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MacRumors
Dec 20, 2007, 12:00 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Apple rumor site, ThinkSecret published a statement (http://www.thinksecret.com/news/settlement.html) today indicating that they would no longer be published due to terms of a confidential settlement.
Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret's publisher, said "I'm pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits."
ThinkSecret has been one of the longest running Apple rumor sites, starting in 1999. Apple sued ThinkSecret (http://www.macrumors.com/2005/01/05/apple-sues-think-secret/) in January of 2005 for posting Apple trade secrets and encouraging and inducing persons to provide product information in breach of agreements.

When contacted, Nick Ciarelli was unable to provide any further details but said, "I'm very satisfied with the settlement" and wished to thank the Electronic Frontier Foundation and his attorney, Terry Gross of Gross & Belsky, for their support.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/12/20/thinksecret-shuts-down-settles-apple-lawsuit/)



Eidorian
Dec 20, 2007, 12:01 AM
Ouch, good times they were.

mintlivedotcom
Dec 20, 2007, 12:02 AM
Wow. So, what will that mean for MR? I suspect an even greater status of Apple news, but not as many sneak-peaks.

dizastor
Dec 20, 2007, 12:05 AM
wow. shocked would be an understatement.

deathshrub
Dec 20, 2007, 12:05 AM
:eek: Wow, this is HUGE.

neoserver
Dec 20, 2007, 12:05 AM
Well it was good while it lasted. I'm very curious about the details of the settlement however. This sets a pretty good standard however of what might happen to rumour sites that start to play in the red zone.

irmongoose
Dec 20, 2007, 12:06 AM
The end of an era. Oh well, at least we still have MR, right? :)

Between you and me, though... what kind of future does this guy have in journalism, anyway?

irmongoose

WildCowboy
Dec 20, 2007, 12:07 AM
Think Secret went through a long dry spell after Apple got on their case, but they seemed to be coming up with decent content over the last year. Very interesting developments...

LillieDesigns
Dec 20, 2007, 12:07 AM
Isn't 9to5 Mac the big time now?

3rdpath
Dec 20, 2007, 12:08 AM
amicable: sometimes you're just happy to escape with your life.

maryanny
Dec 20, 2007, 12:08 AM
wow, that's crazy.

spriter
Dec 20, 2007, 12:09 AM
Stepped on one too many toes it seems.

TS has been off the mark many times in the past few years anyway, losing my faith in them.

macomposer
Dec 20, 2007, 12:09 AM
I always thought ThinkSecret danced a little close to the edge, and that MR is careful and reliable with what is published. I'm not that surprised, and I expect things around here will continue much as usual.

p0intblank
Dec 20, 2007, 12:09 AM
Wow. I definitely didn't see this coming... MacRumors, please be careful!

spriter
Dec 20, 2007, 12:10 AM
amicable: sometimes you're just happy to escape with your life.

Yup. Smacks of "Shut up or pay up. (which we know you can't)".

luminosity
Dec 20, 2007, 12:11 AM
Wow. One of the most notable Apple websites is no more. That will send some waves rippling across the pond.

PowerBook User
Dec 20, 2007, 12:11 AM
It's too bad they are shutting down. They always had something interesting to say. I can't recall them having too many stories recently with insider knowledge, although I could be wrong. Also, is it normal for settlements like these to be confidential?

Jeremy!
Dec 20, 2007, 12:11 AM
Time to start a new one, one that is more resilient to attacks from Apple's lawyers.

Hmmmmm.....

Can't do it here, since that would jeopardize this site. And yet, there are people out there that still want to talk.....

:apple:

pamon
Dec 20, 2007, 12:14 AM
you gotta wonder how much the settlement was to Thinksecret to shut down? I see apple's legal and PR team offering TS ownership a 6 digit to low 7 digit figure to shut down and walk away. They lost their muster and a lot of pageviews over the past year or two. Too bad, good site.

mcarnes
Dec 20, 2007, 12:19 AM
Sounds like Apple paid them off. In essence, bought them to shut them down.

dawnraid
Dec 20, 2007, 12:21 AM
This sucks! Looks like they sold out :(

BiikeMike
Dec 20, 2007, 12:21 AM
Haha, looks like I came to the party 20 minutes late ;)

That sucks though, BOOO!

LaDirection
Dec 20, 2007, 12:25 AM
amicable: sometimes you're just happy to escape with your life.

You mean your iLife?

gkhaldi
Dec 20, 2007, 12:27 AM
Why all over sudden I see that 900 pound gorilla showing up on Thinksecrets door....

Sad day it is for the community. It is for a large part the rumors that attract new business.

Grrrr :mad:

LaDirection
Dec 20, 2007, 12:27 AM
I always thought ThinkSecret danced a little close to the edge, and that MR is careful and reliable with what is published. I'm not that surprised, and I expect things around here will continue much as usual.

Basically, TS had a VERY well informed insider source coming directly from within Apple. In that year that led up to Apple's switch to Intel and Tiger they had pretty much EVERYTHING foretold in advance. Apple here didn't really go after TS per say, their main goal was to find out WHO from the inside was leaking so much info. We'll probably know one day and we might be surprised to discover just how high up that person really was,,,

Shacklebolt
Dec 20, 2007, 12:30 AM
I always thought of MacRumors as a consolidator of rumors. So, I don't think they have much to worry about when it comes to this kind of stuff. Still though... ThinkSecret was great. A little bit too great, apparently.

TurboSC
Dec 20, 2007, 12:31 AM
Basically, TS had a VERY well informed insider source coming directly from within Apple. In that year that led up to Apple's switch to Intel and Tiger they had pretty much EVERYTHING foretold in advance. Apple here didn't really go after TS per say, their main goal was to find out WHO from the inside was leaking so much info. We'll probably know one day and we might be surprised to discover just how high up that person really was,,,

dun dun dun... it was Steve Jobs!

Yea they walked a little too close to the fire... but very bold moves and great reporting for all of us users :)

MacRumors takes a different approach, one that insures it will be around for a while.

Eduardo1971
Dec 20, 2007, 12:38 AM
WOW! This is indeed shocking but like others have mentioned; I too, have noticed the gradual decline (in content) that Think Secret had on their site as of the last year and a half. Several years ago it was my first destination for all Apple related rumours. Since TS run-in with Apple I've turned to MacRumours as my new first stop.

So as shocking as it is; I guess I saw this coming.

RIP.

HyperZboy
Dec 20, 2007, 12:41 AM
I wonder if anyone has registered the domain name

www.ThinkSteveJobs1BadassMOFO.com yet :)

gugy
Dec 20, 2007, 12:42 AM
Well,
Seriously in the past year they were very lame. Sure they were good long time ago, that's why Apple went after them. But, I guess since their inside guy was busted, they were basically done and doing just guess work like anybody else.

Adios Think Secret!

TurboSC
Dec 20, 2007, 12:43 AM
I wonder if anyone has registered the domain name

www.ThinkSteveJobs1BadassMOFO.com yet :)

nope, GoDaddy says it's available :) Go my child! Seize the moment! ( and prepare for the legal teams lawsuit onslaught! )

macjay
Dec 20, 2007, 12:44 AM
you gotta wonder how much the settlement was to Thinksecret to shut down? I see apple's legal and PR team offering TS ownership a 6 digit to low 7 digit figure to shut down and walk away. They lost their muster and a lot of pageviews over the past year or two. Too bad, good site.

Sounds like Apple paid them off. In essence, bought them to shut them down.

Why would Apple pay TS in a settlement? It was Apple that sued.

ipedro
Dec 20, 2007, 12:46 AM
Basically, TS had a VERY well informed insider source coming directly from within Apple. In that year that led up to Apple's switch to Intel and Tiger they had pretty much EVERYTHING foretold in advance. Apple here didn't really go after TS per say, their main goal was to find out WHO from the inside was leaking so much info. We'll probably know one day and we might be surprised to discover just how high up that person really was,,,

Phil Shiller! :P

I wouldn't be surprised if the #1 requirement of the deal was Think Secret giving up their source. Apple's main goal was to root out the mole and I doubt they'd stop pursuing TS without getting their man/woman.

nxent
Dec 20, 2007, 12:47 AM
that is interesting. i'm curious as to what legal grounds apple had against TS that they don't (hopefully) have against MR. Folks post all the time about random rumors and only apple can possibly know how accurate those rumors are. I can be random as well, and predict that Apple is developing a much more enhanced AppleTV with BlueRay for release in the next year or so. And in the highly unlikely off chance that my 'guess' happens to be accurate, does that give Apple the legal ground to file a lawsuit against MR in demands of my identity?

arn
Dec 20, 2007, 12:47 AM
Phil Shiller! :P

I wouldn't be surprised if the #1 requirement of the deal was Think Secret giving up their source. Apple's main goal was to root out the mole and I doubt they'd stop pursuing TS without getting their man/woman.

The press releases states that ThinkSecret did not give up their source.

arn

bdkennedy1
Dec 20, 2007, 12:50 AM
Press releases are such crap. I highly doubt the settlement was positive for both sides since the site is shut down. If Nick was so concerned about his school work he should have just shut down the site in the first place.

mdntcallr
Dec 20, 2007, 01:01 AM
personally, i believe that this is completely silly for Apple to care about the rumor sites.

they are great for enthusiasm and great product feedback and information for apple. The mac/apple/ipod fans community with people who have good knowledge of the product is important.

Macrumors is great. if somehow out of journalistic pride, they got scoups, GREAT!!

Apple is idiotic for trying to crush the free speech of their fans. This is censorship, clear and simple... Maybe combined with a "settlement" cash payoff to the owner of Think Secret???

Lets hope a new fun site comes up.

Macinposh
Dec 20, 2007, 01:03 AM
Bummer.


Good PR for apple too, showing that they indeed are turning into a fascistic entity.

Next in line will be Macrumors,then 9-to-5,then CNN,then..



Off course businesses have rights to protect their developement/tech,but jumping on some kid running a forum...for chrissake.
Fascists..

As a personal protest against :apple:,Ill postpone my purchases of apple christmas presents...Well,at least untill january.

MidiMonk
Dec 20, 2007, 01:04 AM
Wow, Apple is really flexing their new found popularity really quick.


too bad QC is going down just as fast.

ciscored
Dec 20, 2007, 01:04 AM
Wow that is really really sad. I've been following thinksecret for many years. Their info has always been straight to the point and accurate. They never really relied on info from other rumour sites and were very bold in their predictions. I'm gonna miss you guys, thanks for the years of hard work!

Naimfan
Dec 20, 2007, 01:10 AM
That's a pity. But there probably wasn't much else TS could do.

One thing I'd be relatively confident in--there is a LOT behind the scenes that we'll most likely never know. . .

DrEwe
Dec 20, 2007, 01:13 AM
sad to see Apple put another nail in press freedom - god knows us proles are just too uppity wanting to spread rumors and such. Well, at least we still have CNN and Time to tell us what's happening :confused:

I would have thought that Apple would be happy to have a loyal fan base that could support such a site. I can see Apple being pissed about trade secrets - but shutting them down? A bit heavy Steevo....:mad:

SirOmega
Dec 20, 2007, 01:21 AM
TS probably got out of it without having to pay Apple money, and not revealing their source.

Apple got a rumor site offline, as well as not establishing a bad precedent in court if they lost (that leaked rumors are OK - if CNBC can go on TV and talk about a new possible macbook thin then whats wrong when TS does it).

Stridder44
Dec 20, 2007, 01:29 AM
I just don't get it. These rumor sites are good publicity for Apple. Sure secrets are let out in the open but people get excited about this stuff.

daddywags214
Dec 20, 2007, 01:39 AM
Rumor sites are good when they're rumors. Like MacRumors. Sharing industry secrets won't help, because other companies will be able to learn Apple's pattern, and they'll be able to come up with more competitive products, etc etc and release them in time with or before Apple. That's bad for business . . . I don't blame Apple for calling a stop to that.

Rumors sites get people talking. Revealing everything that is going to happen takes all the fun out of it anyway.

Peace
Dec 20, 2007, 01:51 AM
I just don't get it. These rumor sites are good publicity for Apple. Sure secrets are let out in the open but people get excited about this stuff.

I believe the root of this suit was information on an unnamed product that thinksecret put out.

By doing so it could , or for that matter may well have hurt Apple in a fashion that gave competition an edge on an important product that either did or has yet to come out.

Boiling it down to pseudo-corporate espionage. That's big dollars.


Chow Nick !..

Marx55
Dec 20, 2007, 01:53 AM
This is how Apple pays for supporting them for free. Amazing!

JayBee
Dec 20, 2007, 01:56 AM
Remember, Apple was going after the source, and TS was it's biggest lead.

That Apple have allowed Nick to just shut his doors and walk away, without revealing his source AND with a big cash payout, seems like an interesting conclusion.

My take on that is that Nick *could* have defended against Apple's attack in court and won, but that he was willing to take the payoff to stem the leak's publication outlet, mainly due to other commitments (school).

Apple wouldn't have paid out unless it was worth the investment. They've paid to avoid a damaging and potentially negative court appearance, and to put a stop to one of their leak's outlets. Good for Nick - he's played the game and won.

TurboSC
Dec 20, 2007, 02:00 AM
All these negative comments towards Apple. You have to understand that business is business, this isn't about a big company going after the little guy.

If valuable information was leaked that could damage and effect sales, I think Apple has every right to put a stop to it. Instead of bashing Apple on a case you know nothing about(detail wise) just take this time to remember ThinkSecret and the years of information they've shared, and be happy that at least he walked away without hefty fines and whatnot.

DrEwe
Dec 20, 2007, 02:03 AM
just take this time to remember ThinkSecret and the years of information they've shared, and be happy that at least he walked away without hefty fines and whatnot.

Please Sir, let me have another...:eek:

TurboSC
Dec 20, 2007, 02:08 AM
Please Sir, let me have another...:eek:

limit 1 per household. :p

Wayfarer
Dec 20, 2007, 02:23 AM
I'm really speechless...

Sorta feels like the loss of a really good friend. :(

Elrond39
Dec 20, 2007, 02:26 AM
Remember, Apple was going after the source, and TS was it's biggest lead.

That Apple have allowed Nick to just shut his doors and walk away, without revealing his source AND with a big cash payout, seems like an interesting conclusion.

My take on that is that Nick *could* have defended against Apple's attack in court and won, but that he was willing to take the payoff to stem the leak's publication outlet, mainly due to other commitments (school).

Apple wouldn't have paid out unless it was worth the investment. They've paid to avoid a damaging and potentially negative court appearance, and to put a stop to one of their leak's outlets. Good for Nick - he's played the game and won.

Sounds plausible. What I was thinking too.

iMikeT
Dec 20, 2007, 02:31 AM
One down, a whole lot more to go.

Good job :apple:!

tveric
Dec 20, 2007, 02:41 AM
Wow. So, what will that mean for MR? I suspect an even greater status of Apple news, but not as many sneak-peaks.

um, how about neither? this site was never really a site that broke news. if it was, I don't remember it. It basically aggregates stories from other sites (like ThinkSecret), which makes it convenient.

I hope the TS founder got a boatload of money out of this. I suspect he may have.

One down, a whole lot more to go.

Good job :apple:!

Yeah, nothing like a little legally-enforced censorship to help consumers make their decisions.

Keep in mind the leaks that Apple was pissed about were the ACCURATE ones. So, shutting down a place that provided info to us (the Apple product buyers) is good HOW?

Fanboiz. Sheesh.

elppa
Dec 20, 2007, 02:44 AM
This is how Apple pays for supporting them for free. Amazing!

Well actually they might of "paid" quite literally. Why else would it be a "positive" solution for both sides? (assuming that is correct).

princigalli
Dec 20, 2007, 02:45 AM
Very sad and a big mistake from Apple. Rumor sites are more or less the only live community of Apple users and I think were a huge benefit to Apple. Consumers can't be expected to rely entirely on Apple marketing statements and press releases. But we've seen it with the Iphone: Apple is trying to be like Microsoft, just worse. This is bad news for Apple users because it shows us just how sad it is all becoming on our side of computing world.

iMikeT
Dec 20, 2007, 02:57 AM
Yeah, nothing like a little legally-enforced censorship to help consumers make their decisions.

Keep in mind the leaks that Apple was pissed about were the ACCURATE ones. So, shutting down a place that provided info to us (the Apple product buyers) is good HOW?

Fanboiz. Sheesh.


Call me a fanboy, I don't care. I'm not shy to say that I am completely on Apple's side with this one. I'm not going to repeat it as it has already been said on this thread already. But I think that you are looking at this with too narrow of a perspective, you must see the business side of this situation.

SeaFox
Dec 20, 2007, 03:10 AM
Press releases are such crap. I highly doubt the settlement was positive for both sides since the site is shut down. If Nick was so concerned about his school work he should have just shut down the site in the first place.

I think he was thinking of shutting down anyway. Nowadays all the stuff on Think Secret was stuff I'd read about up to a week before on MacRumors and AppleInsider. They really weren't doing anything active anymore. Reminds of the stuff I see on MacOSRumors, only they're about 300 ft further down the mountain than ThinkSecret is at this point.

"Comments have been disabled for this story"

Of course they are Nick, of course they are.

bmk
Dec 20, 2007, 03:12 AM
Call me a fanboy, I don't care. I'm not shy to say that I am completely on Apple's side with this one. I'm not going to repeat it as it has already been said on this thread already. But I think that you are looking at this with too narrow of a perspective, you must see the business side of this situation.

I agree. There is a line between legit rumo(u)r and speculation and the illegal leaking of confidential information (as with almost every IT company, Apple employees sign legally binding non-disclosure agreements). All those who are so happy to jump on the big bad Apple bandwaggon would be the first to shout foul if their software/products were leaked at an early stage of development and so allowed their competitors to copy/clone/steal their ideas.

BillyShears
Dec 20, 2007, 03:16 AM
All those who are so happy to jump on the big bad Apple bandwaggon would be the first to shout foul if their software/products were leaked at an early stage of development and so allowed their competitors to copy/clone/steal their ideas.

Shout foul at the source of the leak, not at the reporter.

But anyway, sad to see Thinksecret go, even if they have dropped in accuracy since the lawsuit.

cb911
Dec 20, 2007, 03:33 AM
Basically, TS had a VERY well informed insider source coming directly from within Apple. In that year that led up to Apple's switch to Intel and Tiger they had pretty much EVERYTHING foretold in advance. Apple here didn't really go after TS per say, their main goal was to find out WHO from the inside was leaking so much info. We'll probably know one day and we might be surprised to discover just how high up that person really was,,,

yeah, that would be interesting to find out eventually...

i'll miss ThinkSecret... they had some interesting news items.

billystlyes
Dec 20, 2007, 03:50 AM
Way to go Apple! I hope you go after AppleInsider next. They are even more full of themselves.

Merkuryy
Dec 20, 2007, 03:58 AM
Basically, TS had a VERY well informed insider source coming directly from within Apple. In that year that led up to Apple's switch to Intel and Tiger they had pretty much EVERYTHING foretold in advance. Apple here didn't really go after TS per say, their main goal was to find out WHO from the inside was leaking so much info. We'll probably know one day and we might be surprised to discover just how high up that person really was,,,

No doubt that this guy is SJ yoo:D

RedTomato
Dec 20, 2007, 04:00 AM
Why do people think Apple paid money to TS? I see no evidence of that anywhere. (maybe I'm not looking properly)

Apple sued, with a very high powered and expensive legal team. Most probably TS faced either a long, painful case,being forced to shut down and paying a LOT, or making a deal to shut down early, and only paying a small settlement to Apple.

edesignuk
Dec 20, 2007, 04:02 AM
Way to go Apple! I hope you go after AppleInsider next. They are even more full of themselves.And MacRumors next huh? Followed by any other rumour sites. How very dare they!!! :rolleyes:

Schtumple
Dec 20, 2007, 04:03 AM
Way to go Apple! I hope you go after AppleInsider next. They are even more full of themselves.

What?!

Your actually happy to loose a mac rumors site?! What's wrong with you???

A large amount of news/rumors comes from Think Secret.

Mac Heretic
Dec 20, 2007, 04:16 AM
And I thought that rumors are an essential part of Apple's business plan.

weg
Dec 20, 2007, 04:23 AM
Wow. So, what will that mean for MR? I suspect an even greater status of Apple news, but not as many sneak-peaks.

Well, I think it is the duty of all the Jobs fanboys here to request an immediate shutdown of MR. :D

gedto
Dec 20, 2007, 04:38 AM
Well, Apple has not gone after 9to5mac, or Macrumors, or TUAW, or Appleinsider...

This is not about "censorship" or anything close to that. Apple is more than ok with rumors, hype, rumor sites and all its fans buzzing and freaking out with the possibility of a new product being released. That said, it happens to be that secret product information being leaked is a MAJOR threat to a company like Apple that can't live on huge installed user base.

Apple lives on innovation and on the "OMG" factor of their product releases. Just put the Thinksecret lawsuit into perspective, and take a look at the time frame. Apple was developing the iPhone at that very point in time. Guess what a leak of the multitouch interface of the iPhone would have meant for Apple and the most-anticipated-product-launch-ever? Had Thinksecret's source been around leaking info about that before Jan 2007, LG, Samsung, Nokia and the likes would have had waaay enough time to develop an iPhone equivalent even before Apple's came to light. The iPhone would have been dead before launch.

This is just a small example of what happens to a company that bases its success in being innovative, sleek designs and secretly developed gadgets. TS was walking the line, and Apple can't just afford such a danger. Rumors are okay - allowing your inside secrets to be leaked and thus destroy your product marketing schedules and timelines is stupid, and really dangerous.

Anybody remember the iWalk? Or the much-rumored Asteroid audio interface? These products really seemed to be almost finished... but they never were launched because timing was destroyed by leakages. I'd rather have an iPhone today at the expense of ThinkSecret having to stop leaking insider secrets, than being able to read about it in TS in Nov 2006 and Apple losing its wow-factor and its opportunity window for the launch.

A fair agreement is "Rumor sites: guess as much as you want about my products, make up fakes of any kind... but please do not post stolen pics of imminent products or I will ask you to take them down... and do not by any means post secret info -again, be free to guess- of my current product developments or I will be forced to take you to court.

Guessing that Apple was to release a phone was something that everybody did. I can clearly see TS being able to post "Apple about to release Ipod-like, fullscreen phone with no 3G capabilities, integrated WiFi and camera, and multitouch interface" in mid-november had things stayed as they were. And apply this to any other product: iPod Touch, Leopard's Time Machine, and whatever they're preparing for MWSF08.

Sad to see TS go, but if you play with fire you will eventually get burn. Other sites never crossed that line, and well they are now.

macduke
Dec 20, 2007, 04:46 AM
<rant>

I think it's out job as the community to let Apple know that we are not pleased. We are what makes them who they are. How many of you sold your friends on iPods before anyone had one? How many of you have convinced your grandparents who are tired of Windows crashing to get a Mac? How many of you waited in line for the iPhone only to have the price drop a few months later?

We were outraged then, we can make a difference now. I hope you all flood sjobs@apple.com with emails about how upset you are that they are going after the rumor sites that make them who they are instead of the source. They took the lazy route, and instead of launching a full fledged internal investigation, they bullied the site that was getting the information. That site has every right to print what it knows to be true.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm pretty pissed. Without these sites and fans, Apple would be still stuck in the mud of the mid 90s. I was looking to buy whatever new Macbook Pro that comes out next month, but now I'm not so sure. Might just build myself a quad-core desktop and buy an ASUS EEE laptop and put hacked copies of OSX on them so Apple doesn't get any money. Greedy jerks. I love Apple's products, but I'm starting to hate the spirit of their company. I'm slowly becoming less and less of a fanboy.

My advice to Apple is to follow Google's motto: "Don't be evil." I wish I could buy a gMachine.

</rant>

gedto
Dec 20, 2007, 04:49 AM
Oh! And I had as much fun as anyone else with these predictions and breaking news that TS released from time to time. It is just that they came too accurate, up to a point in which Macworlds stopped being "let's see if any of the rumors become true!!!" and for a moment were more like:

"Alright, here's Steve-o. Let's take out our rumor list... New iLife: check. Headless-under-$500-Mac: check. Under-$100-iPod: check. Great to be with you, bye".

At some point Keynotes lost part of their interest because even the "one-more-thing" had been leaked, pictures, pricing and specs included, days before the event. I prefer something like MWSF07 in which nobody had a clue about what was to come, or the iMac G5 launch of which nobody had seen anything and was a true surprise!! Or the first nano!

That said, I will miss TS and Nick, as much as I missed Spymac when they dilluted into some kind of myspace-wannabe. Rock on Appleinsider and Macrumors!

weg
Dec 20, 2007, 04:50 AM
I just don't get it. These rumor sites are good publicity for Apple. Sure secrets are let out in the open but people get excited about this stuff.

No matter whether Apple was right about that or not, it was not a very clever move when it comes to publicity. :mad:

gedto
Dec 20, 2007, 04:56 AM
<rant>
That site has every right to print what it knows to be true.
</rant>

I am not so sure of that, though. Would you think the same way if the tabloids published in block letters some private information of your family life or pictures of your naked wife? That's secret, private information, and as much as you need to find out who is leaking that information to the public, you need to make sure that the press keeps behaving with some responsibility, and let them know that it's okay to guess and post mockups, but it's not okay to print and publish that secrets that both of you know are true upcoming things that it's owner and developer does not want to be known as of now.

Another example: let's say that you have two kids, and the 12 year-old finds out by accident that Santa... well, just is something different. And that kid goes to his 6 year-old brother and tells him about that. Of course you would research how the hell did the older one find out, but first of all you would grab your elder son by the ear and tell him not to do so ever again. Got it? Not that you don't love your kids, it's just that sometimes you have to put a stop to some things.

gnasher729
Dec 20, 2007, 05:27 AM
you gotta wonder how much the settlement was to Thinksecret to shut down? I see apple's legal and PR team offering TS ownership a 6 digit to low 7 digit figure to shut down and walk away. They lost their muster and a lot of pageviews over the past year or two. Too bad, good site.

If you think that Apple gave any money to Think Secret, you are not living on the same planet as Steve Jobs.

that is interesting. i'm curious as to what legal grounds apple had against TS that they don't (hopefully) have against MR.

Think Secret posted trade secrets. Confidential information that was illegally leaked by an employee. I haven't seen MacRumors do that.

jnc
Dec 20, 2007, 05:40 AM
Hmm. Paid, hired, or threatened with their life? You decide.

teflon
Dec 20, 2007, 05:43 AM
I just don't get it. These rumor sites are good publicity for Apple. Sure secrets are let out in the open but people get excited about this stuff.
However, rumour sites also create a lot of problems. First of all, it often gets people excited about nothing. How many times have you anticipated a new product at MWSF or alike but didn't get one? Like the powerbook G5. And how many times have you waited forever for a rumoured product release, then the product comes out with only 1/2 the features as rumoured? Then suddenly a great product becomes a crappy one because you had much higher expectations for it.
Many others also mentioned that it's bad for business and gives the competitors an edge and those are all reasons why Apple wanted TS to shut down.

<rant>

I think it's out job as the community to let Apple know that we are not pleased. We are what makes them who they are. How many of you sold your friends on iPods before anyone had one? How many of you have convinced your grandparents who are tired of Windows crashing to get a Mac? How many of you waited in line for the iPhone only to have the price drop a few months later?

We were outraged then, we can make a difference now. I hope you all flood sjobs@apple.com with emails about how upset you are that they are going after the rumor sites that make them who they are instead of the source. They took the lazy route, and instead of launching a full fledged internal investigation, they bullied the site that was getting the information. That site has every right to print what it knows to be true.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm pretty pissed. Without these sites and fans, Apple would be still stuck in the mud of the mid 90s. I was looking to buy whatever new Macbook Pro that comes out next month, but now I'm not so sure. Might just build myself a quad-core desktop and buy an ASUS EEE laptop and put hacked copies of OSX on them so Apple doesn't get any money. Greedy jerks. I love Apple's products, but I'm starting to hate the spirit of their company. I'm slowly becoming less and less of a fanboy.

My advice to Apple is to follow Google's motto: "Don't be evil." I wish I could buy a gMachine.

</rant>
Apple rose mostly from the iPod, or to some extent, the iMac. Their computer marketshare only dramatically increased after the intel switch. I highly doubt that they got out of the mud of the mid 90s because of the rumour sites. There were rumour sites back then too. They did rise because of the fans, but most of Apple users don't actually go on rumour sites. So this really only effects a very small amount of people, and only a very small percentage of Apple users will actually read TS anyway. However, this does give the competition a leg up, and Apple would rather sacrifice a very small group of its users that visit TS than let the competitors release a product similar to theirs ahead of them and lose majority of their users.
And honestly, Apple is a business. They have every right to drop their price when they think the time is right, and every right to over charge when they think people will buy it. They're not your mother who's always looking out for your best benefits. They're just looking out for the best benefits for themselves.

tjmeijer
Dec 20, 2007, 05:48 AM
Apple should be ashamed of themselves.

:mad:

Apples feels that their customers will take anything from them, thats not good. They have become arrogant.

igazza
Dec 20, 2007, 05:50 AM
today is a sad day. Not cool apple

zoozx
Dec 20, 2007, 05:55 AM
Apple is really screwing up here. The amount of interest that site drew to it's products far out weighed any loss for apple.
Really a dumb move!@

Much Ado
Dec 20, 2007, 05:56 AM
Epic news...

But is it bad that i can sympathize with what Apple have done here? :confused:

If i had snitches walking the company corridors i'd stop at nothing to make sure they didn't spill the beans on anything.

Can you imagine what would have happened if, instead of harmless rumour, we'd got genuine photos of the iPhone 6 months prior to MacWorld?

edesignuk
Dec 20, 2007, 05:57 AM
If i had snitches walking the company corridors i'd stop at nothing to make sure they didn't spill the beans on anything.Then it's Apple's problem and they should investigate the leak internally. They took the easy route and threw their weight around. Twunts.

wilburpan
Dec 20, 2007, 06:11 AM
So what is the difference between what the rumors sites have been doing and what
Bear Stearns
UBS Investment Research
Needham and Co.
Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. Inc.
W.R. Hambrecht
Piper Jaffray
Prudential Equity Group
American Technology Research
and other analysts have been doing with their predictions? I don't see Apple going after them.

twoodcc
Dec 20, 2007, 06:17 AM
wow, it saddens me to hear this. i wish them well though

Roller
Dec 20, 2007, 06:17 AM
I wonder where all the Wall Street analysts are going to get their insider information now?

It's interesting to look at Think Secret pages from 7 or 8 years ago, courtesy of http://www.archive.org. (In fact, that site, which archives Web pages, is a fascinating link to the recent past and a great time sink.)

Much Ado
Dec 20, 2007, 06:18 AM
So what is the difference between what the rumors sites have been doing and what
Bear Stearns
UBS Investment Research
Needham and Co.
Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. Inc.
W.R. Hambrecht
Piper Jaffray
Prudential Equity Group
American Technology Research
and other analysts have been doing with their predictions? I don't see Apple going after them.

Whoa, whoa, whoa...

Predictions mean nothing. I repeat my earlier point: imagine if we'd seen photos of the genuine iPhone 6 months before it was released.
Piper Jaffray and co. are analysts, not spies.

If Apple have shut down TS it means they have secrets that they cannot afford to be revealed. And this is where rumour kicks in...

gedto
Dec 20, 2007, 06:19 AM
These analyze information and extract conclusions from that analysis, and based on that work ellaborate predictions.

TS often did that, but also often had an inside source that leaked pics, specs, prices, timelines, materials, suppliers etc, and just copied that in their cover stories.

There's a subtle, but very important, difference between both my friend.

One is researching, other is spying.

m-dogg
Dec 20, 2007, 06:19 AM
you gotta wonder how much the settlement was to Thinksecret to shut down? I see apple's legal and PR team offering TS ownership a 6 digit to low 7 digit figure to shut down and walk away. They lost their muster and a lot of pageviews over the past year or two. Too bad, good site.

That's what I was thinking... he does talk about finishing college now... tuition?

heiesuke
Dec 20, 2007, 06:21 AM
This sucks, but when one goes down another arises.

billystlyes
Dec 20, 2007, 06:23 AM
What?!

Your actually happy to loose a mac rumors site?! What's wrong with you???.

Yes. I think these sites are bad for Apple. They cause confusion in the marketplace and give away trade secrets. By the way, I don't really consider Mac Rumors in the same category. Mac Rumors is more of a hub or collector of rumor-based news. They normally don't break rumor news or even write their own stuff. Most of the stuff is just quoted from ThinkSecret, AppleInsider or 9 to 5 Mac. This site is more about the forums, which are excellent.

bmk
Dec 20, 2007, 06:23 AM
Shout foul at the source of the leak, not at the reporter.

In legal terms if you publish something you are as guilty as the person who actually said/leaked it. That is why newspapers get sued for libel.

StrongBad
Dec 20, 2007, 06:26 AM
http://www.missoulian.com/specials/salute/posters/posters-print/LooseLipsSinkShips.gif

gnasher729
Dec 20, 2007, 06:45 AM
So what is the difference between what the rumors sites have been doing and what
Bear Stearns
UBS Investment Research
Needham and Co.
Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. Inc.
W.R. Hambrecht
Piper Jaffray
Prudential Equity Group
American Technology Research
and other analysts have been doing with their predictions? I don't see Apple going after them.

They are not publishing Apple's trade secrets. Is that enough of a difference?

Phil A.
Dec 20, 2007, 06:51 AM
As others have said on here, Apple have a legal and moral right to protect their trade secrets (not to mention an obligation to their shareholders). TS was way beyond a rumour site and obviously had an inside track to someone who was illegally passing Apple's trade secrets to them.
When they published Apple's trade secrets, they weren't just slaking the desire of Apple's customers to know the latest and greatest ahead of time, they were giving a big heads up to Apple's competitors...
No-one has the divine right to know the intimate details of Apple's (or anyone elses) forthcoming products and whilst rumours and speculation are (mostly) harmless, when they are based on hard facts leaked directly from the source they become much more insidious and I don't see that Apple had any choice

gnasher729
Dec 20, 2007, 06:52 AM
If i had snitches walking the company corridors i'd stop at nothing to make sure they didn't spill the beans on anything.

If I had a snitch in my team, who couldn't keep his bloody mouth shut and had to blabber out confidential information about a new product, and that product that the whole team worked hard for was then canned, I would want to know the name of that snitch so I could give him a good kicking and then throw him out. I don't think there is any sympathy for Think Secret in the team that produced this product, and they all paid a high price for that leak.

Try discussing a raise with your boss. When he asks you what you have worked on in the last year, you have to tell him that you got this product close to completion, but it was canned because a snitch somewhere in your team leaked the info out to the press. So your achievements in the last year were a big fat ZERO. So that discussion won't work out too well for you.

Lepton
Dec 20, 2007, 06:59 AM
I don't recall much about the suit itself. What exactly were they accused of doing? It's not about copyrights or trademarks. It must be a trade secret thing. Having followed the cult of Scientology's big efforts when they tried to sue people on the Internet from spilling their so-called sacred scripture secrets, they went after it every which way and to the max, and lost big, big time. I've learned that revealing trade secrets is a crime, but the criminal is the person who was officially authorized to have the secret, but NOT a person who was illegally told that secret.

If I have a trade secret and tell you, I may guilty of something, but you are not, even if you tell the secret publicly. Because I am the one that broke my agreement. You broke no agreements. Scientology lost on that logic. So if an Apple insider told them something, what's ThinkSecret's crime?

I'm not a lawyer so I probably have something wrong. What was the alleged crime?

JFreak
Dec 20, 2007, 07:04 AM
Wow. I definitely didn't see this coming... MacRumors, please be careful!

Even though it might sound like bragging, I just have to say that I actually saw this coming. ThinkSecret was being very unusually quiet during the last months so the old lawsuit came into my mind and I was able to do the math.

I'm sorry to see them gone, but what can you do...

Stella
Dec 20, 2007, 07:05 AM
Its TS that had the choice to publish the information, they should have acted with more discretion.

There's a difference between publishing rumours and sensitive information that could damage the company in many ways including: financially, competitive advantage.

Rumours are fine, but you can go too far.

However, its sad to see a rumour site go. In its day, TS was very accurate and it was great to get accurate information about what was upcoming from Apple ( despite the above!).

Shout foul at the source of the leak, not at the reporter.

But anyway, sad to see Thinksecret go, even if they have dropped in accuracy since the lawsuit.

Much Ado
Dec 20, 2007, 07:06 AM
I don't think there is any sympathy for Think Secret in the team that produced this product, and they all paid a high price for that leak.

That's my point exactly. We should remember that people's entire careers depend on these products, and being grassed-up to a website just isn't fair on them.

GroundLoop
Dec 20, 2007, 07:13 AM
The easiest parallel to draw is with the government...

Does the New York Times have the right to post information that has been classified as Top Secret/Special Compartmentalized Information....hell NO!!

That information in the public could have cost human lives or, at a minimum, lose a genuine technical advantage.

It would have been similar to revealing stealth technology to the public as it was being created.

Hickman

iChester
Dec 20, 2007, 07:22 AM
Believe me, TS got paid BIGTIME.

GroundLoop
Dec 20, 2007, 07:30 AM
Believe me, TS got paid BIGTIME.

I tend to believe that you are right. I have to give Nick some credit too. He was able to get paid to shut down a site that would NEVER get another decently informed source. There were too many eyes watching that site.

Hickman

Freis968
Dec 20, 2007, 07:34 AM
I guess by meaning positive, they [ThinkSecret] escaped a prison sentence and Apple has no more ThinkSecret to worry about.

Cloudane
Dec 20, 2007, 07:37 AM
I'm glad they did it in a way that TS were happy with. Hopefully instead of bullying them out of business by suing and then saying they'll drop it so long as they shut down, they actually paid them money to shut down. Wishful thinking I know, but I'd think much more highly of Apple for that.

I can see why Apple did it. Their business thrives on the excitement and buzz generated by rumo(u)rs and speculation, all owed to the fact that they keep things secret until the day of release. Look how busy this site is for instance. People are talking about them *all the time*, wondering when something is going to happen next, and big things can happen at any time. Something special comes out, surprises everyone, then there's all the talking about that *and* more speculation of what comes next. Believe me, having people constantly excited about your company is good for business :)

So what happens when the rumours are too good, when one of these sites so consistently gets this right? It puts this highly valuable aspect of their business in danger. It'd eventually come to the point where we all know what's coming long before it's announced, and as someone said earlier the Jobsnotes would just be a predictable checklist confirming facts that everyone already knows. There would no longer be any reason to keep the rumours and speculation going because we'd have a source who knows everything. So Apple takes them down, making things more of a mystery again. Very smart.

phillipjfry
Dec 20, 2007, 07:40 AM
34 posts positive. Apple has 34+ of their lawyers trolling around these forums???

I never really visited their websites but I heard enough news from them to know that they will be missed. :apple:

Although a cursory glance would suggest that they had it coming? :confused:

gloss
Dec 20, 2007, 07:47 AM
Go on, Nick. Take the money and run.

PlaceofDis
Dec 20, 2007, 07:48 AM
i can't say that this is totally surprising. i mean after the lawsuit and all it was coming sooner or later, right?

i hope all parties involved are satisfied at least.

Macula
Dec 20, 2007, 07:49 AM
I love it when large corporations do not interfere with the "free press". Congratulations to everyone involved.

Dont Hurt Me
Dec 20, 2007, 07:52 AM
Not sure what to make of this but it sounds to me like bully tactics of Apple. Apple wasnt in danger of anything and if anything TS was helping to create the buzz for Apple.

BenRoethig
Dec 20, 2007, 07:59 AM
The dark side of Apple rears its head. On one side we have a company who creates great innovative products. On the other hand we also have a company who wants to control things according to their will down to what is written about it, what types of computers its customers buy, how they use them, and even what desks they use them (the new keyboard's cord is too short to use on a keyboard tray). I love the OS and most of the products, but the whole mindless sheep angle I'm not too crazy about.

Glial
Dec 20, 2007, 08:07 AM
The dark side of Apple rears its head. On one side we have a company who creates great innovative products. On the other hand we also have a company who wants to control things according to their will down to what is written about it, what types of computers its customers buy, how they use them, and even what desks they use them (the new keyboard's cord is too short to use on a keyboard tray). I love the OS and most of the products, but the whole mindless sheep angle I'm not too crazy about.

I don't think it reared its ugly head at all. The site was breaking the rules, Apple sued, Nick won. No different than had Apple just purchased the site, which in essence it did.

As stated earlier, but I am going to spell it correctly, Ciao Nick !

krye
Dec 20, 2007, 08:09 AM
"I'm very satisfied with the settlement" = "I'm just glad I didn't have to pay them millions of dollars in damages!"

Counter
Dec 20, 2007, 08:10 AM
no longer be published due to terms of a confidential settlement.

$$$$$



When contacted, Nick Ciarelli was unable to provide any further details but said, "I'm very satisfied with the settlement"

$$$$$


"I'm pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits."

$$$$$



*$$$$$ = Apple paying.

Much Ado
Dec 20, 2007, 08:20 AM
The dark side of Apple rears its head. On one side we have a company who creates great innovative products. On the other hand we also have a company who wants to control things according to their will

How about controlling things according to the law?

swingerofbirch
Dec 20, 2007, 08:21 AM
The outcome is what it is, but I think Apple having ever sued ThinkSecret is suppressive and abusive. In interpersonal relationships one of the hallmark signs of abuse is when one person tells another what he or she may or may not say.

Apple's only discontent should have been with ITS loose-lipped employee. Apple's internal policies are not the law of the land, and so Apple has no legal right to bring a private citizen into the legal system as a forced witness as to who within Apple's own company broke Apple's internal policy.

Secrecy and paranoia are known to run rampant at Apple, but when they start affecting the non-Apple world, Apple has to be seen somewhat as a scourge on society. I realize Nick was only one young guy, so I can't expect him to have to stood for the principle of free speech on everyone else's behalf. I do hope, however, that in general, society rejects the rise of corporatism to the level of being like a fascist government in our lives.

obibobi
Dec 20, 2007, 08:29 AM
... let's say that you have two kids, and the 12 year-old finds out by accident that Santa... well, just is something different. And that kid goes to his 6 year-old brother and tells him about that. Of course you would research how the hell did the older one find out, but first of all you would grab your elder son by the ear and tell him not to do so ever again. Got it? Not that you don't love your kids, it's just that sometimes you have to put a stop to some things.

I don't get it.
What do you mean ?
I'm waiting for Santa, he should come in a couple of days and give me Apple stuff. :)

alfalfamacnerd
Dec 20, 2007, 08:30 AM
Think nick will accidentally tell appleinsider the settlement terms?

njfuzzy
Dec 20, 2007, 08:34 AM
Are we all talking about the same ThinkSecret?

I'm thinking of the one where the owner/author came across as arrogant in most of his posts. The only Mac rumor site that seemed to have a vendetta against Apple, constantly sniping, taking pot shots, and making insinuations about the company in the articles. The site that illegally requested people to break NDAs and other contracts, and then posted specific information.

The site also hurt Apple's competitive advantage by announcing in-depth details about unfinished and unannounced products. We all love our rumors, but lets face it... if competitors know about Apple products with a six month lead time, they can have competition ready before launch. If consumers think they know when the next product is coming out, and the specs, they hold off on buying the current product-- and if the rumor is a disappointment, they don't buy the actual product either.

My guess is that Apple was about to win a lot of money, and maybe criminal punishment. At that point, Nick had to stick to his guns on not revealing his sources, but had to bail out or pay up. I bet the agreement is that Nick pays a token amount of money to Apple (profits from the site), Apple ends their pursuit of other damages, Nick shuts down the site, and Nick agrees not to talk about the details of the settlement or badmouth Apple in any way.

Dont Hurt Me
Dec 20, 2007, 08:40 AM
How about controlling things according to the law?Law in the U.S. seems to have been replaced with corporate $$$. This is evident everywhere from Apple to our Borders to a CIA agent being outed by its own govt so it could start a war. $$$

gnasher729
Dec 20, 2007, 08:44 AM
34 posts positive. Apple has 34+ of their lawyers trolling around these forums???

I just voted it positive. :D

The outcome is what it is, but I think Apple having ever sued ThinkSecret is suppressive and abusive. In interpersonal relationships one of the hallmark signs of abuse is when one person tells another what he or she may or may not say.

Apple's only discontent should have been with ITS loose-lipped employee. Apple's internal policies are not the law of the land, and so Apple has no legal right to bring a private citizen into the legal system as a forced witness as to who within Apple's own company broke Apple's internal policy.

I don't know if you are aware that violation of trade secrets is actually a criminal offence. So Apple has about the same right to ask for the name of the leaker as they would have to ask you if you knew the identity of a person who stole a dozen printers from the Apple campus.

I tend to believe that you are right. I have to give Nick some credit too. He was able to get paid to shut down a site ...

Dream on.

Rot'nApple
Dec 20, 2007, 08:55 AM
Bummer.


Good PR for apple too, showing that they indeed are turning into a fascistic entity.

Next in line will be Macrumors,then 9-to-5,then CNN,then..



Off course businesses have rights to protect their developement/tech,but jumping on some kid running a forum...for chrissake.
Fascists..

As a personal protest against :apple:,Ill postpone my purchases of apple christmas presents...Well,at least untill january.



"Next in line will be Macrumors,then 9-to-5,then CNN,then.." - DOUBT IT!

Has anyone seen the most recent stories that have been put out by TS, MacRumors or LoopRumors?? They are mainly gerneral interest news items of current events that one can find on any Apple News/Magazine type sites or Bloomberg or similar investment sites. I can remember when these rumor sites used to actively compete on who came up with the most salacious, eyegrabbing, mouth dropping rumors, complete with thorough specs and fought over who had the better sources that gave the most accurate information before a MacWorld Expo and then afterwords they would have a roundup of who got what right and what wrong, etc. Those were the good ole days, but thanks to Apple's legal efforts regarding such poignant rumors of actual upcoming Apple Products and their specifications, they have put the "Brass Ones" into a "testicle lockbox".

Just look at the current headlines from "around rumor town"...

Another lawsuit filed against Apple... (what's new)
Software Security Up-Dates...
Apple Holiday shipping guidelines...
Apple in talks to bring the iPhone to China... Japan...
Steve appears on Epcot ride???
New Apple Store to open...
Consumer Reports on iPhone...
Mac users more likely to pay for music than pc users...

And then, when there is a rumor about an actual product it is a safe bet that it is a rehash of someone elses information such as Investment Firm's (input name here), Tech Analyst (input name here), yada, yada, yada, generalizations of the next ... whatever...

Example from a LoopRumors story but can be similarly found on any number of so called rumor websites...

"Apple has long been rumored to offer movie rentals via iTunes, and those rumors became more credible with screenshots posted in September.

Today, PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster adds his own speculation on what we can expect at Macworld Expo. In addition to the ultra-portable laptop, Munster believes that Apple is developing partnerships with movie studios and will finally offer iTunes movie rentals by mid-2008, with a 50% chance as early as Macworld.

He also speculates that Apple will bump the iPhone capacity up to 16GB while keeping it at the same $399 price point."

Two words... Boring and D'oh!

Just my observations...

"As a personal protest against :apple:,Ill postpone my purchases of apple christmas presents...Well,at least untill january." - at least until after MacWorld:D

zweigand
Dec 20, 2007, 09:04 AM
Why would Apple pay TS in a settlement? It was Apple that sued.
I really don't see any reason for Apple to have to pay in this situation. Since someone inside their company was leaking info I think they ended up just asking the courts to demand the source be revealed. The court gave two options ...give up the source, or give up the site.

If he gave up the source ...who in their right mind would ever leak another story? If news got out that he handed over the name to save his site, TS would have been dead anyway. He would have ratted out a friend for nothing.

Not to mention this is a huge story and will get him a lot of publicity. I bet he IS happy with the settlement, and it had nothing to do with a pile of cash... at least not directly. (publicity does bring money)

Rot'nApple
Dec 20, 2007, 09:08 AM
The easiest parallel to draw is with the government...

Does the New York Times have the right to post information that has been classified as Top Secret/Special Compartmentalized Information....hell NO!!

Oh, but the New York Times has published stories against the govenment wishes, but unlike TS, they have suffered no repriasals...

Example...

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8IDMQ180&show_article=1

"The Bush administration and The New York Times are again at odds over national security, this time with new reports of a broad government effort to track global financial transfers.
The newspaper, which in December broke news of an effort by the National Security Agency to monitor Americans' telephone calls and e- mails, declined a White House request not to publish a story about the government's inspection of monies flowing in and out of the country."

http://patterico.com/2006/06/22/new-york-times-publishes-classified-details-of-legal-and-formerly-effective-anti-terrorism-program/

"The New York Times has a lengthy article revealing classified details about an anti-terrorist program that has, among other things, caught the mastermind of the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing. The publication of the article may spell the end of the program. (H/t Allah.)

Stephen Spruiell has the postcard version. Jeff Goldstein has further thoughts.

I am biting down on my rage right now. Ill resist the temptation to say Ann Coulter was right about where Timothy McVeigh should have gone with his truck bomb. Ill say only this: its becoming increasingly clear to me that the people at the New York Times are not just biased media folks whose antics can be laughed off. They are actually dangerous."

ma2ha3
Dec 20, 2007, 09:18 AM
apple ceo strike off a name, and look at another name closely.

Macrumors you are next.

MacJoe
Dec 20, 2007, 09:24 AM
I never, ever trust settlements that are "confidential." It only gives the appearance that everyone had something to hide. I think more people should simply refuse confidentiality as a term of settlement.

Unspeaked
Dec 20, 2007, 09:44 AM
Oh! And I had as much fun as anyone else with these predictions and breaking news that TS released from time to time. It is just that they came too accurate, up to a point in which Macworlds stopped being "let's see if any of the rumors become true!!!" and for a moment were more like:

"Alright, here's Steve-o. Let's take out our rumor list... New iLife: check. Headless-under-$500-Mac: check. Under-$100-iPod: check. Great to be with you, bye".

At some point Keynotes lost part of their interest because even the "one-more-thing" had been leaked, pictures, pricing and specs included, days before the event. I prefer something like MWSF07 in which nobody had a clue about what was to come, or the iMac G5 launch of which nobody had seen anything and was a true surprise!! Or the first nano!

This is not much different than TV shows spoilers, or movie ending leaks or comic book spoilers or anything else that's become much more commonplace since the internet took off.

I remember it being weeks after a MacWorld and still not being sure of what was released! You'd have to wait for MacWeek or MacWorld to publish their next issue and see if the speculation you'd heard about ended up being right.

Same with TV shows - you used to actually have to watch a show to know what was going on. Now, you can have pretty much the entire season summed up for you before the first episode airs. Anyone remember the "Who show Mr. Burns?" Simpsons (or heck, "The Who Shot JR?" Dallas it parodied?). How long do you think those secrets would have lasted in 2007? How much less impact would it have had?

TimTheEnchanter
Dec 20, 2007, 09:53 AM
RIP TS

Good luck to Nick in future endeavors!

shoobe01
Dec 20, 2007, 10:01 AM
What? Show me a product, at any company ever that was canceled because it wasn't a big enough surprise. You know as soon as you launch it, its not a surprise anymore, right?


As far as the arguing of whether it was /right/, who cares about your opinion. Read up on the centuries of case law. And part time, internet-only journalists are still journalists. Covered by state and federal shield laws. They do not have to give up sources, and are not liable for violations of law their sources may have made, whether direct violations (government secrets, B&E) or contractual violations (NDA).

Now, the CA trade secrets act (whatever its called) /might/ be excessively broadly interpreted to cover journalists, but I'd find that odd. Unless the TS guy helped the source break in, and wandered the campus at night looking at secret things himself, I'd hope he should still be protected.


Since the EFF helped with the defense, I presume the TS guy just decided he didn't want to spend more years fighting this, whether or not money changed hands.

GroundLoop
Dec 20, 2007, 10:09 AM
Dream on.

By the letter of the law, TS didn't do anything wrong. Apple was trying to bully TS into outing a source. He stood his ground and did not. I think that the only thing Apple could have done is buy the site from Nick and force it offline.

Anyone remember "Deep Throat"? I don't remember the Washington Post getting sued, being forced to pay anything, or any real legal issues. That is because there was no legal basis. Same as in this case.

The only way to ensure that TS would not acquire new sources would to take it down the only way that it legally could...through acquisition($$$).

The only way it could differ from the above, is if Nick actively solicited individuals and coerced them into providing Apple's trade secrets to TS. I have seen or heard of no eveidence of this (but it is a possibility).

Hickman

Clive At Five
Dec 20, 2007, 10:15 AM
I will deeply miss ThinkSecret. As others have said before, it used to be my first source for rumors. It's still first in line, for posterity's sake but I never spend more than 5 seconds on the site. There just hasn't been any good content recently -- no doubt due to the lawsuit.

Nick: Congratulations in escaping alive. Your site was awesome. Good luck in your college studies and in your career ahead of you.

To TS's source: If you're still at Apple, please keep the info coming. The rumor scene has been pretty stale since TS got hit, and it's being overrun by idiot analysts. The enthusiasm is still present though. We're dying to know what's up Apple's sleve! Protect yourself though: leak to an array of sites. Or leak to me and I'll leak to sites, hahaha. Wait, actually, I'm serious. Wait, now Apple has my name. Crap. I'm innocent!

-Clive

asphalt-proof
Dec 20, 2007, 10:24 AM
Well, Apple has not gone after 9to5mac, or Macrumors, or TUAW, or Appleinsider...

This is not about "censorship" or anything close to that. Apple is more than ok with rumors, hype, rumor sites and all its fans buzzing and freaking out with the possibility of a new product being released. That said, it happens to be that secret product information being leaked is a MAJOR threat to a company like Apple that can't live on huge installed user base.

Apple lives on innovation and on the "OMG" factor of their product releases. Just put the Thinksecret lawsuit into perspective, and take a look at the time frame. Apple was developing the iPhone at that very point in time. Guess what a leak of the multitouch interface of the iPhone would have meant for Apple and the most-anticipated-product-launch-ever? Had Thinksecret's source been around leaking info about that before Jan 2007, LG, Samsung, Nokia and the likes would have had waaay enough time to develop an iPhone equivalent even before Apple's came to light. The iPhone would have been dead before launch.

This is just a small example of what happens to a company that bases its success in being innovative, sleek designs and secretly developed gadgets. TS was walking the line, and Apple can't just afford such a danger. Rumors are okay - allowing your inside secrets to be leaked and thus destroy your product marketing schedules and timelines is stupid, and really dangerous.

Anybody remember the iWalk? Or the much-rumored Asteroid audio interface? These products really seemed to be almost finished... but they never were launched because timing was destroyed by leakages. I'd rather have an iPhone today at the expense of ThinkSecret having to stop leaking insider secrets, than being able to read about it in TS in Nov 2006 and Apple losing its wow-factor and its opportunity window for the launch.

A fair agreement is "Rumor sites: guess as much as you want about my products, make up fakes of any kind... but please do not post stolen pics of imminent products or I will ask you to take them down... and do not by any means post secret info -again, be free to guess- of my current product developments or I will be forced to take you to court.

Guessing that Apple was to release a phone was something that everybody did. I can clearly see TS being able to post "Apple about to release Ipod-like, fullscreen phone with no 3G capabilities, integrated WiFi and camera, and multitouch interface" in mid-november had things stayed as they were. And apply this to any other product: iPod Touch, Leopard's Time Machine, and whatever they're preparing for MWSF08.

Sad to see TS go, but if you play with fire you will eventually get burn. Other sites never crossed that line, and well they are now.

That's just crap! Are you telling that Apple spent millions of dollars and R&D, manufacturing costs, OS development, etc, and then, days, weeks before the product is released, decide NOT to release the product because it got leaked to the press first? I really doubt that. By that reasoning, all Apple has is speculation going for it. Their superior design and interface is just something that can be copied all willy nilly by any company in just a couple of days. Witness the repeated failures of iPhone-wannabees who can't get it right and they have the actual phone right in front of them!! Sure China made a very nice copy, but its still vaporware here in the US. If the design was good then no amount of leakage is going to spoil the product launch no matter what the PR people tell you.

Data
Dec 20, 2007, 10:25 AM
I don't understand how they can be happy with the settlement when the site is taken offline.

Brianstorm91
Dec 20, 2007, 10:26 AM
Bit of a shot in the foot for pulling in the customers.

zioxide
Dec 20, 2007, 10:32 AM
The easiest parallel to draw is with the government...

Does the New York Times have the right to post information that has been classified as Top Secret/Special Compartmentalized Information....hell NO!!

That information in the public could have cost human lives or, at a minimum, lose a genuine technical advantage.

It would have been similar to revealing stealth technology to the public as it was being created.

err.. no.

If some idiot government official leaks ****, the NY Times could publish it all they want. It's called freedom of the press. It would only be legal if someone inside the NY Times had government clearance and used to obtain the information.

I'm guessing the settlement was somewhere along the lines of Apple pays TS, TS closes.

Nick wouldn't have gone to prison or anything if he refused a settlement. He didn't do anything wrong. He's a journalist. If they obtain information from someone, they can publish it, and he doesn't have to tell anyone the source.

He didn't have a NDA with Apple, the guy who leaked it did. The guy who leaked it was in violation. Apple can go after him all he wants (and should investigate internally to find him).

To the delusional fanboys: Apple is not the law, they are not above the law. They can't force TS to do anything in this, since TS didn't commit any crimes.

Apple offered TS a settlement after he didn't just give up his source because they didn't want to end up with a lengthy court case (which they would end up losing).

I don't understand how they can be happy with the settlement when the site is taken offline.

The site wasn't "taken offline" by Apple. Apple proposed a settlement, where they would pay him big $$$ and he would shut down the site. He accepted it.

It's not like the site was his job. He did it part time while going to school. If someone was going to give you a ******** of money to shut down some little hobby site you had, you would do it too.

blashphemy
Dec 20, 2007, 10:34 AM
RIP ThinkSecret. We will miss you. :(

seedster2
Dec 20, 2007, 10:37 AM
Believe me, TS got paid BIGTIME.

I think they did as well. He likely sold it to them and promised to forfeit participation in any future Apple rumor sites for hefty sum.

Apple's legal team is powerful but they cannot rewrite existing laws. This isnt a matter of national security. He cannot be forced to give his source to anyone. The press is protected and so are their sources.

This is Apple's internal problem. They likely filed suit in order to pressure him to sell. They have the resources to continue to harass him for years.

*Wish I had seen zioxide's post I could have just quoted it

zioxide
Dec 20, 2007, 10:39 AM
I think they did as well. He likely sold it to them and promised to forfeit participation in any future Apple rumor sites for hefty sum.

Apple's legal team is powerful but they cannot rewrite existing laws. This isnt a matter of national security. He cannot be forced to give his source to anyone. There press is protected and so are their sources.

This is Apple's internal problem. They likely filed suit in order to pressure him to sell. They have the resources to continue to harass him for years.

Exactly.

Apple filed suit against TS to try to scare him in to giving up his source. He didn't, and they realized if they went to court they would end up with a loss and negative publicity, and nothing would happen. They decided to settle the case by paying $$$ in exchange for TS to close and to end the case.

gwangung
Dec 20, 2007, 10:43 AM
err.. no.

If some idiot government official leaks ****, the NY Times could publish it all they want. It's called freedom of the press. It would only be legal if someone inside the NY Times had government clearance and used to obtain the information.

I'm guessing the settlement was somewhere along the lines of Apple pays TS, TS closes.

Nick wouldn't have gone to prison or anything if he refused a settlement. He didn't do anything wrong. He's a journalist. If they obtain information from someone, they can publish it, and he doesn't have to tell anyone the source.

He didn't have a NDA with Apple, the guy who leaked it did. The guy who leaked it was in violation. Apple can go after him all he wants (and should investigate internally to find him).

To the delusional fanboys: Apple is not the law, they are not above the law. They can't force TS to do anything in this, since TS didn't commit any crimes.

Apple offered TS a settlement after he didn't just give up his source because they didn't want to end up with a lengthy court case (which they would end up losing).



The site wasn't "taken offline" by Apple. Apple proposed a settlement, where they would pay him big $$$ and he would shut down the site. He accepted it.

It's not like the site was his job. He did it part time while going to school. If someone was going to give you a ******** of money to shut down some little hobby site you had, you would do it too.

I am not quite so sure.

This is somewhat different area than what most people are talking about. In the area of intellectual property of trade secrets, there are civil remedies for dissemination of those secrets. Non Disclosure Agreements are totally irrelevant to this. If it's determined that the information leaked was a trade secret (on the level,say, of a marketing plan, or distribution plan), then a media source could indeed be sued for damages for publication of those trade secrets.

And part of those damages could be an agreement to cease publication.

Freedom of the press is not a stay-out-of-jail-free card; there are legitimate limits on it, and trade secrets is one of them.

MM2270
Dec 20, 2007, 10:44 AM
Shout foul at the source of the leak, not at the reporter.

But anyway, sad to see Thinksecret go, even if they have dropped in accuracy since the lawsuit.

Uhmm, thats what Apple was trying to do, but in order to shout foul at the leak they needed to go after ThinkSecret to get it. I have no doubt that if Apple knew who the leak was, they wouldn't have even bothered with TS.

While I'm sad to see TS go, I feel Apple had a right to try to get the info on who their source was. Some of the ThinkSecret rumors weren't rumors at all, but actual fact that they were releasing on products well before Apple was ready to tell the world about them. Considering Apple is probably one of the most copied companies in the tech world, they had a legitimate reason to be concerned about the accuracy of the info being leaked.

There's no way to be sure, but think about this- have we as Mac users seen the "rumored" Asteroid product? I have a feeling not, and it's hard not to speculate if the leak of the product prompted Apple to temporarily or even permanently shelve the product. Now, if that were the case, how is THAT good for the consumer?

EagerDragon
Dec 20, 2007, 12:09 PM
Nick must have gotten some cash if he is happy, otherwise I do not see there is anything to cheer about.

Hope his college is paid for at the least.

Anyone has the goods on how good of a payoff he got or are we speculating?

killmoms
Dec 20, 2007, 12:18 PM
err.. no.

If some idiot government official leaks ****, the NY Times could publish it all they want. It's called freedom of the press. It would only be legal if someone inside the NY Times had government clearance and used to obtain the information.

An interested public is not the same as the public interest. If you leak information about a government cover-up involving waste-dumping that's affecting health in a community, you're not obligated to reveal that source. If you're leaking protected trade secrets of a corporation simply because people are interested, that's not protected by freedom of the press.

Not to mention the fact that the question of whether blogs constitute "the press" or not is still very much up in the air.

Doctor Q
Dec 20, 2007, 12:20 PM
Nick must have gotten some cash if he is happy, otherwise I do not see there is anything to cheer about.

Hope his college is paid for at the least.

Anyone has the goods on how good of a payoff he got or are we speculating?Speculation. Maybe part of the settlement agreement was that he would say he's happy with the settlement agreement.

Mitch1984
Dec 20, 2007, 12:22 PM
apple ceo strike off a name, and look at another name closely.

Macrumors you are next.

They are more likely to pay off AppleInsider next, then 9to5.

California
Dec 20, 2007, 12:27 PM
An interested public is not the same as the public interest. If you leak information about a government cover-up involving waste-dumping that's affecting health in a community, you're not obligated to reveal that source. If you're leaking protected trade secrets of a corporation simply because people are interested, that's not protected by freedom of the press.

Not to mention the fact that the question of whether blogs constitute "the press" or not is still very much up in the air.

Has anyone mentioned the fact that the Leaker at Apple undoubtedly had a signed confidentiality agreement with Apple?

And that TS had to know about this breech of contract?

Nick C is lucky he has enough money to stay at Harvard. Damage was done to Apple's business plan, right at the apex of its resurgence. The way Nick wrote, I thought he was much older. Now I see he was a teen ager faking it. He's dang lucky his ignorance of the legalities of business may somehow have saved him.

swingerofbirch
Dec 20, 2007, 12:27 PM
I don't know if you are aware that violation of trade secrets is actually a criminal offence. So Apple has about the same right to ask for the name of the leaker as they would have to ask you if you knew the identity of a person who stole a dozen printers from the Apple campus.


So, if I saw someone carry a dozen printers off the Apple Campus, Apple would file a civil law-suit against me to give up the name of the person who stole the printers? It doesn't make sense. If a crime were committed, a court could request my presence and possibly imprison me if I refused to testify on charges of obstruction of justice. But that would be IF it were a criminal case in court. This was Apple suing a private citizen.

yellow
Dec 20, 2007, 12:27 PM
Speculation. Maybe part of the settlement agreement was that he would say he's happy with the settlement agreement.

Agreed.

I seriously doubt Apple paid him any money, as there was no reason to do so. They held all the cards here, and TS was on it's heels. I think in the grand scheme of things, Apple's checkbookforlawyers is slightly larger than ThinkSecret's and their "settlement" likely consisted of Apple telling them to shutdown and go away and the suit would be dropped.

Peace
Dec 20, 2007, 12:33 PM
Agreed.

I seriously doubt Apple paid him any money, as there was no reason to do so. They held all the cards here, and TS was on it's heels. I think in the grand scheme of things, Apple's checkbookforlawyers is slightly larger than ThinkSecret's and their "settlement" likely consisted of Apple telling them to shutdown and go away and the suit would be dropped.


Agreed part deux..

I'm sure Nick's having advertising all over TS helped pay for his tuition.

Buran
Dec 20, 2007, 12:44 PM
They were irrelevant anyway. I remember when they once had new content often that was actually halfway reliable. Now, they nearly never update and have the same stuff on their site that other sites have, and yet were sitting there happily collecting ad revenue.

So we needed that site for what, again?

Mitch1984
Dec 20, 2007, 12:46 PM
So, if I saw someone carry a dozen printers off the Apple Campus, Apple would file a civil law-suit against me to give up the name of the person who stole the printers? It doesn't make sense. If a crime were committed, a court could request my presence and possibly imprison me if I refused to testify on charges of obstruction of justice. But that would be IF it were a criminal case in court. This was Apple suing a private citizen.

Apple were losing the suit, as the site managed to get it's nature classed as journalism and within the public interest. I suppose, apple though, let's chuck him a wad and make him sign summat so it/him goes away.

Funny how this happens before Macworld though, maybe they had some info that would spoil the show.

I wonder how much he got. I bet he's got enough for a house.

ClimbingTheLog
Dec 20, 2007, 12:47 PM
We were outraged then, we can make a difference now. I hope you all flood sjobs@apple.com with emails about how upset you are that they are going after the rumor sites that make them who they are instead of the source.

That's good, but the bottom line is where it really matters. Between this and their affair with glossy screens, it's hard for me to consider another Apple.

:mad:

I always thought ThinkSecret danced a little close to the edge, and that MR is careful and reliable with what is published. I'm not that surprised, and I expect things around here will continue much as usual.

TS did nothing illegal - therefore, TS was shut down because Apple didn't like what they did. If Apple decides it doesn't like MR, buh-bye. If you don't stick to the laws, then capricious whims and money rule. Do you like those rules?

Sharing industry secrets won't help, because other companies will be able to learn Apple's pattern, and they'll be able to come up with more competitive products, etc etc and release them in time with or before Apple.

Wait, I thought Apple's success was due to its commitment to design and great engineering. You're saying it's only the element of surprise that keeps them on top? And without it they'd wither?

All these negative comments towards Apple. You have to understand that business is business, this isn't about a big company going after the little guy.

Business is business, but ethics is ethics. Google's "don't be evil" is a marriage of the two. Apple apparently fails to understand its position in its social contract with the citizenry that grants its right to exist.

If valuable information was leaked that could damage and effect sales, I think Apple has every right to put a stop to it. Instead of bashing Apple on a case you know nothing about(detail wise) just take this time to remember ThinkSecret and the years of information they've shared, and be happy that at least he walked away without hefty fines and whatnot.

From what does Apple derive these rights, and how does Apple, Inc.'s supposed right trump the right to free speech and right to a free press, as exemplified by the 1st Ammendment in the constitution of the governing jurisdiction? Apple's only right here is to enforce the terms of its contract with whomever leaked the information.

Trade secrets do not get protection by law outside of private party contracts. For more protection you need to file a patent. Not filing a patent is a conscious decision to try to keep things secret, and the risks of doing so are well-known.

Assuming we have all the information in this case, of course. I wonder what the EFF has to say. They're not ones to buckle lightly.

Buran
Dec 20, 2007, 12:53 PM
Does the New York Times have the right to post information that has been classified as Top Secret/Special Compartmentalized Information....hell NO!!

Two words:

Warrantless.
Wiretapping.

DrEwe
Dec 20, 2007, 01:03 PM
The easiest parallel to draw is with the government...

Does the New York Times have the right to post information that has been classified as Top Secret/Special Compartmentalized Information....hell NO!


Hell YES...you ever heard of the Pentagon papers? :o

rockosmodurnlif
Dec 20, 2007, 01:09 PM
I don't understand how they can be happy with the settlement when the site is taken offline.

Sometimes you get tired and don't want to do the task anymore. It happens with websites and blogs all the time.

I don't see why people think Apple paid off Thinksecret. Why would Apple pay off someone they were suing? They're suing him to find out his source and instead they give him money and drop the suit? What sense does that make?

And with all the lawyers on the boards, some comparing this to "Deep Throat," I will point to the BALCo case where Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams were threatened with imprisonment unless they revealed their source for their leaked Grand Jury testimony. When the leak came forward, though the authors were willing to go to prison, the charges against the authors were dropped.

Now this case doesn't involve the federal government but the leak did sign an NDA. And judges can compel a journalist to reveal his source, the journalist then has a choice to comply or not. Also the government, as far as I know, didn't bother to sue the Washington Post to find out who the source was.


TS did nothing illegal - therefore, TS was shut down because Apple didn't like what they did. If Apple decides it doesn't like MR, buh-bye. If you don't stick to the laws, then capricious whims and money rule. Do you like those rules?

Assuming we have all the information in this case, of course. I wonder what the EFF has to say. They're not ones to buckle lightly.

Before you say TS did nothing illegal we don't know who the NDA breaker is or why he broke his NDA.

farmboy
Dec 20, 2007, 01:16 PM
I like rumor sites. A rumor, or an analyst's guesses obtained from manufacturing estimates, is different than revealing confidential information--that'll put you in jail sometimes. It almost put Nick in jail, or bankrupted him.

IMO, EFF didn't have that strong of case, and that's why it didn't go to court. And regardless of what the press release says, he may have had to reveal sources; PR is PR and not to be taken seriously.

It's one thing, for instance, to say that a certain raw material supplier has increased orders for a certain material which may indicate a certain product in a certain time-frame. It's quite another to post pictures or post confidential details of the material or component. There is huge money invested in products, so much is at stake. You can't libel, steal or cause harm with your speech, or you may have to pay the price.

Another issue is whether a blogger is a journalist, with a journalist's attendant rights, privileges and responsibilities. That remains to be seen. If EFF was THAT confident, they would have made this a showcase trial to prove that point.

segfaultdotorg
Dec 20, 2007, 01:17 PM
I want spy pictures of the new subnotebook.

macFanDave
Dec 20, 2007, 01:25 PM
An amicable solution forces the site to shut down?!?!

What would a nasty resolution be? Lashes? Caning?

Frankly, I think all of the "rumor" sites are too commercial and polished to be credible. A real rumors site would be like an old-fashioned listserv with plain text and no commercials. Real crude, cloak-and-dagger stuff, y'know.

ImAlwaysRight
Dec 20, 2007, 01:59 PM
At least TS shutting down disproves the theory I have read here before that Apple likes the rumor sites and purposely leaks info to them to generate excitement about upcoming products. Of course, the conspiracy theorists will say shutting down TS is part of the master plan to generate MORE excitement :rolleyes:

Years ago TS was sort of hit and miss. Then about 2-3 years ago they were DEAD ON with the specs, which certainly led to where we are today. Hey, I'd sell you all out too if someone offered me a butt load of money.

weg
Dec 20, 2007, 02:29 PM
Another example: let's say that you have two kids, and the 12 year-old finds out by accident that Santa... well, just is something different. And that kid goes to his 6 year-old brother and tells him about that. Of course you would research how the hell did the older one find out, but first of all you would grab your elder son by the ear and tell him not to do so ever again. Got it? Not that you don't love your kids, it's just that sometimes you have to put a stop to some things.

It's probably better not to lie to your kids in the first place...

maknik
Dec 20, 2007, 02:30 PM
Wasn't this was taken to court a year or so ago, and it was determined that ThinkSecret was an actual news outlet? The whole point of that case, which made national news, was that blogs had the protection given to the rest of the press, provided the blogger spends X amount of time on it (or got Y amount of revenue, or something).

So while regular citizens can be compelled to divulge their sources of trade secrets (and of course anyone who signed an NDA can), journalists cannot, no matter what the alleged damage to the company whose secrets they are divulging. That's standard freedom-of-the-press. The interesting part was that ThinkSecret was ruled part of the press in this case. The question then is what Apple had after that ruling -- they must of had some other stuff, or a threat to keep litigating, that prompted Nick DePlume to settle with gag rather than keep fighting. That's probably best for him, but I wish he had gone to bat for the rest of blogdom.

Rocketman
Dec 20, 2007, 02:48 PM
The site that illegally requested people to break NDAs and other contracts, and then posted specific information.


Let mew restate that more accurately for you.

"The site that requested people to break NDAs and other contracts, and then posted specific information."

The site's behavior was legal and journalistic.

The "people" were subject to termination and civil damages, but were not criminals.

At least get the thing straight.

Rocketman

godrifle
Dec 20, 2007, 02:50 PM
Boo Apple.

I call for a day (or week) of no Apple coverage. Turn off your browsers folks -- better yet, do it during Macworld. I'm getting very close to fed up with Apple. Their higher ed. sales force is completely incompetent, and they're turning into the very entity that they mocked on Super Bowl Sunday back in 1984.

Boo Apple. Boo. :mad:

And, come on Apple. Surely you realize AAPL is in the stratosphere precisely *because* of the strong rumor community!

gwangung
Dec 20, 2007, 02:58 PM
Trade secrets do not get protection by law outside of private party contracts.

That's incorrect. It's basic intellectual property law (you get taught this in basic communication law). Trade secret protection is at the state level--most states have adopted/adapted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

gwangung
Dec 20, 2007, 03:00 PM
Wasn't this was taken to court a year or so ago, and it was determined that ThinkSecret was an actual news outlet? The whole point of that case, which made national news, was that blogs had the protection given to the rest of the press, provided the blogger spends X amount of time on it (or got Y amount of revenue, or something).

So while regular citizens can be compelled to divulge their sources of trade secrets (and of course anyone who signed an NDA can), journalists cannot, no matter what the alleged damage to the company whose secrets they are divulging. That's standard freedom-of-the-press. The interesting part was that ThinkSecret was ruled part of the press in this case. The question then is what Apple had after that ruling -- they must of had some other stuff, or a threat to keep litigating, that prompted Nick DePlume to settle with gag rather than keep fighting. That's probably best for him, but I wish he had gone to bat for the rest of blogdom.


No, it's not standard freedom-of-the-press stuff; it's more complicated than that. Trade secret law varies from state to state. California has a fairly strong journalistic shield law that probably trumps trade secret law. YMMV for other states.

ncbill
Dec 20, 2007, 03:07 PM
Apple had little choice but to pay the guy to shut down the site.

Their lawsuit doubled traffic at his site - even if you feel the quality of the site dropped off the radar, he was generating plenty of hits.

There's no indication he ever faced the possibility of any criminal charges, despite other posters' blowing smoke over "trade secrets"

Nor would a civil judgement have had any significant impact - as a student with limited assets he could easily have discharged *any* amount of civil damages awarded to Apple via chapter 7 bankruptcy.

t almost put Nick in jail, or bankrupted him.

It's one thing, for instance, to say that a certain raw material supplier has increased orders for a certain material which may indicate a certain product in a certain time-frame. It's quite another to post pictures or post confidential details of the material or component. There is huge money invested in products, so much is at stake. You can't libel, steal or cause harm with your speech, or you may have to pay the price.

Another issue is whether a blogger is a journalist, with a journalist's attendant rights, privileges and responsibilities. That remains to be seen. If EFF was THAT confident, they would have made this a showcase trial to prove that point.

gwangung
Dec 20, 2007, 03:09 PM
There's no indication he ever faced the possibility of any criminal charges, despite other posters' blowing smoke over "trade secrets".

Given that remedies for trade secret violations are civil in nature, yeah, he never did face criminal charges.

(Oh, by the way...if your argument is what TS published are not trade secrets, then I might not disagree. It's a different argument, and one with more areas of discussion, than whether or not trade secret law applies to journalists, which it does---that's one of the things they teach in journalism school.)

maknik
Dec 20, 2007, 03:55 PM
No, it's not standard freedom-of-the-press stuff; it's more complicated than that. Trade secret law varies from state to state. California has a fairly strong journalistic shield law that probably trumps trade secret law. YMMV for other states.

Sorry, I did recall that it was specific to California, but failed to mention that.

In any case, it should be standard freedom-of-the-press stuff...

Doctor Q
Dec 20, 2007, 04:06 PM
Among other things, CNET says (http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9836575-7.html):The news is certainly a big hit to other large Apple rumor sites including 9to5Mac, Mac Rumors and AppleInsider. Sites like these encourage news tips and leaks about upcoming or unannounced Apple products, which is what got Think Secret into trouble in the first place.The author seems to think all rumors sites operate the same way. He didn't note that TS actively solicited insider leaks or that the legal confrontation was over a very specific story and source.

TurboSC
Dec 20, 2007, 04:35 PM
Boo Apple.

I call for a day (or week) of no Apple coverage. Turn off your browsers folks -- better yet, do it during Macworld. I'm getting very close to fed up with Apple. Their higher ed. sales force is completely incompetent, and they're turning into the very entity that they mocked on Super Bowl Sunday back in 1984.

Boo Apple. Boo. :mad:

And, come on Apple. Surely you realize AAPL is in the stratosphere precisely *because* of the strong rumor community!

lol you have fun with that. You'll be a part of the minority that doesn't see this from a bigger point of view.

I'll be enjoying my MacWorld coverage and buying my Apple products.

gwangung
Dec 20, 2007, 04:38 PM
Sorry, I did recall that it was specific to California, but failed to mention that.

In any case, it should be standard freedom-of-the-press stuff...

Depends, I say.

Publish Apple's marketing plan for 2008-09? I think you'll get slapped down hard.

Publish source code for OS X? I KNOW you'll get slapped down hard.

Publish what Apple might be considering for products? Ehh....I think the courts will ignore it without a burp...

NiteWaves77
Dec 20, 2007, 05:21 PM
to bad garbage. :D Next pile of worthless **** to pack up and go home: IDG's rags (a man can dream).

zioxide
Dec 20, 2007, 06:41 PM
Another issue is whether a blogger is a journalist, with a journalist's attendant rights, privileges and responsibilities. That remains to be seen. If EFF was THAT confident, they would have made this a showcase trial to prove that point.

"In May 2006, a California state appeals court ruled that online journalists enjoy the same rights as traditional media reporters to protect the confidentiality of their sources"

http://computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9053798&pageNumber=2

wilburpan
Dec 21, 2007, 12:03 AM
To go back to the differences, if any, between Wall Street analysts making predictions on future Apple products and what ThinkSecret was posting, it seems to me that at the very least, what Apple deemed a "trade secret" was at the least rather arbitrary. If I recall correctly, the article that got ThinkSecret into trouble was about an unreleased product that was a Firewire breakout box that could hook up multiple musical instruments to be plugged into a Mac for multi-track recording.

On the other hand, various Wall Street analysts have published articles regarding the possibility of these unreleased products:

iTunes movie rentals
"ultra-portable" MacBook, including specs and price
3G iPhone
adding an LCD display to Apple TV
Penryn-based Xeon processor upgrade to Mac Pro
new games for the iPod Touch

and that's just since December 12. This list was gleaned from AppleInsider.

Clearly, any of these products and/or upgrades could be deemed by Apple to carry the same level of secrecy as that Firewire mixer box. Apple just chooses not to. This is the arbitrary aspect of the ThinkSecret lawsuit.

RedTomato
Dec 21, 2007, 05:18 AM
To people saying TS got paid off:

SOURCE PLEASE!

Did Nick say something or put something on his blog etc saying he got paid off? Why are you all so adamant that you know TS got paid off? Where does that knowledge come from?

If you have no direct source, then you're just speculating. Which is fine, but hey, there's a difference.

pcarolan
Dec 21, 2007, 10:01 AM
Way to begin a career in journalism, by selling out to a major corporation. Your integrity is ruined dude. Give Rupert Murdoch a call, he'll give you a job.

GamecockMac
Dec 22, 2007, 02:28 AM
And, come on Apple. Surely you realize AAPL is in the stratosphere precisely *because* of the strong rumor community!

Not such a "brilliant point" if you ask me...

I'm fairly certain AAPL is fast closing in on $200/share because over the past several years they have demonstrated an ability to accurately gauge the tech marketplace and release innovative, exciting products that people get passionate about. I really don't think rumor blogs have factored into their corporate bottomline all that heavily.

DisturbedLen
Dec 22, 2007, 10:40 AM
What a shame. Apple again hurts its Mac-faithful.

Counter
Dec 25, 2007, 02:49 PM
To people saying TS got paid off:

SOURCE PLEASE!

Did Nick say something or put something on his blog etc saying he got paid off? Why are you all so adamant that you know TS got paid off? Where does that knowledge come from?

If you have no direct source, then you're just speculating. Which is fine, but hey, there's a difference.

Overwhelming logic.

skeep5
Feb 15, 2008, 11:51 AM
I guess i'd better shut down my site, thinkSecret-er.com :rolleyes:

motulist
Feb 15, 2008, 12:03 PM
To people saying TS got paid off:

SOURCE PLEASE!

Did Nick say something or put something on his blog etc saying he got paid off? Why are you all so adamant that you know TS got paid off? Where does that knowledge come from?

If you have no direct source, then you're just speculating. Which is fine, but hey, there's a difference.

How about because it was reported as a rumor right here on MacRumors. How about because think secret themselves on the website wrote that the settlement "results in a positive solution for both sides." How about because it was all over the Mac web and you could do a google search to find sources.

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=thinksecret+settlement&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

rockosmodurnlif
Feb 15, 2008, 03:48 PM
How about because it was reported as a rumor right here on MacRumors. How about because think secret themselves on the website wrote that the settlement "results in a positive solution for both sides." How about because it was all over the Mac web and you could do a google search to find sources.

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=thinksecret+settlement&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
Late much?

majordude
Feb 15, 2008, 06:48 PM
They probably gave him one of these rumors...

http://guides.macrumors.com/images/5/5f/videoipodflickr.jpg