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Discussion in 'Mac Scene' started by MacBytes, Jan 15, 2005.
Category: Mac Websites
Link: Think Secret webmaster exposé
Posted on MacBytes.com
Approved by Mudbug
Requires registration.... Could someone post the article?
yeah i was gonna ask about that if someone could post the article
***Teen Web Editor Drives Apple to Court Action
Product Leaks Draw Suit
By Jonathan Finer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 14, 2005; Page A01
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Nicholas M. Ciarelli was not even old enough to shave when he started getting under Apple Computer Inc.'s skin.
As a 13-year-old middle-schooler, the New Woodstock, N.Y., native built a Web site in 1998 and began publishing insider news and rumors about Apple, using the alias Nick dePlume.
Three years later, ThinkSecret.com was first to report that the company would debut a G4 version of the PowerBook laptop series. The product launched soon thereafter, along with ThinkSecret's reputation among Apple's legendarily zealous fans, generating millions of page views per month.
But after a series of letters warning the Web site to stop publishing proprietary information, Apple decided enough was enough. When Ciarelli scored yet another scoop in late December, by predicting the arrival of a new software package and a sub-$500 computer rolled out at this week's MacWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco, the computer maker filed a lawsuit accusing him of illegally misappropriating trade secrets.....***
If you want to read the whole thing and don't want to register, use this site for accesss to the article - as an added bonus, you also get access to many others that require too much personal info just to read their sites
By the way, I loved this quote from DaveC that he posted on MacDailyNews
***Steve prides himself on being an *******, so this is no surprise. Too bad nobody at Apple remembered the first rule of litigation: never, ever sue poor people -- they have nothing to lose and you have nothing to gain. Just ask McDonalds about the famous McLibel trial, the most expensive in history: http://www.mcspotlight.org ***
Yes, I know that Apple's case involves trade secrets and the McDonald's case was for libel, and in a different country no less, but I do believe that the basic premise is true.... never, ever sue poor people -- they have nothing to lose and you have nothing to gain.
No, that basic premise doesn't apply here. Apple isn't going after Nicholas Ciarelli, it is going after "Deep Throat" who must be quite high up in Apple (knew the exact retail price of Mac Mini, the most tightly-guarded secret) and leaked the crucial information to Ciarelli.
I hope he/she/they COMPLETELY erased the traces, as if Ciarelli will have to disclose any names, MY GOD, this could get very ugly. Apple could be careless of Ciarelli and Think Secret as long as they can find the person(s) and intimidate anyone who might try to do the same.
Do you understand now that this and the McDonald's case are COMPLETELY different?
The case against Nick (the "individual") will probably be tossed in California.
But the case against ThinkSecret and The dePlume Organization LLC will probably continue onward.
And become just another case of corporations suing each other -- or course for Apple and the rest of the tech companies, there's more at stake than just money.
They're looking at building some caselaw that will help them use the federal and state Trade Secret Acts to shut down websites.
You know, I appreciate some rumors as much as the next guy, but he did go a little too far. And he's done so numerous times. Plus, they did warn him to take down the info, and he refused. Hard to feel too sorry for him. First Amendment doesn't apply here either, because it isn't the government trying to shut him down or the like. He solicited information from someone under NDA, and published a trade secret.
I'm sure he'll get some sympathy, but I'll bet Apple just does it's usual promise not to do it again slap on the wrist. Especially if they find the source. Who they'll probably just fire. They aren't looking for money, they just want to stop it from happening again.
You obviously didn't read my post, did you?
Not only did I say that one was for libel and the other for trade secrets, I also stressed the fact that the cases weren't even tried in the same country.
But even then I agreed with the poster's basic statement never, ever sue poor people -- they have nothing to lose and you have nothing to gain..
Of course, sometimes a powerfull company might want to set a precedent against someone they see as being weak and helpless, but even then there are negatives involved which need to be carefully weighed. Coming across as the 1,000lb vicious gorilla being one of them, negative publicity etc. Coupled with the fact that they obviously will get zero financial satisfaction against a poor person even if they do win in court.
Do yourself a favor, read the McDonalds case and you'll have a better understanding of how a company worth many billions more than Apple, and with the best lawyers, came to a lot of grief because they sued some tenacious people who had absolutely nothing to lose.
Oh, and as for that person who obviously works for Apple and is leaking the secrets, Apple has many avenues available to them to track them down and give them the punishment that they rightly deserve - eg bugging personal phone calls made while employees are at work, checking their work email, hiring a private eye etc (all legal, because the courts have already decided that employees have virtually zero privacy while at work). Sooner or later the leak will be caught, unless he/she quits now while still ahead.
I totally understand Apple that they can't accept that someone within the company leaked trade secrets and will probably continue to do so if they don't stop them. However, this time Apple should thank Nick Ciarelli for publishing those bits, especially the Mac min one. Why, imagine no one would have had a clue about it. The media wouldn't have paid as much attention to the keynote and therefore the word about the newly introduced products wouldn't have spread so fast. Secondly, since TS broke the news a mere two weeks before the actual release, during the holidays no less, Apple never had to fear the competition could take advantage. On the other hand, chances are information might leak much earlier next time. Which makes we wonder if the rumours about a headless pizza box floating around prior to the introduction of the new iMac were mere speculation or based on hard facts. Who knows, the design of the mini might have changed since then.
FYI I know about "McLibel" trial, but my prospective on it is completely different from yours. Do you really believe that courts in England were solely concerned about status and public perception therefore ruled against McDonalds? You are making it as they were. Helen Steel and Dave Morris may have been both "poor" and "tenacious," but that's not why they won. As far as many were concerned, they had excellent cases against McDanolds. Not all of them proven, but judges agreed with many of them. So-called "the best lawyers" couldn't do anything about it.
You are basically saying that tactic always triumphs over honesty. Well, good for you.
What I'm basically saying is that any company, not just Apple, has to be very careful when they sue poor people, regardless of whether said company is 100% in the right or 100% in the wrong.
The reason being is that most people tend to side with the underdog and feel sorry for them, and these types of cases can easily get out of hand and end up generating an enormous amount of negative publicity. None of which helps said company. Coupled with the fact that everybody knows that at the end of the day that company isn't even going to collect one cent.
Keep in mind that the above is just my opinion, based on the few examples of the above that I have followed in the news over the years.
Your mileage may vary.
Coupled with the fact that I think Apple is going to have a hard time showing how TS caused them irreparable harm.
Actually suing "The dePlume Organization LLC" and crushing it under their boot heels would probably be something Apple and a lot of tech companies want to do.
They're fighting a battle against website, blogs, and forums with their Trade Secrets being leaked and picked up by major news organizations on the web.
They need some website companies to be nuked, in order to build some decent caselaw to make it easier in the future to stop them.
There's a change the dePlume Organization may be amongst the first.
Look at how well this tactic has worked for the record and movie inustries.
Unless Apple wants to be thought of as just as evil as the RIAA, MPAA and Microsoft, this tactic is incredibly stupid. They may shut down a bunch of rumor sites and fire a few employees, but others will spring up where they fell.
In the long run, they will accpomplish nothing, and they will ruin an otherwise good reputation.
Look how many people have offered to represent The dePlume Organization LLC for free and how many people have offered to give Nick cash to help him keep ThinkSecret from getting vaporized.
While AppleInsider and PowerPage have already picked up free representation from the EFF -- which declined to represent ThinkSecret, but is looking for somebody to help him.
Well it certainly looks like his defence is in capable hands now