Apple the Loser in ThinkSecret Settlement?

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A Computerworld article provides reaction from ThinkSecret's lawyer on today's announcement that ThinkSecret had settled with Apple and would no longer be published.

    Terry Gross of Gross & Belsky LLP told Computerworld, "The First Amendment has prevailed and every Internet journalist should feel some strength from what's happened", claiming that it was clear that Apple was going to lose if they continued to pursue the case. Gross goes on to state that it was settled because Nick Ciarelli was ready to move on to other projects after running ThinkSecret for the past 9 years, since age 13.

    Gross challenges that he "would have loved for Apple to go forward on this" and that "Apple would have caved."

    In an earlier statement to MacRumors, Ciarelli had said "I'm very satisfied with the settlement".

    Article Link
  2. macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    It's nice to know more about this.

    I'm a fan of ThinkSecret. They'll be missed.
  3. Guest


    Apr 26, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Since 13, eh? That's pretty cool. I had my own domain when I was 13 (Gross and I are the same age), but all I remember is a bunch of scrolling marquis and image maps. :eek::eek:
  4. macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    sounds to me like the kid got PAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIID!!! $$$$$$$$
  5. macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    Since age 13? Damn, now that's an accomplishment!
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Unless I read this wrong, either the lawyer wants to make himself look good when Nick Ciarelli gave up or Apple saw they were going to lose and chose instead to pay off Nick to shut down his site. People don't conveniently give up a passion of theirs at the young age of 22 when there is a lawsuit, especially something they have done successfully since age 13. This only happens when money is thrown at them. Lots of it.

  7. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    That still plugged the leak, and drops off one source for news on the web.

    But we shall see how it affects first run stories based on leaks in the future.

    Edit: Still a tough price to pay ... wear you down in court, or take you off the air.
  8. macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2007
    vancouver, bc
    Now this is just a rumor (that i am creating), but the kid had no choice... The judge threatened to condemn him exclusively to using 'microsoft products' for the rest of his days!!! Of course he relented, wouldn't you?:eek:
  9. macrumors regular


    Aug 5, 2004
    Los Angeles, California
    Attorneys are the winners

    The reason the attorney would love it if Apple had pursued is that the attorney gains two things:

    1. Billable hours (which may be provided pro-bono and offset against other income for tax purposes)

    2. Publicity (something no attorney can resist)
  10. macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    I wouldn't call that Apple losing.

    Apple settled it. I am sure the lawyers knew what they were doing, and this seemed to the quickest and most satisfying solution.

    Stuff all the conspiracy theorists.
  11. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC

    Yeah. Nick made a statement saying he's fine with how things turned out.

    For the lawyer to then come out and trash-talk seems to be in poor taste at that point. It really looks like he's trying to beef up his own reputation and this has nothing to do at all with his client.
  12. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    But lawyers always do that, especially when they are in the hunt for the next case.

    Even if your client just died after a lethal injection, you are in front of the camera being a spin doctor.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2006
    A lot of my respect for apple has gone; What was is that think secret actually did?
  14. macrumors 68040


    Sep 13, 2003
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.

    I figure Nick got paid, at least a little. I figure Apple covered his lawyer fees. They say the mole wasn't sacrificed and I tend to believe that. The mole may have been caught through other means though.
  15. macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    As a young internet journalist running a website with my own sources and contacts, I like the sound of this :)

    I figure Apple paid Nick a very, very large figure in exchange for him closing down the website; enough money that it probably dwarfed anything he would ever make off of ad revenue.

    Good for Nick. He's got a bright future ahead.

    Anyone know how old he is now?
  16. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Someone inside Apple told Thinksecret details about products that hadn't been announced yet. There were many, but the most notable was the Mac Mini's original announcement.

    Whereas most rumor sites piece stuff together, Thinksecret had an honest-to-goodness mole within Apple. This is why Apple went after them much harder than everyone else. They really wanted to know WHO it was that was doing that. Almost 3 years later now (and the case is over) and they never did find that out.

    And to make this clear, that person could go to jail if found out. This is not like other sites who look at patents and make guesses. This was outright theft. Nick argued that HE didn't steal it so he shouldn't be held accountable. To a certain extent, he won that argument. Yes, his site is gone, but he didn't get in trouble with the law.
  17. macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Then why would Nick close down the site? He's losing a source of revenue, he's essentially giving up the case.

    No, if Nick is very satisfied with the settlement and the lawyer believes Apple would have lost, I would suspect Apple paid him off pretty well.
  18. macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    In other news, Apple's 15 billion dollar bank roll is now down to 14.998 billion.
  19. macrumors 65816


    Aug 1, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    Apple is nutz to think of attacking people who are supportive of their products.

    this is bad for Apple.

    They are getting as arrogant as Microsoft.
  20. Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    Not really. Note that there were two cases that Apple brought against rumor sites. The first case to be dismissed was against PowerPage, AppleInsider, and some others regarding Asteroid.

    The second one, which just got settled, was against ThinkSecret, but Apple claimed that ThinkSecret encouraged and induced individuals to divulge trade secrets. That was not part of the complaint against the other sites, and probably why Apple went against ThinkSecret more. Apple simply had a stronger case against ThinkSecret.
  21. macrumors 65816

    Apr 9, 2003

    That makes me wonder. California's trade secret law clearly states that its applicable to folks who knew the material was a trade secret, or should have known. The insider clearly knew...shouldn't Think Secret have known?
  22. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Apple has filed locally to pursue criminal cases in the past, did in one past leak case.

    Think Secret basically protected their source to prevent it in this case.
  23. macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2007
  24. macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Ah, yes. And back in 2003, when Thinksecret said the iPod Mini was going to cost $100 and then it came out and was actually $249...and everyone complained that it was "supposed" to cost less...that was real great for Apple, wasn't it?
  25. macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier

    The lawyer in question was working the case as a rep for EFF..A lot of those lawyers volunteer.I'm not sure if this one was.

    All companies need secrets. Especially in the computer market. It allows them to keep ahead of the competition.

    All in all I'm guessing Nick got some kind of stipend but since he did this since the age of 13 he may well have gotten burned out on thinksecret and truly wanted to move on. This sort of thing happens as kids grow up.

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