Despite being a fan of Apple, I really hope they don't win on this case.

w00master

Not so sure on this one. What if next time they leaked some core pieces of eg FC Pro? I wouldn't like to see my software / ideas go the world around for somebody else to patent them.

This leaves the door open for the following:

http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/04/20060418083336.shtml

:(

stefan15
Apr 21, 2006, 11:01 AM
That case is pathetic.. the fact that Apple completely hides its products before release is good for their business but bad for the consumer, especially when the product typically sucks. I mean when it comes to the iBook.. it is starting to sound more and more like an Asus notebook with OSX installed on it. Big deal. Lots of reasons for secrecy there..

Nice job by the judge.. Asteroid is nothing fance whatever. Currently, Presonus Firebox is not only a very high quality firewire preamp, but it is compatible with mac.

dubnluvn
Apr 21, 2006, 11:01 AM
Journalism rests on a thin line. I'm a photojournalist and, although in different aspects, this is something seen regularly. The bloggers should not be held responsible since they did not break laws to get the information, unless, of course, they did (like tying some apple employee up in a chair under a hot overhead light and tweezing their hairs out 1 by 1 until they talked). While I do realize that Apple doesn't want information on unrealeased products (or really much of anything, did you listen to the Q2 reports?) leaked, I believe the burden should and is placed on Apple to investigate internally and dispose of the rat themselves. Which is exactly what they are doing hear. They basically are suing for something they know is unlikely to go their way but is conceivablely possible from the view of the other party. Thus, putting pressure for them just to release the rat's name so Apple can then do some house cleaning.

blueimac'00
Apr 21, 2006, 11:09 AM
What is asteroid?

supremedesigner
Apr 21, 2006, 11:22 AM
What is asteroid?

A big rock coming out of outerspace to hit us. That's why Apple is keeping it as a secret! :eek: They plan to take over the world!

Hattig
Apr 21, 2006, 11:26 AM
What is asteroid?
'plugging a guitar into a computer'

apparently :p

I can see both sides' viewpoint here.

I think that because it was a trade secret, and reporting on it wasn't whistleblowing bad behaviour from Apple, and Apple aren't a public entity like the government, that Apple have quite valid reasons for not wanting their products exposed until they release them.

w00master
Apr 21, 2006, 11:35 AM
Not so sure on this one. What if next time they leaked some core pieces of eg FC Pro? I wouldn't like to see my software / ideas go the world around for somebody else to patent them.

This leaves the door open for the following:

http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2006/04/20060418083336.shtml

:(

Imho, it's the responsibility of the company itself to seal off their leak issues not a blogger or journalist.

As for the Burst.com issue, I'm against all forms of broad patents put out by small and large companies and this includes Apple. I'm also against all forms of software patents as they stifle overall innovation.

w00master

Photorun
Apr 21, 2006, 11:35 AM
What is asteroid?

It was a cool potential Apple product but when reports of it leaked Steve Jobs, the big egotistical baby he is, yoinked it because he's the type that if people don't play his games it's his ball and he'll take it home.

Rumors do little to hurt Apple and a lot to do soft marketing for them, you know... MARKETING?!?! Something Apple doesn't do ANY of aside from the iPod and a couple Intel ads you don't know they exist or make computers meanwhile Dull has their bait-and-switch ads for total junk running ad nauseam and Windoze has their ads aimed at the clueless demographic (like they need more clueless lusers?).

Apple gets cool, they even get computers, but they don't 'get' their most loyal and rabid audience, something they've shown time and time again.

dextertangocci
Apr 21, 2006, 11:40 AM
That case is pathetic.. the fact that Apple completely hides its products before release is good for their business but bad for the consumer, especially when the product typically sucks. I mean when it comes to the iBook.. it is starting to sound more and more like an Asus notebook with OSX installed on it. Big deal. Lots of reasons for secrecy there..

Nice job by the judge.. Asteroid is nothing fance whatever. Currently, Presonus Firebox is not only a very high quality firewire preamp, but it is compatible with mac.

Can somebody please explain to me just how apple keeps their new products and the release dates of their products a complete secret until the day it is released? I'm sure somebody who works at apple is going to tell someone, like a close friend or family member. Or what about the people who work in the factories in China, they must know???:confused:

Caiwyn
Apr 21, 2006, 11:45 AM
The EFF is becoming an increasingly useless and hypocritical organization. Let's take a look at the facts:

1. Apple isn't arguing that bloggers aren't journalists. In fact, they are arguing that bloggers and journalists should be held to the same standards.

2. Apple isn't arguing that journalists can't print confidential information. They are arguing that the journalists do not have the right to withhold the identity of their sources when that confidential information constitutes a trade secret.

3. The EFF is just using the same FUD tactics they accuse everyone else of using.

4. Even when the EFF is in the right, they almost always lose (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/12/06/eff_needs_to_die/), setting dangerous precedents. They clearly don't know how to pick their fights.

Personally, I'm with Apple on this one. Anyone else who withholds information in a court case is charged with obstruction of justice, so what makes journalists so special? The first amendment guarantees journalists the right to print information, not to keep their sources confidential.

Journalists will argue that source confidentiality is necessary to freedom of the press, and that is why many states have "shield laws" for reporters that grants them this privilege. But it seems to me that in cases like this, the very act of giving this information to journalists is a crime, or at the very least a breach of contract that must be resolved by the courts.

Allowing journalists to deny the courts a path to justice when they are participants in the criminal act itself seems to me a dangerous loophole, especially when the journalist profits directly from the exchange of such information.

iPie
Apr 21, 2006, 11:50 AM
What's really funny about this is the fact that if Microsoft or some other huge corporation did this, all of the Macboys on this site would be freaking out, saying how "big, bad and evil" those companies are. Yet, I guarantee, many people in the future of this thread will spin this the opposite way, saying how they support Apple all the way and the lawsuit "makes sense." I can see it now...sometimes the blinders are on pretty tight around here...

Yes the 'AAPL can do no evil' thing is pretty bad on 'Mac' sites. Altough I must say that MacRumors is one of the most 'balanced'.

For some reason I am not at all attracted by AAPL as a company, although I love their products, they don't seem to treat their customers any better than PC firms.

In reponse to the posts on 'trade secrets': please define in a manner that is actually useful.

w00master
Apr 21, 2006, 11:55 AM
The EFF is becoming an increasingly useless organization. Let's take a look at the facts:

1. Apple isn't arguing that bloggers aren't journalists. In fact, they are arguing that bloggers and journalists should be held to the same standards.

2. Apple isn't arguing that journalists can't print confidential information. They are arguing that the journalists do not have the right to withhold the identity of their sources when that confidential information constitutes a trade secret.

Personally, I'm with Apple on this one. Anyone else who withholds information in a court case is charged with obstruction of justice, so what makes journalists so special? The first amendment guarantees journalists the right to print information, not to keep their sources confidentiality.

Journalists will argue that source confidentiality is necessary to freedom of the press, and that is why many states have "shield laws" for reporters that grants them this privilege. But it seems to me that in cases like this, the very act of giving this information to journalists is a crime, or at the very least a breach of contract that must be resolved by the courts.

Allowing journalists to deny the courts a path to justice when they are participants in the criminal act itself seems to me a dangerous loophole, especially when the journalist profits directly from the exchange of such information.


I guess FUD is okay when it comes from the EFF, right?

I humbly disagree. What consitutes "trade secrets?" Anything that a corporation wants to? That's the way it sounds to me and it sounds even more dangerous than "allowing journalists deny the courts a path to justice."

As for FUD when it comes from the EFF? What FUD? Please elaborate. Imho, I've always looked at EFF PROTECTING our electronic rights. Sorry, I'd rather support them (even though they aren't always right... no one is) than any large corporation. Even Apple, my favorite co.

w00master

w00master
Apr 21, 2006, 11:56 AM
What's really funny about this is the fact that if Microsoft or some other huge corporation did this, all of the Macboys on this site would be freaking out, saying how "big, bad and evil" those companies are. Yet, I guarantee, many people in the future of this thread will spin this the opposite way, saying how they support Apple all the way and the lawsuit "makes sense." I can see it now...sometimes the blinders are on pretty tight around here...

Well said.

musiclover137
Apr 21, 2006, 11:57 AM
Can somebody please explain to me just how apple keeps their new products and the release dates of their products a complete secret until the day it is released? I'm sure somebody who works at apple is going to tell someone, like a close friend or family member. Or what about the people who work in the factories in China, they must know???:confused:
Yeah, and what about the models who pose for ads with the shuffle when it came out. I know I'd talk...

Caiwyn
Apr 21, 2006, 12:10 PM
I humbly disagree. What consitutes "trade secrets?" Anything that a corporation wants to? That's the way it sounds to me and it sounds even more dangerous than "allowing journalists deny the courts a path to justice."

Surprise! You've fallen victim to the EFF's FUD again! This is exactly what I'm talking about. California's trade secrets law is very specific about what does and does not constitute a trade secret (http://daringfireball.net/2006/04/ogrady):

"Trade secret" means information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that:
1. Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to the public or to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and
2. Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.

That's from the judge's ruling. The EFF wants you to think that a company can just call whatever they want a "trade secret," but that's not true.

As for FUD when it comes from the EFF? What FUD? Please elaborate. Imho, I've always looked at EFF PROTECTING our electronic rights. Sorry, I'd rather support them (even though they aren't always right... no one is) than any large corporation. Even Apple, my favorite co.

What the EFF claims to do is honorable, yes. The problem is that they are zealots who couldn't argue their way out of a paper bag. They've lost every major case they were involved in (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/12/06/eff_needs_to_die/page2.html) because of it. What's more, to prove their point, they harass the very people they purport to protect (http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=182727&cid=15103638):

I don't feel threatened at all by Apple. At no point has Apple or their lawyers ever "intimated" me. On the other hand the EFF has attempted to coerce and intimidate me in this matter. Their legal filings imply that my conversations in response to the subpoena from Apple were violations of federal law. The EFF cherry picks what parts of the case they want to display on their web page. Meanwhile I have a foot tall stack of filings from the case.

I like the idea of the EFF, certainly. But in practice, they've turned out to be counter-effective.

w00master
Apr 21, 2006, 12:31 PM
Surprise! You've fallen victim to the EFF's FUD again! This is exactly what I'm talking about. California's trade secrets law is very specific about what does and does not constitute a trade secret (http://daringfireball.net/2006/04/ogrady):

2. Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.

I'm not denying on what is or isn't law, however that doesn't mean I have to agree with it. I don't. Additionally, "subject of efforts" and "under the circumstances" are beyond vague and imho could mean absolutely anything in the mind of a corporation.


That's from the judge's ruling. The EFF wants you to think that a company can just call whatever they want a "trade secret," but that's not true.

In my mind, based on #2, a corporation could say nearly anything is a "trade secret."


What the EFF claims to do is honorable, yes. The problem is that they are zealots who couldn't argue their way out of a paper bag. They've lost every major case they were involved in (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/12/06/eff_needs_to_die/page2.html) because of it. What's more, to prove their point, they harass the very people they purport to protect (http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=182727&cid=15103638):

I like the idea of the EFF, certainly. But in practice, they've turned out to be counter-effective.

Again, EFF (or anyone else) isn't perfect. However, if "zealot" means protecting (as well as proclaiming) my digital rights then I'm a zealot too. So I ask you, if it is counter-intuitive, is the best way to go about protecting your digital rights is to do nothing? Corporations and our own government have destroyed your digital rights. I have called/e-mailed my representatives; I've supported the EFF; I've signed petitions. Sorry, but I'd rather do something than nothing. If it ends in failure and causes legal precident, then so be it.

w00master

whooleytoo
Apr 21, 2006, 12:33 PM
"You don't really claim this is a new technology?" the presiding judge, Conrad Rushing, asked Apple's lawyer. "This [Asteroid] is plugging a guitar into a computer."

...and in other news, Apple Computer Inc. has filed a lawsuit against one Judge Conrad Rushing, for making public Apple's trade secrets..

Abulia
Apr 21, 2006, 12:40 PM
I believe that Apple -- or any other company -- has a right to protect their trade secrets. The problem is that this case isn't about trade secrets at all, it's about lifting the veil of secrecy and hype that surrounds future Apple products. These news sites aren't posting trade secrets or the design plans for the Death Star, they're simply stating Apple's product roadmap and potential future products. If anything, it feeds the hype machine.

Apple, IMO, is way off base here.

Oh, and somewhat related, I'm a Regional IT Director for a Fortune 500 company. One reason we do not seriously consider Apple products is because we don't know what they're thinking. No roadmap, no plan, no discussion on "here's how we'll help you in years 2 and 3." There was an article in CIO magazine not long ago that stated pretty much the same thing. Other vendors -- Dell, Microsoft, et. al. -- have no problem showing us their roadmaps so we can make strategic business decisions.

Apple's secrecy helps them in many ways, but in others it also hurts them.

melevittfl
Apr 21, 2006, 12:41 PM
What the EFF claims to do is honorable, yes. The problem is that they are zealots who couldn't argue their way out of a paper bag. They've lost every major case they were involved in (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/12/06/eff_needs_to_die/page2.html)

I'm sorry, but you're basing your opinion of the EFF on an article in The Register that was a) factually wrong in many ways and b) written under an anonymous byline, meaning the author wasn't willing to stack his/her reputation on it.

Many of the cases the article sites a "losses for the EFF" were not cases that the EFF had anything to do with.

The article your linking to is a complete hogwash.

http://www.boingboing.net/2006/02/03/correction_orlowski_.html

dejo
Apr 21, 2006, 12:42 PM
Rumors do little to hurt Apple and a lot to do soft marketing for them, you know... MARKETING?!?! Something Apple doesn't do ANY of aside from the iPod and a couple Intel ads you don't know they exist or make computers meanwhile Dull has their bait-and-switch ads for total junk running ad nauseam and Windoze has their ads aimed at the clueless demographic (like they need more clueless lusers?).

I think you are only considering TV advertising. There are plenty of other places Apple advertises. Trade magazines, for example.

iwannabeaninja
Apr 21, 2006, 12:46 PM
Asteroid was going to be a box where you could plug in 5 different 1/4" or XLR instruments that went out to your mac via firewire. Each input had it's own volume slider. It would have retailed at around $80, but too much information was leaked by Think Secret a while ago and thus Apple pulling the product. Shortly after the whole legal bit with Think Secret, Apple sold the product to M-Audio which turned out to be two products: the iControl and the Projectmix I/O. Both of which are more than $80. The iControl has no instrument inputs except for a MIDI in. The Projectmix I/O is far too expensive for the average musician but includes 8 1/4" or XLR inputs and also doubles as MIDI faders. Asteroid would have sold like hotcakes even at $100 and would have been the least expensive piece of hardware in it's category.

gwangung
Apr 21, 2006, 12:55 PM
I believe that Apple -- or any other company -- has a right to protect their trade secrets. The problem is that this case isn't about trade secrets at all, it's about lifting the veil of secrecy and hype that surrounds future Apple products. These news sites aren't posting trade secrets or the design plans for the Death Star, they're simply stating Apple's product roadmap and potential future products.


That IS a trade secret (and has been defined as such in nearly every court in the land).

What? You don't think competitors wouldn't like to get that? And you don't think that sort of thing would help competitors? Um. Right.......

gwangung
Apr 21, 2006, 12:55 PM
I think you are only considering TV advertising. There are plenty of other places Apple advertises. Trade magazines, for example.

And, of course, marketing is not equivalent to advertising....

dejo
Apr 21, 2006, 12:56 PM
And, of course, marketing is not equivalent to advertising....

You got that right!

Crikey
Apr 21, 2006, 01:44 PM
That case is pathetic.. the fact that Apple completely hides its products before release is good for their business but bad for the consumer, especially when the product typically sucks. I mean when it comes to the iBook.. it is starting to sound more and more like an Asus notebook with OSX installed on it. Big deal. Lots of reasons for secrecy there..

Nice job by the judge.. Asteroid is nothing fance whatever. Currently, Presonus Firebox is not only a very high quality firewire preamp, but it is compatible with mac.

Nice troll.

Where is your basis for saying "Asteroid is nothing fancy whatever."? Has Asteroid ever been released, so we really know what it is and does, or whether it "sucks"? I don't see any Apple-branded audio interface hardware in their Apple Store online.

That's what baffles me about this lawsuit. Why is Apple suing people for releasing rumors about a product they apparently never bothered to complete? And if Apple really plans to release an audio interface, why have they waited until most of their potential customers have already bought something from someone else? The competition has been at it long enough that prices are falling as the market space becomes commoditized. Not the ideal time to enter a market.

I don't buy the claim that the project was cancelled because a rumor site leaked a basic idea of what kind of product the code-name referred to. It's more likely Apple realized they couldn't make a device with the planned feature set at the planned price point (if they had, I agree with an above poster that it would have been a hit). I think the project was cancelled because they decided it would be hard to compete with low-end M-Audio and Griffin stuff on one hand and with pro-sumer MOTU and DigiDesign stuff on the other, in a commoditizing market.


Crikey

pavetheforest
Apr 21, 2006, 02:02 PM
What's really funny about this is the fact that if Microsoft or some other huge corporation did this, all of the Macboys on this site would be freaking out, saying how "big, bad and evil" those companies are. Yet, I guarantee, many people in the future of this thread will spin this the opposite way, saying how they support Apple all the way and the lawsuit "makes sense." I can see it now...sometimes the blinders are on pretty tight around here...

another dell person speaking out line! ! ! your in the wrong part of town WINDOZE MAN.......

wait a second...............................

V V V V:D

fixyourthinking
Apr 21, 2006, 02:08 PM
Note that it's the press trying to twist this for sensationalism and actually listening to the EFF (for senationalistic argument) ... not Apple that is saying that bloggers aren't journalists.

Apple isn't agreeing or disagreeing with the premise that bloggers are journalists ... they are disagreeing that ANYONE has the right to report trade secrets as news.

This case, if decided in Apple's favor will be a REAL blow to blogger's rights ... just the opposite effect of OGrady's and the EFF's intentions.

I have had a similar argument against my blog recently ... it was being fought over a REAL issue for the court to decide ... whether or not I was a journalist ... previous cases have said that it's not the medium, it is the content that makes a journalist a journalist. If the intent is to report news ... then there is an intent to be a reporter; therefore a reporter (and journalism) exists.

Apple isn't arguing OGrady's intent ... it is arguing the fact that NO ONE ... certifiable tv journalists, radio reporters, CNN, NBC, FOXNEWS ... none of them have the right to report trade secrets ... which is (in the hands of OGrady) STOLEN PROPERTY obtained = against the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

The bloggers should not be held responsible since they did not break laws to get the information

They did break laws ... AppleInsider and Ogrady (and others) knowingly accepted confidential business plans, diagrams, and designs. Think Secret EVEN SOLICITS for you (yes YOU) to break the law and "give them dirt" ... the Think Secret site has an ad that says "GOT DIRT?" CALL this #. Reporting or disseminating trade secrets publicly is against the law ... read the UTSA.

A company can't make everything trade secret or at will ... obviously a future product is a trade secret ... obviously Apple doesn't want its competitors to know what it has in the pipeline.

I love rumors sites ... but there are ways to speculate, overhear, and creative extrapolate --- THAT is the hype that we all like ... not hurting Apple by potentially hurting their impact of groundbreaking hardware and applications.

YoNeX
Apr 21, 2006, 02:46 PM
Let me throw my 2cents into this.

Working for a company that has A LOT of sensitive material, we had to sign a NDA. It states clearly and we get heavly trained that we cannot disclose any of the activities or announcement that goes on in the facuility. This would be known as insider information. If anyone was to disclose the information, they would be in a lot of trouble, including legal troubles. The company has to protect their information and against competitors, granted like any business.

Now the address at hand is whether its justifiable for Apple to go after the person who published the insider information (who got it from an Apple employee) and the ISP of the publisher. That is the question at hand arguing. The way in which the publisher would get away with no having to reveal his sources is if he gets journalism protection. So it becomes a case of whether or not bloggers are considered journalists or not.

Making a case arguing against company secrets is lunacy. I like to see someone argue that company secret should not be kept secret. To EFF: While your have a good initative to protect the right of the people, you have to remember that what they did was unethical and probably illegal. You may say that anything can be considered trade secret, and sure I'll agree with that. But something only becomes illegal when you take action against it. I'm sure a company won't take any action if you just publish the cafeteria menu or like the special Friday. But once you decide to publish information that affects their business, that is when it gets serious and they will take action. Don't try to compare the difference between the government and business now, they are two different entity and should be treated that way.

To the person who publish it, you take the responsiblity of what ever you publish, whether true or not. Do not try to be ignorant and say you didn't know, its your responsiblity to check your sources and ask the necessary questions to get your answers (sound familiar? this is a journalist). Even if you don't take the responsibility, the source of the information knows that anything that isn't out in the public, is company secret and most likely cannot be disclosed (see example above for why you can get away for posting certain stuff or not). The person most likely signed a NDA and broke it, and should be punished accordingly. Now how Apple gets to find out this person is where it gets hazy.

ImAlwaysRight
Apr 21, 2006, 03:03 PM
Asteroid was going to be a box where you could plug in 5 different 1/4" or XLR instruments that went out to your mac via firewire. Each input had it's own volume slider. It would have retailed at around $80, but too much information was leaked by Think Secret a while ago and thus Apple pulling the product. Shortly after the whole legal bit with Think Secret, Apple sold the product to M-Audio which turned out to be two products: the iControl and the Projectmix I/O. Both of which are more than $80. The iControl has no instrument inputs except for a MIDI in. The Projectmix I/O is far too expensive for the average musician but includes 8 1/4" or XLR inputs and also doubles as MIDI faders. Asteroid would have sold like hotcakes even at $100 and would have been the least expensive piece of hardware in it's category.
I seriously doubt Apple would pull the product just because "too much information was leaked" by a rumor site. Crap! Now we won't see new MacBooks because too much information was leaked about them. :eek: :rolleyes:

More than likely if a company like Apple doesn't follow through with a project, it is because it would not be a worthwhile investment for them. Simple economics.

iPie
Apr 21, 2006, 03:24 PM
Some definitions (from Finance Glossary and Wikipedia):

Inside Information:
Price-sensitive information about a company that has not yet been made public.

People who use the information either to make a profit for themselves or for someone else are committing a criminal offence (insider dealing).

The inside dealer does not have to work for the company for his dealing to be an offence. So a stockbroker, or merchant banker, who knows about an impending takeover deal who buys shares in the target company with the intention of making a profit, is guilty. If he gets a friend to buy the shares, he is still guilty. In theory, the net is cast quite wide. In practice, insider dealing prosecutions are rare, and successful ones rarer still because the allegations are so hard to prove.

Note the difference between insider dealing (an offence) and directors dealings (not an offence).

Trade Secret : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_secret
A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information used by a business to obtain an advantage over competitors within the same industry or profession. In some jurisdictions, such secrets are referred to as "confidential information", while in others they are a subset or example of confidential information.

The sanctioned protection of such type of information from public disclosure is viewed as an important legal aspect by which a society protects its overall economic vitality. A company typically invests time and energy (work) into generating information regarding refinements of process and operation. If competitors had access to the same knowledge, the first company's ability to survive or maintain its market dominance would be impaired. Where trade sectets are recognised, the creator of property regarded as a "trade secret" is entitled to regard such "special knowledge" as intellectual property.

The precise language by which a trade secret is defined varies by jurisdiction (as do the particular types of information that are subject to trade secret protection). However, there are three factors that (though subject to differing interpretations) are common to all such definitions: a trade secret is some sort of information that:

* is not generally known to the relevant portion of the public;
* confers some sort of economic benefit on its holder (where this benefit must derive specifically from its not being generally known, not just from the value of the information itself);
* is the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy.

Trade secrets are not protected by law in the same manner as trademarks or patents. Probably one of the most significant differences is that a trade secret is protected without disclosure of the secret.

....there's more.

In any case, if AAPL wants to keep secrets secret, they should just do a better job of it. Wow, this is a real lesson in how to squander goodwill.

gwangung
Apr 21, 2006, 03:24 PM
I seriously doubt Apple would pull the product just because "too much information was leaked" by a rumor site. Crap! Now we won't see new MacBooks because too much information was leaked about them. :eek: :rolleyes:

More than likely if a company like Apple doesn't follow through with a project, it is because it would not be a worthwhile investment for them. Simple economics.

Depends. If it's in a core, existing market like a laptop, then they certainly wouldn't drop it.

For a peripheral market or one they were contemplating moving into....maybe. Maybe not...but it's not as clear cut.

gwangung
Apr 21, 2006, 03:26 PM
In any case, if AAPL wants to keep secrets secret, they should just do a better job of it. Wow, this is a real lesson in how to squander goodwill.

Like...trying to find the identity of the leaker?

By the way, in the eyes of the law, Apple doesn't have to be perfect....they have to make reasonable efforts. Marking things CONFIDENTIAL and making people sign NDAs are reasonble efforts.

matticus008
Apr 21, 2006, 03:29 PM
I'm not denying on what is or isn't law, however that doesn't mean I have to agree with it. I don't.
So you're saying that Apple should lose its case because you don't agree with the law that provides the cause for suit? You do realize that that's functionally equivalent to saying that a murderer should get off because you disagree with capital punishment, right? (Before anyone gets all huffy, I'm not saying it's morally equivalent in the slightest.)


Additionally, "subject of efforts" and "under the circumstances" are beyond vague and imho could mean absolutely anything in the mind of a corporation.

In my mind, based on #2, a corporation could say nearly anything is a "trade secret."
Well that's what we do in courts--determine what is and isn't a correct interpretation of the law. Even if the law is crystal clear, people can and do try to twist around it, and the judge is the one to look at the case and say, "don't do that!"

regre7
Apr 21, 2006, 03:30 PM
I'd think Apple could argue that the leaks reduced their profits since the usual shock and awe tactic isn't available if product details (or even existence) is leaked. I did a bit of research for a project on corporations, and while I'm nowhere near an expert on corporations, I remember reading that a corporation must maximize its profits, which is usually translated into the highest stock price possible. By not going after the source of the leak, it could be interpreted as not maximizing their profits.

I could be wrong, I tried to find the source for the profit maximization idea but I can't find the page within Wikipedia (and before you ask, yes I searched the page entitled "Corporations")

JoeG4
Apr 21, 2006, 03:56 PM
Not inventing a new form of technology, just plugging a guitar into a computer....

I agree. Sheesh. :D

Caiwyn
Apr 21, 2006, 04:06 PM
In my mind, based on #2, a corporation could say nearly anything is a "trade secret."

You misunderstand. Both criteria #1 and #2 have to be met in order for the information to be a trade secret under the law. Yes, #2 is pretty broad, but when you apply #1, it's not.

Again, EFF (or anyone else) isn't perfect. However, if "zealot" means protecting (as well as proclaiming) my digital rights then I'm a zealot too.

I think it's obvious that's not what I meant. There's nothing wrong with wanting to protect digital rights, and most of the time the EFF does have good intentions. But I think I've demonstrated that they're overzealous about their cause to the point of it interfering with their success -- idealism without pragmatism doesn't win a court case, as they have repeatedly shown. In trying to defend PowerPage, they've managed to threaten and coerce the ISP that hosts PowerPage more than Apple ever did. It sounds to me like they're so intent on proving their point that they're willing to contradict their own principles.

So I ask you, if it is counter-intuitive, is the best way to go about protecting your digital rights is to do nothing? Corporations and our own government have destroyed your digital rights. I have called/e-mailed my representatives; I've supported the EFF; I've signed petitions. Sorry, but I'd rather do something than nothing. If it ends in failure and causes legal precident, then so be it.

I've contacted my representatives at times as well about many of these same issues, and signed a petition or two myself. But if you want to donate to an organization that actively works to protect your rights, the ACLU does a much better job of it than the EFF does. There are plenty of options out there. What I am saying is that the EFF misrepresents themselves, their clients, and their cases, to the detriment of the community that supports them.

fixyourthinking
Apr 21, 2006, 04:16 PM
In any case, if AAPL wants to keep secrets secret, they should just do a better job of it. Wow, this is a real lesson in how to squander goodwill.

O'Grady's intentions have nothing to do with good will or "fandom" or love of journalism ... he posts these "trade secrets", solicits for these "news bits", and coerces others for this information for THE SOLE PURPOSE of artificially raising his hit totals so he can whore the figures in front of advertisers. PERIOD!!!

I would even venture to say that there is malice involved.

jenkij
Apr 21, 2006, 04:56 PM
Let me throw my 2cents into this.

Now how Apple gets to find out this person is where it gets hazy.

Exactly, but it looks like they are more interested in going after the people that were told the trade secret than the person who told it?

gnasher729
Apr 21, 2006, 05:31 PM
Can somebody please explain to me just how apple keeps their new products and the release dates of their products a complete secret until the day it is released? I'm sure somebody who works at apple is going to tell someone, like a close friend or family member. Or what about the people who work in the factories in China, they must know???:confused:

You know, when I started working at the company that I work for now, I signed an employment contract. Not only did I sign it, I actually read it as well. And that employment contract says quite clearly that I am not allowed to divulge to the public any confidential information of my company, or any confidential information of any of our customers or partners. And I am quite sure that if I leaked anything out that was of any importance, they would come after me, I would lose my job, which I would regret very much, it would likely have a negative impact on future employment, and might have expensive legal consequences. Other reasons for keeping my mouth shut is that they pay me good money, and I wouldn't want to cause any damage to the company, and anyway, I would consider it extremely unprofessional and pathetic to give away any company secrets. By the way, I am not employed by Apple Computer.

In the case of Apple, I think what happens before they let you know anything that is secret, will be like this: Your manager talks to you. He says: We have work to do, but it is secret. Are you interested? If you say yes, he will tell you that if you talk about to anyone, you will be fired, crucified, buried alive and eaten by crocodiles, but not necessarily in that order, and he gives you a document to read and sign that says exactly that. Until you sign, and you can demonstrate that you have understood that document, you learn nothing.

TheAnswer
Apr 21, 2006, 05:34 PM
...I think the big "trade secret" that got lost here is that Asteroid, except for the ports, looked exactly like the Mac Mini.

elo
Apr 21, 2006, 05:56 PM
The EFF is becoming an increasingly useless and hypocritical organization. Let's take a look at the facts:

1. Apple isn't arguing that bloggers aren't journalists. In fact, they are arguing that bloggers and journalists should be held to the same standards.

2. Apple isn't arguing that journalists can't print confidential information. They are arguing that the journalists do not have the right to withhold the identity of their sources when that confidential information constitutes a trade secret.

3. The EFF is just using the same FUD tactics they accuse everyone else of using.

4. Even when the EFF is in the right, they almost always lose (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/12/06/eff_needs_to_die/), setting dangerous precedents. They clearly don't know how to pick their fights.

Personally, I'm with Apple on this one. Anyone else who withholds information in a court case is charged with obstruction of justice, so what makes journalists so special? The first amendment guarantees journalists the right to print information, not to keep their sources confidential.

Journalists will argue that source confidentiality is necessary to freedom of the press, and that is why many states have "shield laws" for reporters that grants them this privilege. But it seems to me that in cases like this, the very act of giving this information to journalists is a crime, or at the very least a breach of contract that must be resolved by the courts.

Allowing journalists to deny the courts a path to justice when they are participants in the criminal act itself seems to me a dangerous loophole, especially when the journalist profits directly from the exchange of such information.

Very well said. The weight of legal scholarship is strongly against the idea of a reporter's privilege at this point, and for good reason. It hardly chills free speech to require that reporters be held to the same standard as everyone else where they are the only source of evidence critical to a court's adjudication of a case.

Incidentally, most people may not realize that the so-called reporter's privilege is a very new idea. At common law, this was not deemed necessary or desirable.

gwangung
Apr 21, 2006, 07:58 PM
Journalists will argue that source confidentiality is necessary to freedom of the press, and that is why many states have "shield laws" for reporters that grants them this privilege. But it seems to me that in cases like this, the very act of giving this information to journalists is a crime, or at the very least a breach of contract that must be resolved by the courts.

I think this is a relevant thought. For example, if a reporter published the security codes for a person's home or their bank account number, I don't believe shield laws would apply, because the act of publishing that information constitutes an actionable tort in and of itself.

barstard
Apr 22, 2006, 03:47 AM
Apple has a right to go after this leak. I know this is an ancient point, but isn't a corporation meant to have the same rights as a citizen? If that is the case, if a person divulged your personal information without your permission, ie Medical info, financial info. to someone who could profit off of it, then you would have a reasonable chance of winning a case, IMO. This is the same. If Apple is doing something illegal, then being a whistleblower should be protected, but not if they were just developing products with no illegal activity.

Sorry for the incomprehensible post!:D

barstard.

California
Apr 22, 2006, 04:08 AM
It is a clear and simple case, and Apple is in the right.

Property rights trump the right of the so-called "journalist" to free speech.

And in the case of the blogger, his speech wasn't "free". He made money off of it. At Apple's expense. This is about business. And timing.

And as for China, they don't have to leak the secrets. They just rip off Apple's designs and drown the market with cheap counterfeits. Seen the fake Shuffles? Chinese. Probably Chinese who worked at the Apple factory.

Since there is no free speech in China, and there are no property rights, per se, in China -- everything and every company belongs to the State, so the nation of China is actually ripping off Apple. And Disney. And Warner's. And the record companies. And Honda, M. Benz, GM, etc., etc., with their knockoffs of Western intellectual property.

Apple is just going after Think Secret here because they CAN. They can't sue a country, especially a country they like to believe they are doing business with...

jazzkids
Apr 22, 2006, 07:27 AM
they don't seem to treat their customers any better than PC firms.

agreed. they have gotten much more "big business" it seems. I guess it is to be expected, but there was something about dealing with an underdog. You rooted for them thing that they would be in your court when the time came. But now, it seems that they are playing more and more by the big boys rules

melevittfl
Apr 22, 2006, 08:39 AM
But I think I've demonstrated that they're overzealous about their cause to the point of it interfering with their success -- idealism without pragmatism doesn't win a court case, as they have repeatedly shown.

Notice that Caiwyn has completely ignored my post where I pointed out that the article he is relying on for his information on EFF's successes is completely bogus, claims the EFF lost cases that they weren't involved in, and written under by-line pseudonym often used by The Register to make silly claims in hopes of stiring up controversy.

You wouldn't by Andrew Orlinski by any chance?

Caiwyn
Apr 22, 2006, 09:05 AM
Notice that Caiwyn has completely ignored my post where I pointed out that the article he is relying on for his information on EFF's successes is completely bogus, claims the EFF lost cases that they weren't involved in, and written under by-line pseudonym often used by The Register to make silly claims in hopes of stiring up controversy.

You wouldn't by Andrew Orlinski by any chance?

No, I'm not. You wouldn't happen to be Corey Doctorow by any chance?

All you did was link to a boingboing post calling the author a liar with absolutely no argument to back up that assertion. As soon as flagrant name-calling becomes a debatable subject, I'll be sure to get back to you. If you'd like to start backing up your assertions, please feel free.

fixyourthinking
Apr 22, 2006, 01:59 PM
No, I'm not. You wouldn't happen to be Corey Doctorow by any chance?

All you did was link to a boingboing post calling the author a liar with absolutely no argument to back up that assertion. As soon as flagrant name-calling becomes a debatable subject, I'll be sure to get back to you. If you'd like to start backing up your assertions, please feel free.

Note the "newbie" under the name ...

The EFF only serves to harm our consumer rights and NEVER help them. Remember they also are against the RIAA ... yet actually litigate against Apple over iTunes DRM ... when it is the ONLY solution (that's viable) that allows legal (without question) music downloads.

I asked for the EFF's support for my website ... they turned me down because of politics ... when it is actually my site that will help their case in this situation.

inkswamp
Apr 23, 2006, 10:53 AM
I couldn't disagree more with Apple's position on this and I hope like hell that they drop this. It's the most annoying thing they've ever done.

Anyone--ANYONE--has the right to publish anything they want, including trade secrets. What Apple needs to do is invest their time and energy in tracking down which person under NDA let this trade secret out in the first place--and that does not give them leeway to bully any news outlet, bloggers included. This is the biggest hissy fit Apple has ever thrown and it's an embarrassment to them. Its continuation is starting to piss me off. :mad:

As much as I hate to say this on an Apple forum, I hope Apple gets their ass handed to them big time. It will serve as a good lesson to them and to every tech company that tries to bully people around for exercising their right to free speech.

inkswamp
Apr 23, 2006, 11:02 AM
What's really funny about this is the fact that if Microsoft or some other huge corporation did this, all of the Macboys on this site would be freaking out, saying how "big, bad and evil" those companies are. Yet, I guarantee, many people in the future of this thread will spin this the opposite way, saying how they support Apple all the way and the lawsuit "makes sense." I can see it now...sometimes the blinders are on pretty tight around here...

Are you big enough to step up to the plate and admit you were wrong or were you just trolling? I've just read through all the comments and nobody is mindlessly defending Apple. In fact, it appears to be quite the opposite.

Perhaps an apology for being so insulting would be in order.

fixyourthinking
Apr 23, 2006, 11:43 AM
Anyone--ANYONE--has the right to publish anything they want, including trade secrets.

Are you ignorant, a flame, or just stupid ...

Read the Uniform Trade Secret Act:

http://www.ipwatchdog.com/tradesecret.html

Do I have the right to publish your children's full names, school where they attend, and times they arrive home ... perfect for molesters.

Do I have your permission to post your credit card number with CV2 code and expiration and your social security number here in these forums or on my website?

These two bits of information are your personal property ... not really information. Items that are confidential, future design diagrams are no different ... they are property ... they were STOLEN from Apple headquarters and are being trafficked on the websites in question.

This information is also not being reported in the "spirit of journalism" - to report ... instead Jason O Grady, Nick Ciarelli, and whoever's behind AppleInsider report these stories to artificially raise hit totals to show potential advertisers. They DIRECTLY profit off of these stories and often report malicious defaming stories on their website about Apple Computer.

Will all those disagreeing with Apple please post reasons with intelligent counter argument why you disagree?

matticus008
Apr 23, 2006, 01:48 PM
Anyone--ANYONE--has the right to publish anything they want, including trade secrets. What Apple needs to do is invest their time and energy in tracking down which person under NDA let this trade secret out in the first place--and that does not give them leeway to bully any news outlet, bloggers included.
As much as I don't particularly care for Apple's tactics, bloggers are NOT journalists. In order to qualify for the same protections as journalists, they must follow the same obligations and responsibilities as journalists. Until that time when bloggers are held to journalistic standards, they are private citizens who have material they have no right to access--a subpoena to name the source is well within Apple's rights in its effort to stop the leak. Moreover, people absolutely do not have the right to publish trade secrets or other confidential documents/ideas wherever and whenever they please. Say what you will about the issue, but the law as it stands is in Apple's favor.

fixyourthinking
Apr 23, 2006, 02:26 PM
As much as I don't particularly care for Apple's tactics, bloggers are NOT journalists. In order to qualify for the same protections as journalists, they must follow the same obligations and responsibilities as journalists.

Now this I will disagree with ... this is NOT in Apple's favor. Look up the definitions to the word "journalist" and the word "reporter".

reporter (as in "communicator") n. : a person who investigates and reports or edits news stories

journalist (as in "writer") n. : a writer for newspapers and magazines

Where are these standards you speak of contained in these two definitions?

During the last election ... the best place to find information was from BLOGs not from the mainstream "press".

News and news reporting is a result of an action and a medium ... not the result of training or standards.

Would you not call Rush Limbaugh a journalist or a reporter or news commentator? Agree or disagree with his politics or like or dislike his show ... he did not graduate from college nor does he have any formal "journalism background". He also does not follow your standard way of reporting.

Although I despise Jason O Grady and Nick Ciarelli ... as a blogger (myself) who is facing this exact same issue ... I believe bloggers can be journalists ... but that is NOT what Apple is arguing here. It's the EFF trying to twist the shield law and its application to this case that has you doubting the veracity of journalism ... not actual fact or circumstance.

Here is a good case for you:

Gregg Leslie, legal defense director for The Reporters Committee For Freedom Of The Press, says that asking whether bloggers are journalists is the wrong question. "Bloggers is a vague amorphous term like telephone users", he says. "Just like some telephone users are journalists and some are not; the same thing with Bloggers. The medium doesn't answer the question. It has to do more with the function that the person is performing. That's how we approached the shield law question. If the Bloggers' involvement is to report information to the public and to gather information for that purpose openly then they should be treated like a journalist.

"There should be a functional analysis in addition to or instead of the current analysis of what medium you are writing in, " Leslie said.


As the courts have confirmed what makes journalism journalism is not the format but the content," says Kurt Opsahl (attorney for the EFF). Where news is gathered for dissemination to the public, it is journalism - regardless of whether it is printed on paper or distributed through the internet"

inkswamp
Apr 24, 2006, 12:19 AM
As much as I don't particularly care for Apple's tactics, bloggers are NOT journalists. In order to qualify for the same protections as journalists, they must follow the same obligations and responsibilities as journalists.

What are you talking about? Journalists have exactly the same rights that private citizens do--the very same freedom of speech that is the issue here. They can write whatever they want on their blog. The only time that's curtailed is where the writing is intended to incite violence or libels someone. Because journalists take on a lot of added responsibilities and ethics does not negate a person's right to say what they want.

Besides, if that's the case, shouldn't Apple now be going after all the mainstream news outlets who have reported on this story and refered to the secret product? If your contention is that a source is irrelevant and publishing trade secrets is against the law, then a lot more lawsuits should be coming. But that's not going to happen because a) you're wrong about that and b) Apple is trying to bully the little guy.

Until that time when bloggers are held to journalistic standards, they are private citizens who have material they have no right to access--a subpoena to name the source is well within Apple's rights in its effort to stop the leak.

Do you have any background in journalism? I do and I can tell you that your whole characterization of this is way out of left field. Bloggers can choose to hold themselves to "journalist standards" if they want but it doesn't take away their right to report what they have learned--whether it's a trade secret or not. They have that right. Period. A journalist has a different mission and might choose not to report such information but that's entirely his own self-imposed decision. You're misreading this concept of "journalistic standards." Because a journalist choses to adhere to a set of ethics does not mean the rest of us have to as well. It's a set of standards imposed from within an industry--not something with the force of law behind it.

Moreover, people absolutely do not have the right to publish trade secrets or other confidential documents/ideas wherever and whenever they please.

You make that statement based on what? Apple, frankly, is behaving worse than Microsoft in this case. Does that change your opinion at all? Let's see... does Microsoft sue every person who leaks embarrassing internal memos? Hmm... not that I recall.

Say what you will about the issue, but the law as it stands is in Apple's favor.

Only inasmuch as they are a giant comporation with money and power trying to intimidate a little guy. If the playground bully is beating up a 90-lb. geek, my money's on the bully too, but that doesn't mean I agree with the bully's behavior. It's ridiculous and I think Apple's behavior is awful, if not unconstitutional.

matticus008
Apr 24, 2006, 12:38 AM
What are you talking about? Journalists have exactly the same rights that private citizens do--the very same freedom of speech that is the issue here. They can write whatever they want on their blog. The only time that's curtailed is where the writing is intended to incite violence or libels someone.
That's not what I said. I said that bloggers don't have the same rights as journalists. Whether they should have those rights is a big part of this issue--otherwise it'd just be another unremarkable case.

Besides, if that's the case, shouldn't Apple now be going after all the mainstream news outlets who have reported on this story and refered to the secret product? If your contention is that a source is irrelevant and publishing trade secrets is against the law, then a lot more lawsuits should be coming.
No, that's not what I'm saying. If Apple is looking to control the leak, then finding the source of the leak is the first step in doing so. Bloggers are private citizens, and have no right to withhold information requested by subpoena. If I get wind of a military document that I'm not supposed to know about, and they give me a subpoena to tell them where I got it, I have no legal right to refuse. Journalists don't have to name their sources, but bloggers are not journalists, and as private citizens, they must comply.

Do you have any background in journalism? I do and I can tell you that your whole characterization of this is way out of left field. Bloggers can choose to hold themselves to "journalist standards" if they want but it doesn't take away their right to report what they have learned
That's central to the legal issue. Do you have any background in law? The fact that bloggers can CHOOSE when they want to be treated as journalists and when they don't is the biggest reason they're not currently considered journalists. "Freedom of the press" doesn't apply to people who aren't members of the press. A real journalist can only stop being a journalist on their personal blog--see the problem?

Only in as much as they are a giant comporation with money and power trying to intimidate a little guy. If the playground bully is beating up a 90-lb. geek, my money's on the bully too, but that doesn't mean I agree with the bully's behavior. It's ridiculous and I think Apple's behavior is awful, if not unconstitutional.
The "90-lb geek" in this case is not complying with the law as it is written. If the "geek" goes to the court, they'll say "give the 'bully' what he wants--you don't have a right to it." I don't think this is a particularly important case in and of itself, and as I said I don't agree with their tactics in making an example out of this case. But they're not wrong because they chose this moment to act within their rights and didn't choose other moments.

This lawsuit is a result of the blogger(s) refusing to comply with a legal request, and then a court order. Apple didn't sue them right out of the gate with no warning. If someone asks you to give you something (and you refuse), then gets a court document that says you have to give it to them (and you refuse), then takes you to court over that refusal, how is that person a bully?

LethalWolfe
Apr 24, 2006, 01:35 AM
Anyone--ANYONE--has the right to publish anything they want, including trade secrets.

That's a mighty bold absolution that I couldn't disagree w/more. Freedom of Speech, for good reason, is not absolute.


Lethal

inkswamp
Apr 24, 2006, 02:41 AM
That's not what I said. I said that bloggers don't have the same rights as journalists.

Yes, they absolutely do have the same rights as journalists. What confuses me is where you get this notion that journalists somehow have special rights. When journalists refuse to turn over their sources, they can and do go to jail. I disgaree with that too in the same way that I disagree with Apple going after any blogger for their sources. But as far as rights go, they have all the same rights that any journalist has.

This lawsuit is a result of the blogger(s) refusing to comply with a legal request, and then a court order. Apple didn't sue them right out of the gate with no warning. If someone asks you to give you something (and you refuse), then gets a court document that says you have to give it to them (and you refuse), then takes you to court over that refusal, how is that person a bully?

Because we live in an ostensibly free country where we have the right to say what we want without fear of being bullied. Supposedly. As I alluded to, there are reasonable restrictions on that as far as inciting violence and libelling others, but beyond that, it's fair game. And yes, Apple is behaving like the playground bully by pursuing this in this way. I don't begrudge them their right to go after the leak, but I do very much take offense at the idea that any corporate entity will harass anyone exercising their right to free speech. That's bogus. Apple is absolutely wrong, morally and legally.

I stand by my previous statement. I hope Apple gets their ass handed to them. I love their products, but I will celebrate such a result. They are wrong to use their power in this way.

inkswamp
Apr 24, 2006, 02:46 AM
That's a mighty bold absolution that I couldn't disagree w/more. Freedom of Speech, for good reason, is not absolute.

I meant in the context of this case. If you read all of my other comments, you'd see that I've twice qualified that statement.

I think in this instance Apple is completely wrong, and is acting like a bully. If someone tells me something that they are contractually obligated to keep secret, am I then contractually obligated to keep that secret? No. Am I legally bound to reveal who told it to me? No.

Sorry, when it comes to personal rights versus big corporations, I will always take the side of personal rights. It's sort of depressing to see anyone arguing otherwise.

matticus008
Apr 24, 2006, 05:47 AM
Yes, they absolutely do have the same rights as journalists. What confuses me is where you get this notion that journalists somehow have special rights. When journalists refuse to turn over their sources, they can and do go to jail.
You're grossly oversimplifying. Journalists, as professional members of the press, make legally binding confidentiality agreements with their sources. When they are questioned by a subpoena, they can and do cite their confidentiality agreements--a legal backing which is defensible and permissable in most cases. Only when a court determines that the confidentiality agreement should be trumped by the importance of the issue do journalists go to jail. Usually, though, the confidentiality agreement is upheld. A blogger makes no such confidentiality accords (or specifically if you prefer, has not done so in this case) and has no legal defense. There ARE differences between individuals and recognized members of the press. If there weren't, why would some bloggers be pushing so hard for recognition as bona fide journalists?


Because we live in an ostensibly free country where we have the right to say what we want without fear of being bullied. Supposedly.
This isn't about the free speech of a blogger being suppressed. The individuals in question had no right to the information that they received, information that was protected by an NDA. Apple told them to stop and identify the source of the illicit goods. The "speech" in question didn't belong to the blogger(s). If you have collected still images of a film that's still in production and post them, you can be told to take them down. That's not stifling free speech.

Free speech covers your own thoughts and comments about something. It's not free speech to share what doesn't belong to you. If you get an advance copy of a manuscript which an author is trying to sell and put it up on your blog, which then gets picked up and repeated across the Internet, that's not free speech--that's damaging to the author and owner of that manuscript and you're potentially facing a (perfectly legal) lawsuit. If Apple were suing because these individuals said "I heard Apple is going to release so and so from a reliable souce" then yes, I would agree with you.

But they didn't. They published excerpts and materials that they did not own and did not have permission to use. They wrote, "look at what we got our grubby hands on" and posted the source material.

I don't begrudge them their right to go after the leak, but I do very much take offense at the idea that any corporate entity will harass anyone exercising their right to free speech. That's bogus. Apple is absolutely wrong, morally and legally.
You've admitted to them exercising their rights--how are they wrong, legally?

Sorry, when it comes to personal rights versus big corporations, I will always take the side of personal rights. It's sort of depressing to see anyone arguing otherwise.
It's not about big corporation vs. little guy just because those are the parties involved. It could easily be two individuals in this same situation, or two big corporations.

technicolor
Apr 24, 2006, 06:16 AM
Yeah, and what about the models who pose for ads with the shuffle when it came out. I know I'd talk...
You think apple is dumb enough to let some model know what new products are coming ahead of time?

You can pose anyone wit anything, even if they were never there for the ads. Its called Photoshop.