Apple Wins Initial Ruling


fixyourthinking

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2002
665
0
Greenville SC
And they should win the case too

Macrumors said:
Apple won a preliminary ruling allowing it to subpoena information from three Mac sites which helped leak information surrounding a recently rumored audio product ("Asteroid").

It was reported that earlier this month that lawyers representing these sites were challenging these subpoenas under first amendment protection.

The ruling is expected to be appealed.
It's really cut and dry ... Think Secret solicits for information by phone number SPECIFICALLY for those that have information under non disclosure. This doesn't necessarily make what they publish illegal ... but the course of action it takes to get this information - is easily equatable to accessory to crime.

Apple also should (and most likely WILL win this case) based on the fact the UTSA was clearly broken. The Uniform Trade Secret Act says that you can not report trade secrets if you know they are such.

Lastly, they should win on copyright alone ... most everything Think Secret reports is under strict copyright/patent protection and is not given permission to reuse. (The only case this is so - is if one were to use USPTO.GOV info)
 

d.perel

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2005
204
0
well, they even left files in garageband labeled for asteroid...they shouldn't have been surprised that someone decided to investigate further
 

varmit

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2003
1,830
0
I think this is right

Someone broke their NDA and need to have action taken against them. Otherwise, NDAs will be pointless as long as you post it anonymously to a website.
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
0
Secret Moon base
I'm not surprised they won. The first amendment is about ensuring the government can't suppress criticism of it - it's not about publishing commercial in confidence information on web sites.

Historically it's very important that citizens be free to criticize the government. Trying to stretch such an important idea to cover Macintosh rumors demeans it I think.
 

fixyourthinking

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2002
665
0
Greenville SC
d.perel said:
well, they even left files in garageband labeled for asteroid...they shouldn't have been surprised that someone decided to investigate further

Garageband is developed IN HOUSE - there are NO developers like the Mac OS.

Notice that it has taken almost 2 months for someone to disseminate the code from garageband 2 to even find this info out.


Garageband came out WAY after this was reported and ONLY someone within Apple or a manufacturer of this device would have known. Therefore one of them broke their NDA (as a friend, relative, disgruntled, egotistical) by revealing it to Think Secret.

Think Secret solicited or bribed to obtain this information.

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act says you can not report on such - until a company makes such information public or reveals information concerning the item - which now I think it is legit to report - but ONLY as far as MacRumors and AppleInsider have done - to post the strange info about the asteroid - hidden in Garageband 2 code.
 

fixyourthinking

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2002
665
0
Greenville SC
broken_keyboard said:
I'm not surprised they won. The first amendment is about ensuring the government can't suppress criticism of it - it's not about publishing commercial in confidence information on web sites.

Historically it's very important that citizens be free to criticize the government. Trying to stretch such an important idea to cover Macintosh rumors demeans it I think.

Awesome - the first person I have ever read on this board that ACTUALLY understands the Bill Of Rights!
 

Object-X

macrumors 6502a
Aug 3, 2004
631
1
Hmm

Wow, we might actually have to wait for the Keynote to be surprised! Imagine that. :rolleyes:

I guess rumor sites will actually have only rumors from now on.
 

Chaszmyr

macrumors 601
Aug 9, 2002
4,265
76
Object-X said:
Wow, we might actually have to wait for the Keynote to be surprised! Imagine that. :rolleyes:

I guess rumor sites will actually have only rumors from now on.
Would be a novel concept, but don't bet on it.
 

trojan18

macrumors member
Mar 4, 2005
39
0
I wouldn't yawn if I were you

"Yawn. Wish we could get some product rumors. Pretty boring lately."

Oh, the irony. You're bored because there are no product rumors. But do you realize that if Apple continues to win these lawsuits, it will lead to a very chilling effect on what I'll call the rumor community?

If Apple wins, sites like ThinkSecret may think twice about posting a rumor that they receive. Hell, if Apple really wipes the floor with them in court, they might not post ANYTHING from now on.

And then there would be NO PRODUCT RUMORS AT ALL.

A worst case scenario, perhaps, but your "yawn" made me laugh...it could get a heck of a lot worse than this, buddy.
 

Sargiel

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2005
77
0
West Sussex, England
There is a difference between dealing in Trade Secrets and dealing in rumours ... Apple aren't trying to stifle idle speculation based on available information - they are trying to stop leaks from divulging commercially sensitive information. All the sites need to do is say where they got their illegal information from .....

As an example of the difference just look at the eMac thread.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,273
4,636
Canada
Good ruling. Apple should be able to keep its trade secrets / product research, secret.

too many americans like hiding behind 'free speech' in order to justify themselves.

There is a difference between rumours and hard facts. The information thinksecret had was far, far, beyond rumours. The fact TS openly encourages people to email them ( thus breaking NDAs etc) only causes them more problems.
 

fatchuck

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2004
20
0
Cincinnati
broken_keyboard said:
I'm not surprised they won. The first amendment is about ensuring the government can't suppress criticism of it - it's not about publishing commercial in confidence information on web sites.
Historically it's very important that citizens be free to criticize the government. Trying to stretch such an important idea to cover Macintosh rumors demeans it I think.
adzoox said:
Awesome - the first person I have ever read on this board that ACTUALLY understands the Bill Of Rights!
Awesome, not one, but two people who think case law and constitutional precedent stood still after the 18th century!

This decision by the judge is extremely bad for the public, and for people who publish rumors from non-government confidential sources. While Apple fanboys may like this decision, Apple NDA's aren't worth the paper they're printed on - look up the case law on enforcing commercial NDA's (including Microsoft, SCO, and Rambus) if you don't believe me. This decision is also bad because while the Apple leaks led to early knowledge of upcoming products, this precedent can also be used by Company A to force web publishers to cough up the names of sources who revealed Company A's illegal trade practices, environmental violations, or labor abuses.

In short, while Apple may benefit a little about keeping upcoming product debuts secret, companies who are a great deal more malicious than Apple will benefit from this decision by being able to track down the confidential sources who revealed Bad Activity A, B, or C and then fire and sue them into oblivion.

Of course, you may feel that's OK.
 

24C

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2004
519
0
I like rumors that are developed from noticing trends, like say "supply of x is now at 2-3 weeks from 2 days previously" therefore expect an update to this product line soon. Companies work to schedules and spotting trends is part of the game.

What I didn't like on ThinkSecret was when somebody started quoting "manufacturing costs", which were obviously based on inside info. This I think is harmful, as it gives sensitive commercial information to the competitors. BTW, it's not quite the same as breaking the component costs down in an electronics mag and speculating the costs afterwards, which did happen to the iPod shuffle.

Releasing imminent product details, a few days before a launch, does take the sting out of any surprise announcements, but it hardly gives a competitor an edge, who has to start a design program to compete against this soon to be released product.

It will be interesting to see how far this court case goes and who is the real winner in the end.
 

fatchuck

macrumors newbie
Feb 11, 2004
20
0
Cincinnati
Stella said:
Good ruling. Apple should be able to keep its trade secrets / product research, secret.
too many americans like hiding behind 'free speech' in order to justify themselves.
There is a difference between rumours and hard facts. The information thinksecret had was far, far, beyond rumours. The fact TS openly encourages people to email them ( thus breaking NDAs etc) only causes them more problems.
Apple's trade secrets and research are *still* secret. Think Secret published leaked information about upcoming products that were due to be released within one week. That's hardly in the same class as say, releasing OS X's uncompiled source code base to the general public, or publishing the secret discussions of Apple management meetings.

As for openly encouraging people to email them, that is not a violation of any NDA unless Think Secret agreed to and signed Apple's NDA. They didn't. As a journalistic web site, it is their responsibility to encourage and publish leaks, just like TheStreet.com does, and NYTimes.com does, and every other frigging news site on the Internet does. The fact that they happened to release Apple leaks just galls your fanboy mentality, and I'm appalled that Apple is picking on these sites when we know damned well they wouldn't approach well-funded, well-represented publications like CNN or the Washington Post.
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
0
Secret Moon base
fatchuck said:
In short, while Apple may benefit a little about keeping upcoming product debuts secret, companies who are a great deal more malicious than Apple will benefit from this decision by being able to track down the confidential sources who revealed Bad Activity A, B, or C and then fire and sue them into oblivion.
I think you may be failing to distinguish between victim and perpetrator here. In the Apple case, they have been wronged and they need the info to seek redress.

In allowing a victim certain info to track down their victimizer, there is no precent set with regard victimizers tracking down people who report them to the law. Do you honestly belive a judge would not make that distinction?
 

elo

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2003
140
0
Hardly surprising, but very good news. Glad to see that at least a couple of people here wouldn't try to distort the First Amendment to cover contract violations. Letting Apple subpoena sites that may have spoken to a violator of contract doesn't suggest that Apple will ultimately win, but it definitely shows that they weren't playing a hunch. Let's hope that *every* company can continue to enforce NDA's, or the American corporate landscape would be rather severely disadvantaged against the rest of the world.
 

gwangung

macrumors 65816
Apr 9, 2003
1,106
19
fatchuck said:
Apple's trade secrets and research are *still* secret. Think Secret published leaked information about upcoming products that were due to be released within one week. That's hardly in the same class as say, releasing OS X's uncompiled source code base to the general public, or publishing the secret discussions of Apple management meetings.

As for openly encouraging people to email them, that is not a violation of any NDA unless Think Secret agreed to and signed Apple's NDA. They didn't. As a journalistic web site, it is their responsibility to encourage and publish leaks, just like TheStreet.com does, and NYTimes.com does, and every other frigging news site on the Internet does. The fact that they happened to release Apple leaks just galls your fanboy mentality, and I'm appalled that Apple is picking on these sites when we know damned well they wouldn't approach well-funded, well-represented publications like CNN or the Washington Post.

Sorry, but you are not correct in at least one aspect. "Asteroid" is still an unreleased product; that's DEFINITELY covered by trade secrets. Information about the iPod shuffle was at least two weeks before release; that may not turn out to be covered by trade secret protection, but it also may--there's at least a prima facie case to be made that it is--and that's something to be determined by trial.

And you are incorrect with respect to publishing trade secrets. There is established case law about this; if you published material that you know to be trade secrets and if you solicited it, you are open to a suit. Like it or not, but that's established case law.
 

perizoqui

macrumors newbie
Mar 4, 2005
1
0
fatchuck said:
This decision is also bad because while the Apple leaks led to early knowledge of upcoming products, this precedent can also be used by Company A to force web publishers to cough up the names of sources who revealed Company A's illegal trade practices, environmental violations, or labor abuses.
Nonsense, illegal trade practices, environmental violations and labor abuses are not covered by NDAs. NDAs cover proprietary information, trade secrets. They do not cover illicit activity. The courts can protect intellectual property rights and the first amendment right to blow the whistle simultaneously.
 

fixyourthinking

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2002
665
0
Greenville SC
trojan18 said:
... if Apple continues to win these lawsuits, it will lead to a very chilling effect on what I'll call the rumor community?
Really, why can't Think Secret actually post RUMORS instead of trade secrets.

Real rumors are things like patent applications, copyrights, speculation because of product cycles, hidden code within applications and the Apple website.

Plain and simple - THINK SECRET IS PURPOSELY doing this and they are setting a bar for AppleInsider too - I see THAT as a dangerous precedent. I have personal knowledge that previous management at an Apple Rumors site may have caused (yes caused) the delay of the sunflower iMac by 6 months due to their stepping over the bounds of "reporting" during an expo.

Macrumors has always been an agrregator, speculator, and fair rumormonger.
 

fixyourthinking

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2002
665
0
Greenville SC
fatchuck said:
Awesome, not one, but two people who think case law and constitutional precedent stood still after the 18th century!
.
I fear if I elaborate too much that our conversation will be moved to the 1st ammendment discussion.

The constitution is NOT a living breathing document - it is law - it is clear - it is concrete. That's why it takes a MAJOR ordeal to add an ammendment.

I have pointed out in these discussions on here before:

The Animals in Animal Farm (by George Orwell) came up with their own "constitution":

The Pigs were put in charge.

They used the "living breathing document philosophy" to change:

ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL

to

ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL EXCEPT PIGS WHICH ARE MORE EQUAL

So, yes I hope the Constitution keeps it's meaning and purpose from the 18th Century. It wasn't an interpretive document. It was an enforcing document.