The Facts: Stolen Goods

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by spacehog371, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. spacehog371 macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2003
    Let me post the timeline of events, and some other information, so that everyone is clear that the guy who sold the prototype did NOT try and get it back to the original owner... which seems to something people are saying to justify the sale as legal.

    A couple side notes: the guy shopped it to Engadget first, and the fact that it was found in a bar and taken home (stolen) was part of their story (just a photo of it) which broke before Gizmodo's.

    Also, here is the statute in case anyone is curious:

    So, to be clear, California law states that the guy should have turned it over to police. The fact that he sold it for $5000 means that he knew it was worth more than $100. By law, it was stolen. That is a fact.

    Here is the Timeline:

    1. He finds the iPhone on a bar seat.

    2. He looks at the guys Facebook profile and other information on the phone while he is at the bar.

    2. He wakes up next morning to a bricked iPhone that won't turn on. (i.e. the facebook profile is no longer visible)

    3. He sells it to Gizmodo. He also tells Gizmodo the name he saw on the facebook profile, obviously the guy who lost it.

    Bottom Line:

    He knew the name of the owner of the device within minutes of getting his hands on it in the bar. He knew the guy had a facebook. He never tried to contact the guy, which would have been as easy as a facebook search. He says he tried to contact Apple... perhaps he did to legally cover his ass (he says there was a ticket created, who knows).

    To be sure, the guy wanted Apple to not take it seriously. If he wanted to return it, he would have done what ANY OTHER person with honest intentions would have done and tracked the guy down on facebook.

    Now... let's talk about Gizmodo.

    They say they didn't know the device was stolen when they bought it. (They say they didn't know it was real, now that they know it is they will return it.)

    It doesn't matter whether it was real.

    They knew that the phone they were purchasing was found in a bar, and taken home. Taking something home you find in a bar is legally classified as theft. Whether it was an iphone 3GS, a japanese fake, or an original brick phone from the 80's... they knew that they were buying something that was taken unlawfully from a bar. Aka, they knew they were purchasing something that was stolen.

    Has absolutely no relevance whether it was fake or real.

    At this point, they know the name of the guy who lost it... and scope out his facebook, twitter, etc... and make no attempt to contact him. Even though they were on his Facebook page, and could have hit Send Message quite easily. Instead they start writing a story about how the guy lost the phone.

    They then tore it apart and saw all of the Apple Stamped Internals, and got to the "Plug into iTunes" screen.

    Now they knew it was real.

    They then proceeded to post the trade secrets they had more than a "Reason to believe" were Apple's.

    Any rational human being can see that Gizmodo is in DEEP, DEEP ****... as they should be.
  2. r3vo macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
    I don't understand why Apple is being so nice to Gizmodo.... that's the weird part.
  3. spacehog371 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2003
    My guess... they aren't.

    It's going to take some time for them to figure out their strategy and get the necessary paperwork in order.
  4. jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    1. Get the phone back.
    2. Pursue legal action.

    Reversing the order jeopardizes getting the phone back.

    Same logic as "always accept a partial payment".

    Now, not saying they will. Apple doesn't want to look like a bad guy, even if they are within their rights.

    This does lower my opinion of so-called online "journalists".
  5. Nebrie macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2002
    It takes more than a day to gather evidence and file lawsuits. Also, gawker or anyone who formerly worked there during this incident will never get into another Apple event or review unit from now until the end of time. Not sure what else they could do to them.
  6. phoobo macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2008
    What makes it worse that Nick Denton was bragging online about what a big score he'd made. I agree that the payment is an indicator of Gawker's liability. If they had simply taken possession this would be much more of a gray area.
  7. noah82 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Yeah, Gizmodo will probably be banned from all Apple events.
  8. SAD*FACED*CLOWN macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2010
    Houston, TX

    why are so many people moaning about ethics and what not on a rumor site? should the guy that sold this experimental tech be charged with delivering stolen goods? maybe but he won't...why? BECAUSE APPLE HAS THE BURDEN OF PROTECTING AND SECURING THEIR EXPERIMENTAL PROPRIETARY if the phone had taken a walk from the Apple campus that would be different, that's an outright theft, but Apple lost the phone while testing it "in the wild" at a public bar of all places...and Apple obviously isn't too concerned or they would have sent a cease and desist letter to Gizmodo instead of the BS "you have something that belongs to us letter"....we should all be glad that we got to see this device before it ships...I am, thanks Gizmodo....this was a poor attempt at marketing via a proxy, the letter they sent to Gizmodo is proof...
  9. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    You can't just think like that. His FB settings could have had him hidden from Facebook search, or his profile could have got deleted (just like his linkedin).
  10. anonymouz1828 macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2009
    Two side

    From the info I read, there was intention to return at the bar and return at the applecare (I would have transferred call to higher representative rather than a ticket number). The guy could use facebook but it was not on his mind.

    Gizmodo risked to buy the phone .. it could have been a serious knockoff from China .. it was about $5,000 for a possible knockoff. They posted online and everyone called fake. Without any other extra info like engineer name, apple letter, and applecare .. it would be continually called fake. Now that it is real, people blame gizmodo.

    Apple secretiveness about is accepted and created this whole buzz .. apple and, mainly, engineer are fault for it .. you cannot lose a secret device!!!!
  11. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    So my wallet is in my pants pocket. Someone steals it, but since it's hidden in my pants (and thus "secret") I didn't lose it. Anyone can have it. ;)
  12. ethical macrumors 68000

    Dec 22, 2007
    After he found the phone him and his friend (both of whom didn't know who's phone it was), went around the bar asking if anyone had lost their phone. They then waited in the bar for several hours to see if the owner would come back. When the owner didn't return, that when it all kicked off. He also rang Apple, and planned to return to the bar the next day. But when it was bricked he realized something was up and that it wasn't just any old phone, it was a secret new iPhone.

    That's the story on Gizmodo.
  13. Mark Booth macrumors 68000

    Mark Booth

    Jan 16, 2008
    Only a complete and total idiot would believe that Gizmodo didn't know they were buying stolen property. Gizmodo ADMITS that the phone didn't belong to the person they bought it from.

    It will take Apple's attorneys a few days or weeks to prepare the case, but Gizmodo's Lam, Chen and Denton will be getting served sooner or later.

  14. JRoDDz macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2009
    Agreed. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple hands them a nice lawsuit in a day or two. They're just working on the paperwork now.. Gizmodo.. nice knowing ya.. Before long you'll belong to Apple and get your pink slips in the mail.
  15. Daiden macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    I'll explain this to you, since you don't seem to understand the situation.

    1) Sending a C&D is the same as saying "hey that's real", so anything they would do at that point is useless. Why take down the article when the whole Internet has already seen it? The important thing is to get the prototype back, which brings us to:

    2) Gizmodo said that they wanted a written request for the device to be returned to them. Apple will not say "give us our device back so we can sue you", that's just stupid. They're going to play nice until they can get with lawyers or law enforcement and figure out the chain of events. It's just common sense to not start pissing people off before you get back what they have of yours.

    Anyone who says that Apple's letter is proof of some "marketing ploy" has no idea the value of a prototype device for ANY company. Apple keeps these things secret for a reason. Do you realize how much a pototype like that is worth to a company? Millions of dollars in R&D and future sales. Now that the devices features have been posted online, countless competitors can get to work mimicing Apple's design and potentially harm Apple's market share. This is a huge deal for a company like Apple, they are not toying around with things like "accidentally" releasing a product for extra hype. The iPhone doesn't need more hype, it sells just fine without it.
  16. blancoBronco macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2009
    South Tampa
    since when? he didnt take it from the guy when he wasnt looking, he didnt pick pocket him. are you supposed to leave it there until the guy realizes he lost it and comes back for it? no, you take it home and try to contact the guy or notify the police about a found object. and since he gave it to gizmodo before notifying the guy (which we dont know if he was going to or had already), that made it their responsibility

    yes its unethical to not try to find the guy before giving it to gizmodo, but its not stealing
  17. spacehog371 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2003
    Did you miss the part where I quoted the law. If you find something worth over $100, by law you have to turn it into the police. If they don't find the person within 3 months, they give it back to the person who turned it in (though they sometimes won't give it back).

    If you find something that isn't yours and take it, and don't follow the law to return it, it is theft. The police department are the only people that can legally make it your property. If they don't make that determination, it is stolen.

    He didn't turn it in. He sold it. That is theft. And trafficking stolen property.

    Gizmodo's editors could be charged with Receiving Stolen Property for buying it.

    And that doesn't even get into the trade secrets... They just a little while ago posted a new post where they take apart the internals and try and figure out what chip it's using and whatnot.

    I've liked Gizmodo in the past, but this is way, way over the line of appropriate behavior for a company to engage in.
  18. Penguissimo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2009
    Actually, according to California law, it could be:
  19. Mark Booth macrumors 68000

    Mark Booth

    Jan 16, 2008
  20. dnitram macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2009
    Best Win-Win Situation I’ve Ever Seen

    Well, I for one don’t buy all the hype about a stolen prototype phone, who’s right or wrong, etc. Personally, I believe it was an extremely well planned and orchestrated media hype event to promote the new iPhone. Of that I am convinced. How better for Apple to get such massive, cheap publicity just prior to the introduction of their latest phone. It’s a win-win situation for both Apple and Gizmodo. Say what you will, but I say whoever came up with the plan is an advertising and marketing genius.:D
  21. Mark Booth macrumors 68000

    Mark Booth

    Jan 16, 2008
    When Apple sues Gizmodo and/or the feds pay Gizmodo a visit due to a criminal complaint filed by Apple, will all of you conspiracy theorists finally line up for your meal at the I Eat Crow Bar & Grill?

  22. Geckotek macrumors G3


    Jul 22, 2008
    And you'll do the same when NOTHING happens?

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