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Apple the Loser in ThinkSecret Settlement?

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Apr 12, 2001
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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
 

ppc_michael

Guest
Apr 26, 2005
1,498
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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:
 
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Adokimus

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2007
842
3
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.

-Ado
 
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Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,859
57
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.
 
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lil'homunculus

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2007
111
1
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:
 
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killerwhack

macrumors regular
Aug 5, 2004
237
1
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)
 
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MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,876
1,190
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.
 
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Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,929
1,239
Washington DC
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)


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.
 
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Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,859
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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.

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.
 
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MrT8064

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2006
716
22
UK
A lot of my respect for apple has gone; What was is that think secret actually did?
 
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MongoTheGeek

macrumors 68040
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.

Yes.

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.
 
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GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,115
418
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?
 
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Small White Car

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Aug 29, 2006
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A lot of my respect for apple has gone; What was is that think secret actually did?

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.
 
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GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,115
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I figure Nick got paid, at least a little. I figure Apple covered his lawyer fees.

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.
 
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IlluminatedSage

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2000
1,473
183
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.
 
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longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,863
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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.

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.
 
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gwangung

macrumors 65816
Apr 9, 2003
1,106
19
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.


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?
 
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Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,859
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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?

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.
 
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Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,929
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Washington DC
Apple is nutz to think of attacking people who are supportive of their products.

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?
 
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Peace

Cancelled
Apr 1, 2005
19,546
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Space The Only Frontier
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.

-Ado


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)

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.


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.

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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