Apple scored a major PR own-goal today as The Times has reported on the case of a man who sought a refund for an iPod that literally exploded, but was offered one by Apple only on the condition that he signs a settlement form keeps the terms and even the existence of the "settlement agreement" completely confidential. And the story gets even more sinister. In the letter Apple sent Ken Stanborough, it said that any breach of this confidentiality "may result in Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties." "I thought it was a very disturbing letter," Stanborough told The Times. "They're putting a life sentence on myself, my daughter and Ellie's mum, not to say anything to anyone. If we inadvertently did say anything, no matter what, they would take litigation against us. I thought that was absolutely appalling. We didn't ask for compensation, we just asked for our money back." Apple is presumably concerned that if stories of exploding iPods start to circulate widely they will, understandably, make people think twice about buying one. Seattle TV news outfit KIRO 7 recently concluded an investigation in which it found that there had been numerous reports of burning iPods, a fact that the report suggested Apple has been trying to keep quiet. But these kind of heavy handed tactics only serve to compound the bad publicity generated by such incidents and Apple could be looking at a PR disaster if it doesn't act to resolve this matter soon. http://channel.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=19567 WOW.