Gizmodo - Felony or Not?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by eezing, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. eezing macrumors 6502

    eezing

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    #1
    "Californian penal code Section 496 does indicate that buying a $5,000 stolen item would be a felony, so that remains a very real possibility. In California, "[e]very person who buys or receives any property that has been stolen, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained…" is eligible for conviction.

    The felony charge can carry up to a year of prison time, if the defendant is found to be guilty."

    - DailyTech article

    Really... Prison time over a phone that some drunk jerk-off left on a bar stool?

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #2
    Being drunk or a jerk-off doesn't apply to the law. However, proving it was "stolen" does, and since he left it there and supposedly the finder tried to contact the "loser," I doubt this will go anywhere.
     
  3. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    Agreed. If Powell left the phone someplace, then it was hardly stolen by whoever sold it to Gizmodo.
     
  4. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #4
    What he said... I already stated my points many times.
     
  5. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #5
    Wow. Really? You're still gonna use that line after it's been proven that the local law enforcement officials in that jurisdiction disagree with you? They consider it a crime. How much more proof do you need?

    Now, the issue that's up in the air is whether or not the journalist shield laws apply here and if Gizmodo will be protected by them. They're still trying to figure that out. So they may or may not get in trouble. No one knows yet.

    But they certainly wouldn't even be talking about that at all if you were right and it wasn't a crime. Why do you think the DA is asking "are they exempt from this crime or not?" if there is no crime? That doesn't make any sense.
     
  6. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    #6
    According to Gizmodo's articles, the finder did NOT try to contact Gray Powell, whose name he found in the Facebook app. No email, no phone calls, no note left with the bartender... any of which would've worked.

    No giving to police, no mailing back to Apple HQ, or even giving to a local Apple store manager when he figured out it was a prototype.

    The finder only called AppleCare, who of course knew nothing about it. Pretty flimsy single attempt over a period of three weeks, before selling the phone.
     
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    Yeah, they may think that it is a crime, but they still have to prove it in a court.
     
  8. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #8
    According to California law, the owner has a year to claim lost items before they become the the property of the owner of the property on which they are left. Since the person who sold the phone to Gizmodo 1) did not wait the requisite year before selling it, and 2) is not the owner of property on which it was found, he clearly had no legal right to the property. Selling property that does not belong to you is, well, theft.
     
  9. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #9
    No, the court's job is to determine if an individual is guilty of a crime, not to determine what is a crime. That's the job of the legislature (originally) and then the job of the DA in places where the legislature wasn't 100% clear.

    The court has to decide if Gizmodo is guilty or not. They don't have to decide if a law exists or not. That's already written down.
     
  10. JediZenMaster macrumors 68000

    JediZenMaster

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Location:
    Portland,Oregon
    #10
    Ah So if i leave my gun somewhere and there is a crime committed with it then i would be free and clear then?

    Or if i give a 16 year old keys to a car and they hit someone i'm not liable for it?
     
  11. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #11
    Your analogies point to Gray Powell being the one going to jail. :)

    In my earlier post, I had read he did try to do a bunch of things to return the phone. If not true, then I take back what I said on that point, but still doubt this will go anywhere.
     
  12. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #12
    Exactly.
    All this BS over a cellphone that some drunk Apple employee lost.
    I wonder what they are doing to the guy that lost it, behind closed doors...when this is what they are doing in the public's eye to someone who just took advantage of their carelessness.
    See kids, the police are always on your side if you have billions of dollars, even if you were at fault for losing your toy.
    And REACT going after a guy who (might have) stole 1 (ONE!) cell phone is clearly the best way for them to spend their time and resources.

    In another unrelated story, Apple donates 50 new mac-books to California's REACT computer crimes task force. :D
    lol
     
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #13
    Its still an attempt.
    Its not his job to chase around the "genious" who lost it.
     
  14. Dr Kevorkian94 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    SI, NY
    #14
    someone told me as soon as the phone was left in the bar that it is automatically over the jurisdiction of the owner of the bar. so he is the person who has to wait to see if the person comes back. i dont know if that is true but i think that if gizmodo new it was stolen then they should be guilty. i dont know what the guy who found it said to them but if they new nothing of its legality then thy get off i feel fine this is what the should prove. i think that if there trying to see if it was stolen then the seizing of gizmodos computers has nothing to do with it. and gizmodo gave the phone back! so i dont see why everyone is mad at them. if there mad for reporting there secrets, then under the law gizmodo will win because of the penal code of california. so let the courts decide
     
  15. Givmeabrek macrumors 68030

    Givmeabrek

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    #15
    It's amazing how many people think that you can pick something up that someone misplaced and claim that it now belongs to them!! :eek:

    It's not yours and you can't sell it!! That's theft! And if you buy it it's a felony!!
     
  16. randomerratum macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Location:
    Santa Monica, CA
    #16
    Wow- I thought this was an obvious one, but people still seem confused...

    No, the person who removed it from the premises is the one who 'stole' the phone. From what I understand, the law requires you to return the phone to the owner of the establishment or turn it in to police... not take it. Obviously, the owner of the phone will likely return to pick it up. Finding something doesn't entitle you to go on a vigilante return to owner goose-chase. It certainly doesn't mean you can sell it either. By taking the phone, it became stolen. Selling it became dealing stolen property.

    Gizmodo was fully aware of the circumstances from which this phone came from (they published the story as soon as they bought the thing) and therefore they knowingly paid $5000 for stolen property.

    Not only that, but all the parties involved were fully aware that this phone was a trade secret. It is illegal to knowingly disclose trade secrets.... everybody involved is screwed.
     
  17. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #17
    Actually, it is his responsibility to turn it in either to the police or to the to the owner of the property on which it was found. If he chooses to turn it in to the property owner, it is the responsibility of the owner of the property to keep the item for a full year in order to give the person who lost it a chance to claim it or, if he is unwilling to do so, to turn it over to the police. In either case, if the item is not claimed within one year, it becomes the property of the person on whose property it was found. Under California law, in no case does it become the property of the person who found it unless he is also the person on whose property it was found.

    There were exactly two things the finder of this phone could legally do with it: 1) turn it in to the owner of the bar at which he found it or 2) report it as found to the local police department. If he had followed either procedure, Apple would have had its phone back a month ago and Gizmodo would never have had it. Instead, he chose to pursue a completely different course: to sell the item (which he did not legally own -- and which was therefore stolen) for $5,000. That is a felony.
     
  18. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    #18
    Actually, by any decent moral standard... and California law... it is his job.

    Ca. law says that you must contact the owner if you know who it is. And he did know from the Facebook page. Heck, he could've posted something right there on Facebook, much less looked him up and called him, or simply left a note at the bar.

    Ca. law also says that if you don't know the owner, you must turn the item in to the police for three months. He didn't and sold it within three weeks.

    One thing for sure: we're seeing what the moral standards are for a lot of people in this forum.
     
  19. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #19

    I ask you to go call one of those lawyers you see on TV saying they will give you free advice on legal matter. They will shoot down your attitude faster then the new Core i7 CPU's.

    I have talked to a lawyer( aka my dad). Here is his stance on the matter.

     
  20. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #20
    Im not going to act like I know anything about California law or law in general:D
    But all Im saying is all this public exposure of this circus act does not look good for Apple.
    Make a huge deal like that over a cellphone that they lost themselves and was returned to them?
     
  21. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #21
    I dont know. Last time I lost a cellphone the police just told me to go buy another one and that theres nothing they can do.
    They didnt start an investigation kicking in anyones door over a $200-300 item. Thats a pure waste of law enforcement time and resources IMO.
    But again Im not a multi-billionaire either...
     
  22. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2004
    Location:
    The Mergui Archipelago
    #22
    This is because you're not a corporation. The police are first and foremost there to serve corporations and protect trade secrets they lose whilst drinking imported beer.
     
  23. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #23
    I haven't posted in any of the previous threads because they've been too massive, but I'm seeing a lot of the "pro-Gizmodo" faction railing about two very big assumptions.
    • Gray was drunk when he lost the phone. Being in a bar does not necessarily equal being drunk. He very well could have been in there because he likes their pub grub. He could've had soda for all we know. However even if he was drinking, having a couple of beers after work does not equate to being drunk.
    • Gray lost the phone due to his own negligence. For all we know the mysterious person in question could have "found" the phone in Gray's pocket. The whole "found it on a barstool" story could be a line he concocted after he realized this wasn't a run of the mill iPhone he'd just lifted.
    I'm not saying that I know if either of my suggested scenarios are true or not. Everyone's knowledge about this fiasco is currently based on hearsay. However, it's the job of law enforcement to get to the bottom of this and apply appropriate punishment if laws have been broken. Since they seem to be on top of it, I'm willing to wait for the true story from the professionals.

    I wish people would quit second guessing the work being done by those who have access to evidence of what actually happened.
     
  24. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #24
    This case is different because a) they had reason to believe the item was stolen and b) the item was of significant value (which matters in the law as well).
     
  25. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    #25
    The difference is, no one wrote about finding your phone. If they had, then the police would've had a really nice lead. ;)

    As for Apple, I predicted a while back that they would have to try to make an example in this case. It's the best way to prevent it from happening in the future. And it's not wasting resources, since REACT was created for investigating technology crimes.

    I still don't like them kicking down Chen's door. That was unnecessary. They could've waited until he came home.

    My biggest advice is to Apple: Hey, get some common sense and put a "Call for a reward if found" label on all your prototype devices.
     

Share This Page