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MacRumors
Jul 12, 2006, 08:37 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

CNet reports that (http://marketwatch-cnet.com.com/Apple%20abandons%20effort%20to%20unmask%20leaker/2100-1047_3-6093593.html?type=pt) Apple has abandoned its legal efforts to force a PowerPage and AppleInsider to release information about the source of leaked information about an unreleased Apple product (Asteroid).

The company's deadline to continue a legal battle to find out who leaked the information to independent online journalists has passed, and Apple acknowledged in a brief court filing this week that it will not take its fight to the California Supreme Court.

Part of the reason that the subpoena had originally been denied was that Apple had not adequately performed their own internal investigation before proceeding with the subpoena. The case drew national attention due to the potential impact this would have on web journalism.

Apple's original lawsuit (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/12/20041217183705.shtml) against the leakers, of course, remains active, but Apple will have to use another method to find their identities. Meanwhile, Apple's direct ThinkSecret lawsuit remains (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2005/01/20050105145737.shtml) active.

barneygumble
Jul 12, 2006, 08:51 PM
Seems to me Apple should hae done their homework before proceeding with this lawsuit;). Perhaps they just wanted to put the fear of God into sites to stop the flow of leaks

Superdrive
Jul 12, 2006, 09:13 PM
So, has Apple found the loose lipped employees? Or, is Apple ready to release Asteroid and giving up the attempt?

chukronos
Jul 12, 2006, 09:43 PM
I think they will just give up. They aren't going to stop the machine of information. If they trounce thinksecret, another one will pop up.
-Chuck

wmmk
Jul 12, 2006, 10:15 PM
does anybody think they actually will release asteroid?

cbigfoot1987
Jul 12, 2006, 10:35 PM
does anybody think they actually will release asteroid?

Yes it is going to be/or was either
a. a program where that a secret is told to many differnt people and the people that leak the info will be struck by an asteroid. :rolleyes:
b. A program to destroy microsoft. :rolleyes:
c. a computer that will out power all but be in an encloser no larger than a mac mini! :eek: :rolleyes:
d. a fake product apple designed stuff for to see if they could find a leak :rolleyes:

all i know is apple wants to keep things secret because it word gets out 5 months b4 a major upgrade then people will not buy apple products until they release it.

also for instance we know the mac pro is comin soon well i have friends and cohorts that once releaced they will order one or two as the case may be.

wmmk
Jul 12, 2006, 10:43 PM
Yes it is going to be/or was either
a. a program where that a secret is told to many differnt people and the people that leak the info will be struck by an asteroid. :rolleyes:
b. A program to destroy microsoft. :rolleyes:
c. a computer that will out power all but be in an encloser no larger than a mac mini! :eek: :rolleyes:
d. a fake product apple designed stuff for to see if they could find a leak :rolleyes:

all i know is apple wants to keep things secret because it word gets out 5 months b4 a major upgrade then people will not buy apple products until they release it.

also for instance we know the mac pro is comin soon well i have friends and cohorts that once releaced they will order one or two as the case may be.
um, asteroid was a firewire audio interface. i asked about the asteroid ever possibly coming out, not apple's attitude towards leaks.

Chip NoVaMac
Jul 12, 2006, 11:41 PM
Maybe now Apple will focus on what will make them and shareholders more money, than chasing after rumors.

TheAnswer
Jul 12, 2006, 11:48 PM
Yes it is going to be/or was either...c. a computer that will out power all but be in an encloser no larger than a mac mini! ...d. a fake product apple designed stuff for to see if they could find a leak...


I'm with one of these these two, either they used the midi and guitar jacks to disguise mac mini development or steve had them take a mini prototype, add the jacks and used it to sniff for leaks.

gwangung
Jul 13, 2006, 12:27 AM
Maybe now Apple will focus on what will make them and shareholders more money, than chasing after rumors.

If plans for a product got out before that product was released, that probably won't make Apple quite as much money.

Superdrive
Jul 13, 2006, 01:11 AM
If plans for a product got out before that product was released, that probably won't make Apple quite as much money.
But, it still makes more money than not releasing the above product at all.

nsjoker
Jul 13, 2006, 01:28 AM
But, it still makes more money than not releasing the above product at all.

that is very, very true. i think they scrapped asteroid altogether.

Squire
Jul 13, 2006, 01:30 AM
does anybody think they actually will release asteroid?

I read somewhere that it was released just under another company (i.e. Apple sold it to company-X).

Yes, I remember reading that it was the iControl from M-Audio (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wo/18.RSLID?mco=7FC1BF3B&nplm=TC834LL%2FA) That could very well be a load, though.

-Squire

CorvusCamenarum
Jul 13, 2006, 02:13 AM
I think the term "Web-Journalist" has been overused and overabused. Today, every little pissant running a "blog" (god I hate that word :mad: ) calls himself a journalist and claims priviledges. Its getting annoying. Ye gods half the time I applaud when regular tabloid journalists and similar critters suffer a grim fate...

I'm no lawyer, but couldn't have Apple sued in federal court, as it's my understanding there's no press shield law at that level?

Lollypop
Jul 13, 2006, 02:53 AM
While I get what apple wanted to do with the subpeona, I think that its a good thing they didnt get that far with it, bloggers arent really journalists, but apple should work on closing internal leaks rather than trying to sue real (if you can call TS real) journalists for doing their job.

EvilMole
Jul 13, 2006, 06:00 AM
I'm no lawyer, but couldn't have Apple sued in federal court, as it's my understanding there's no press shield law at that level?

No - the company is seeking to find out information for a suit under California's Trade Secrets law against various "John Does" (it isn't suing the sites themselves). That means it can't subpeona for information connected to the case in a different court. What's more, even if it could, it would fail: there are long-standing "protection of journalism sources" precedents in Federal cases.

EvilMole
Jul 13, 2006, 06:03 AM
While I get what apple wanted to do with the subpeona, I think that its a good thing they didnt get that far with it, bloggers arent really journalists, but apple should work on closing internal leaks rather than trying to sue real (if you can call TS real) journalists for doing their job.

The bloggers/journalist divide is completely irrelevant to this case. O'Grady, Bhatia et al are journalists: the fact that they publish on the web is irrelevant.

EvilMole
Jul 13, 2006, 06:06 AM
If plans for a product got out before that product was released, that probably won't make Apple quite as much money.

I've seen this repeated again and again, and never seen a single shred of tangible evidence for it. Think Secret reported the release of the Mac mini before it happened (and it being sued for it): has that prevented it becoming a success? Has it allowed anyone else to copy it? No, of course not.

Can anyone give an example of where a story about an Apple product before its release has allowed a competitor to copy it? Or meant that it was less of a success in the market place?

Lollypop
Jul 13, 2006, 06:54 AM
The bloggers/journalist divide is completely irrelevant to this case. O'Grady, Bhatia et al are journalists: the fact that they publish on the web is irrelevant.

I was under the impression that the big issue with this case was that Apple was taking on the right of journalists to publish things that may or may not be secret and more specifically how they obtained the information. The fact that the leaks about asteroid started online is relavant , primarily because if apple succeeds with the subpoena web journalism wont be taken as serious as print journalism and wont be governed by the same rights and laws ect, and thats where bloggers do come in, certain reputable bloggers are considered journalists... but thats only as far as I understand the situation... might be 100% wrong.

fixyourthinking
Jul 13, 2006, 06:59 AM
Apple lost this lawsuit solely on the fact of the angle they chose to prosecute it from ... are bloggers journalists? That wasn't the meat of the case. The thing they should have gone after was "can ANY journalist post trade secrets?"

The answer is NO!

fixyourthinking
Jul 13, 2006, 07:05 AM
I think the term "Web-Journalist" has been overused and overabused. Today, every little pissant running a "blog" (god I hate that word :mad: ) calls himself a journalist and claims priviledges. Its getting annoying. Ye gods half the time I applaud when regular tabloid journalists and similar critters suffer a grim fate...

Actually, I'm embroiled in a lawsuit now ... that is questioning whether my blog is that of a journalist and capable of publishing "news and news commentary"

My blog IS a news and news commentary outlet ... I gather news and report and comment on news. It's not that you just say you are a journalist ... it's that you are.

You're right, a lot of people are claiming the term and abusing it ... and even though I dislike OGrady very much ... his site is news and news commentary ... however redundant and "unethical" it may be.

lonepilgrim
Jul 13, 2006, 08:06 AM
I read somewhere that it was released just under another company (i.e. Apple sold it to company-X).

Yes, I remember reading that it was the iControl from M-Audio (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wo/18.RSLID?mco=7FC1BF3B&nplm=TC834LL%2FA) That could very well be a load, though.

-Squire
Yikes - it does look a bit Apple-esque, doesn't it?!

EvilMole
Jul 13, 2006, 08:44 AM
I was under the impression that the big issue with this case was that Apple was taking on the right of journalists to publish things that may or may not be secret and more specifically how they obtained the information. The fact that the leaks about asteroid started online is relavant , primarily because if apple succeeds with the subpoena web journalism wont be taken as serious as print journalism and wont be governed by the same rights and laws ect, and thats where bloggers do come in, certain reputable bloggers are considered journalists... but thats only as far as I understand the situation... might be 100% wrong.

Not really wrong - that was one of the subsidiary arguments that Apple used - but that wasn't the main thrust of the case. There were actually three strands to Apple's case:

1. The sources were not protected, as the sites were not "periodicals" which gain shield law protection under California State law.
2. That it had had its trade secrets (as defined under the California State law) leaked.
3. Apple had exhausted all other methods of identifying the leakers, and thus it was entitled to subpeona the journalists to find their sources - something for which there's precedent.

The first argument wasn't really the crux of the matter, and it's pretty clear that Apple never expected to win that argument. The shield law (which, importantly, protects "periodicals" NOT journalists) was very broadly written, and it's very doubtful that Apple's lawyers would have based their hopes on getting web sites precluded from it. It was worth a shot, but it wasn't the main thrust of the case - at least legally. However, in the press it was very much set up as about whether bloggers were journalists, which isn't even relevant.

The second argument was where Apple really messed up. It consistently alluded in its court filings to the fact that its trade secrets had been leaked - something that's a criminal offence under California's trade secret law. However, in its filings it made no attempt to actually show that a crime had been committed. It never showed that what was leaked constituted a trade secret, nor that the leak itself was illegal (as the judge put it, "That offense requires proof of, among other things, 'intent to deprive or withhold the control of [the] trade secret from its owner, or . . . to appropriate [the] trade secret to [the defendant’s] own use or to the use of another . . . .'").

Worse still, Apple significantlly undermined its own case in this respect by not joining the web sites themselves to a trade secrets case as defendents. It claimed that the sites published its trade secrets which, it claimed, had been illegally acquired. But at no point did it actually file a case against the sites accusing them of doing so. This means that Apple wasn't subpeonaing people it was accusing - it was subpeonaing third parties not enjoined to the case, which was a civil case not criminal. This undermined Apple's case, as courts are much less likely to overrule shield laws in civil cases.

However, there's clear precedent that journalists can be forced to reveal sources in cases in exceptional circumstances. Even at this point, Apple could have won its case: except for the fact that it hadn't done its job properly.

In order to force a journalist to reveal his sources in this kind of case, you need, legally, to have exhausted all other possible methods of getting the information you need. Apple, alas, did not do this: or, rather, it did not file documents with the court SHOWING that it had done this. As the judge put it:

"For example, would server or workstation logs show that an employee had copied the file to a CD-ROM? Transferred it to a flash memory device? Printed a copy? Printed it to an image file and transferred that? Uploaded it to an off-site host using any of various file transfer protocols? Attached it to an email sent through a web-based mail server rather than through Apple’s own servers? Transferred it directly to a laptop or other portable computer? Without answers to these questions it is impossible to say that Apple “exhausted” other means of identifying the source of the leak. Yet Apple’s showing was entirely silent on these points even though petitioners asserted in the trial court that Apple had not 'fully exploited internal computer forensics.' "

All of which adds up to Apple failing miserably to show that it had a case in court. Apple's legal team messed up - badly.

bigbossbmb
Jul 13, 2006, 11:02 AM
I read somewhere that it was released just under another company (i.e. Apple sold it to company-X).

Yes, I remember reading that it was the iControl from M-Audio (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wo/18.RSLID?mco=7FC1BF3B&nplm=TC834LL%2FA) That could very well be a load, though.

-Squire

I don't think so, that is just a controller box and not an audio interface...the way asteroid has been described on here, it would be more like this M-Audio box (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/MAudio-FireWire-Solo-Mobile-Audio-Interface?sku=701364).

I got tired of waiting for asteroid and got an M-Audio 410 and love it

JackSYi
Jul 13, 2006, 11:07 AM
Maybe now Apple will focus on what will make them and shareholders more money, than chasing after rumors.

Seriously.

BlackLilyNinja
Jul 13, 2006, 11:29 AM
just release the stupid thing so i can buy it

supremedesigner
Jul 13, 2006, 12:11 PM
I don't think so, that is just a controller box and not an audio interface...the way asteroid has been described on here, it would be more like this M-Audio box (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/MAudio-FireWire-Solo-Mobile-Audio-Interface?sku=701364).

I got tired of waiting for asteroid and got an M-Audio 410 and love it

LOL. How can you be so sure if this is similar product as Asteroid? :p But that's cool though.

EagerDragon
Jul 13, 2006, 12:24 PM
Time to move on. Bloggers should have the same rights AND OBLIGATIONS as the other guys at the newspaper.
:D

mozmac
Jul 13, 2006, 01:45 PM
Yes, I'd like to know if it's either coming out soon or was in fact sold off to M-Audio. Wouldn't you love to take a walk through Apple's labs? That'd be fun!

wmmk
Jul 13, 2006, 01:48 PM
Yes, I'd like to know if it's either coming out soon or was in fact sold off to M-Audio. Wouldn't you love to take a walk through Apple's labs? That'd be fun!
i don't think anyone is saying it was sold to M-Audio. M-Audio just made a similar product that's actually been out longer than the asteroid has been a concept.

wmmk
Jul 13, 2006, 01:54 PM
Time to move on. Bloggers should have the same rights AND OBLIGATIONS as the other guys at the newspaper.
:D
I disagree. My parents are both newspaper journalists, and they have very standards. If bloggers weren't allowed to publically show any opinion, share their opinion in their blog (unless it was an 'editorial' blog), take any gifts from people who they ever have or may write about, write about anyone they've had a personal friendship with, have to have 5-7 sources for every single fact they state, and not plagarise a single phrase, they really wouldn't want to have a blog. If bloggers want the rights of professional journalists, they should act like professional journalists.

Dunepilot
Jul 13, 2006, 02:24 PM
The asteroid drawings showed a very simple device with the rough relative dimensions of a Mac Mini (probably smaller and shallower) with TRS/MIDI inputs on the top, as far as I remember. None of these M-Audio products are similar in feature - they all offer a lot more than asteroid appeared to be offering (transport wheel, gain controls etc). If asteroid was a real product (not a leak to catch out a leaker) then it would have been relatively low-cost and very much simplified with a view to Garage Band use.

wmmk
Jul 13, 2006, 02:31 PM
The asteroid drawings showed a very simple device with the rough relative dimensions of a Mac Mini (probably smaller and shallower) with TRS/MIDI inputs on the top, as far as I remember. None of these M-Audio products are similar in feature - they all offer a lot more than asteroid appeared to be offering (transport wheel, gain controls etc). If asteroid was a real product (not a leak to catch out a leaker) then it would have been relatively low-cost and very much simplified with a view to Garage Band use.
I see. It'd be cool if it was real, then they released an asteroid pro for logic. apogee has kind of a monopoly in the hardware for logic pro market.

EagerDragon
Jul 13, 2006, 07:23 PM
My parents are both newspaper journalists, If bloggers want the rights of professional journalists, they should act like professional journalists.

Notice I made it a point to state "and the same obligations".

twillis
Jul 14, 2006, 02:34 AM
I think people have missed the connection between the Asteroid rumors and the Apogee Ensemble FW interface. I believe the rumors even mentioned a partnership with Apogee on this device. The Ensemble was announced months ago and is now shipping with beta drivers.

This Apogee product offers unprecendented integration with Logic and Apple did the software for the control. Apogee is know for its high end sound and also their high end price.

I think this, along with the Apogee Symphony PCI cards and Apogee interfaces, are designed to compete against Pro Tools. Pro Tools is owned by Digidesign which is owned by Avid. Apple competes head-to-head against Avid with their FCP video editing suite. Thus Apple needs to compete not just in the video world, but also in the audio world.

Dididesign also just bought out M-Audio so you can bet there is no big partnership there. Apple needs to ensure both a high end solution and a low end solution. Thus the Symphony and the Ensemble. Maybe there is still a lower end solution coming too.

While they could market this "Asteroid" product under the Apple brand, they are using Apogee for their name and quality. If it's made by Apogee you know it is top notch. If Apple released their own branded audio interface, many people would take a wait and see attitude. Most people's gut reaction is that it would be low end gear for consumers who use Garageband.

Not that Garageband is a bad product. I'm amazed how good it is. I just wish Apple would overhaul Logic to the same standards.

wmmk
Jul 14, 2006, 09:14 AM
Notice I made it a point to state "and the same obligations".
And I also stated that many would not blog at all if they had those same obligations. Read my whole post.

wmmk
Jul 14, 2006, 09:19 AM
I think people have missed the connection between the Asteroid rumors and the Apogee Ensemble FW interface. I believe the rumors even mentioned a partnership with Apogee on this device. The Ensemble was announced months ago and is now shipping with beta drivers.

This Apogee product offers unprecendented integration with Logic and Apple did the software for the control. Apogee is know for its high end sound and also their high end price.

I think this, along with the Apogee Symphony PCI cards and Apogee interfaces, are designed to compete against Pro Tools. Pro Tools is owned by Digidesign which is owned by Avid. Apple competes head-to-head against Avid with their FCP video editing suite. Thus Apple needs to compete not just in the video world, but also in the audio world.

Dididesign also just bought out M-Audio so you can bet there is no big partnership there. Apple needs to ensure both a high end solution and a low end solution. Thus the Symphony and the Ensemble. Maybe there is still a lower end solution coming too.

While they could market this "Asteroid" product under the Apple brand, they are using Apogee for their name and quality. If it's made by Apogee you know it is top notch. If Apple released their own branded audio interface, many people would take a wait and see attitude. Most people's gut reaction is that it would be low end gear for consumers who use Garageband.

Not that Garageband is a bad product. I'm amazed how good it is. I just wish Apple would overhaul Logic to the same standards.
Wow! That was actually a great point. It's just too bad that apple couldn't popularize the Apogee brand a bit more.

Squire
Jul 14, 2006, 07:09 PM
Thanks for the clarification, twillis. I had completely forgotten about the M-Audio / Digidesign connection. Good point. But I have to agree with wmmk on the marketing point-- Why doesn't Apple give these guys a hand? I mean, are their products even available on the Apple site? (I'll check.)

-Squire

gnasher729
Jul 16, 2006, 06:42 AM
Seems to me Apple should hae done their homework before proceeding with this lawsuit;). Perhaps they just wanted to put the fear of God into sites to stop the flow of leaks

Seems to me that Apple did their homework, and they achieved exactly what they wanted to achieve.

The court told Apple that they hadn't done enough to find the leak themselves: They should have asked each employee in question to state under oath whether they leaked the information or not. If they did that, it would have two effects: First, all the innocent employees would be pissed off in a major way - which is in the end why Apple didn't do this. Second, the one who was guilty would have the choice between losing their job immediately and commiting a serious crime (giving a false statement under oath will get you jail time). All the employees, especially those who want to make themselves feel important by leaking confidential information, will understand this.

So should there be another leak, then I believe everyone knows that first, Apple takes this very very seriously. The leaker may have been under a wrong impression here that nobody at Apple would care, the next leaker will know that that is wrong. Second, any leaker knows that the next time, Apple _will_ ask everyone to give a statement under oath. And lying there is a bad idea, because Apple then _will_ do everything right to get a successful subpoena. In a second case, the court would then see that Apple has done more to find out the leaker, and the matter is more important because Apple would have to find not only an employee who leaks confidential information, but also an employee who lied under oath.

This whole action will reduce the number of future leaks significantly.