ThinkSecret Gets Legal Representation

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,446
8,513
ThinkSecret posted that Terry Gross of Gross & Belsky LLP will provide legal representation for the rumor site.

"Think Secret's reporting is protected by the First Amendment," Gross said. "The Supreme Court has said that a journalist cannot be held liable for publishing information that the journalist obtained lawfully. Think Secret has not used any improper newsgathering techniques. We will be filing a motion asking the Court to dismiss this case immediately on First Amendment grounds under a California statute which weeds out meritless claims that threaten First Amendment rights."
Apple filed suit against ThinkSecret earlier this month for a series of stories it had posted, claiming that ThinkSecret had obtained information illegally.

The outcome of this case will certainly have effects on the Mac Rumor web.
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
3,539
31
with Hamburglar.
I doubt this will get thrown out immediately. Apple just wants to get to [read:fire] its maverick employees for violating their NDA. If he gives them up and takes down ThinkSecret, they would probably drop the charges against him. He probably won't do that...hmmm...this could get interesting...
 

kerb

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2004
224
0
Lancashire UK
I really hope dePlume wins.
Apple really doesn't need to sue this guy they're just trying to make an example of him and it stinks. dePlume isn't the one who should be targetted here, it's the Apple employees breaching their contracts.
 

macmax77

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2004
134
0
you know what, tyhere is a marketing technique that pushes one's own rumors to create the hype, Apple should do this from time to time.

Otehrwise, who would have know about the Mac mini, those who have Safari and open the home page where Apple set it??/

Where are the Adds, this is not Dell, hell, not even Gateway, Apple need s more time on the air, especially now.
 

TheMasin9

macrumors 6502a
Dec 22, 2004
585
0
Huber Heights, OH
Gotta love the country we live in. USA all the way, i still think there should be some restrictions put on stuff like this, cuz apple functions on secrecy bigtime.
 

cr2sh

macrumors 68030
May 28, 2002
2,554
1
downtown
/me bats eyes at Terry Gross. He's so dreamy.

TERRY GROSS (terry@gbcounsel.com) has engaged in significant complex litigation around the country on behalf of private clients and several civil liberties organizations, such as the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, the Bill of Rights Foundation, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. For example, Mr. Gross was part of the criminal defense team which represented Leona Helmsley in her prosecution for income tax evasion, and, among other things, was responsible for the successful motion to dismiss her state prosecution on double jeopardy grounds. He represents several non-traditional religions in various types of litigation raising issues of religious freedom, due process, and improper government activity, both in affirmative lawsuits and in defending damage lawsuits by ex-members. He has been special counsel in criminal cases on constitutional issues, and engages in general litigation for private clients, e.g., he represented Dr. Spock in a breach of contract action relating to a video on child care; he represented and advised Leona and Harry Helmsley in a variety of civil lawsuits, liquor and real estate licensing proceedings, and contracts. He litigated a First Amendment and equal protection challenge to the large-scale relocation of Navajo elders from their ancestral homelands at Big Mountain, Arizona; a successful challenge to Pan American World Airways' policy during the Gulf War against granting passage to any Iraqi nationals; and represented the widow of Salvador Allende, the slain president of Chile, in the first successful challenge to the government's ideological exclusion policy.

Mr. Gross' first degree and career was in computer science which has served to dovetail in matters of intellectual property. He was a systems programmer for IBM, a systems analyst at University of California Medical Center and the director of data processing for a local governmental agency. He represented one of the world's largest watch manufacturers involved in trademark infringement litigation; the Estate of Norma Millay Ellis relating to the sale of the literary properties of Edna St. Vincent Millay; and a French biotechnology company in litigation relating to the sublicense of patent rights, and in contract negotiations about the sale of biotechnology development rights; and actively advises and litigates on trademark and copyright issues. He has represented authors, artists, performers and their agents in negotiating contracts for publication, performance, and sale of motion picture and television rights.

Mr. Gross has been active in Internet law for many years. As counsel to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization focusing on electronic communications and new technology, he advised and litigated on numerous technology issues. As special counsel in the successful defense of an individual who disseminated a magazine via e-mail over the Internet accused of wire fraud for publishing a document obtained by computer hackers, before the Internet was widely used, Mr. Gross raised constitutional issues concerning the rights of publishers, both electronic and print, to disseminate information lawfully obtained by them. He recently successfully defended an Internet service provider sued by a software industry group for copyright infringement based on the actions of the provider's customers. He was a director of the International Society for Technology in Education. He represented content providers in negotiations with networks, advised on domain name disputes and litigated jurisdictional issues raised by Internet activity.

A significant portion of Mr. Gross' practice centers around matters of defamation and privacy. Mr. Gross advises media entities on defamation and libel clearance. He actively represents plaintiffs in defamation cases involving national and local news media. In addition, he actively represents clients prior to the publication of potentially inflammatory articles in negotiations with news media to ensure that accurate information is published.

In the international law area, Mr. Gross was lead counsel and adviser to the Republic of Panama, its agencies and its Mission to the United Nations in 1989 when the United States government froze all Panamanian assets; represented a foreign telephone company in negotiating an underwater cable construction and maintenance agreement and telephone service agreement with AT&T, and represented the Cuban Olympic Committee and the Cuban television agency in the negotiations to sell the television rights to the 1991 Pan American Games. In addition, he represented several foreign companies in contract negotiations with U.S. companies and in matters relating to their U.S. subsidiaries. Further, he provides advice and obtains licenses for transactions with countries subject to trading restrictions.

Terry Gross is also active in plaintiffs' class action cases. He was lead counsel for Manybeads v. United States, a class action involving the elders of the Navajo Tribe. He was liaison counsel and settlement class counsel in Perish v. Intel Corporation, a winning consumer fraud class action. He is Co-Chair of the Steering Committee in the Microsoft Antitrust Class Action Litigation, based on Microsoft's monopolization of the personal computer operating systems and software market. He was counsel in In re Airline Ticket Commission Antitrust Litigation, an antitrust action which challenged the airlines' reduction of travel agent commissions, resulting in an $87 million settlement; is lead counsel in Lea v. Pacific Bell, a consumer fraud and unfair competition class action; is counsel in the Old Republic Title Company Class Action Litigation (executive committee), an unfair competition and consumer fraud class action; and is counsel in the Flat Glass Antitrust Litigation (executive committee); the Sanitary Paper Antitrust Litigation; the Vitamin Cases Antitrust Litigation (steering committee); the Cosmetics Antitrust Litigation (steering committee), antitrust actions challenging pricefixing in the glass, sanitary paper, cosmetics and vitamin industries; and the Providian Class Action Litigation (executive committee), an unfair competition, false advertising and consumer fraud action.

Mr. Gross also litigates in the area of legal ethics, representing attorneys facing bar complaints or discipline, and also in litigating legal malpractice cases. Mr. Gross actively handles appeals in all the areas his practice, as well as criminal appeals. A significant portion of Mr. Gross' practice also involves the areas of antitrust, consumer fraud, commercial law and employment discrimination.

Mr. Gross is counsel to, and formerly a partner at, Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman, P.C., of New York.

Born Flushing, New York, February 19, 1948; admitted to bar, 1980, Oregon; 1982, California and U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; 1984, New York, U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan; 1988, U.S. Supreme Court; 1993, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit and United States District Court, Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California. Education: Brown University (A.B., Computer Science, 1968); University of Oregon; Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley (J.D., 1980). Associate Editor, California Law Review, 1978-80. Author: "Robeson v. State: The Right to Prearrest Silence," 67 California Law Review 1205, 1980. Systems Programmer, IBM New York Scientific Center, 1968-69; Systems Analyst, University of California Medical Center at San Francisco, 1969-70; Data Processing Manager, Lane County Department of Transportation, 1972-76; Law Clerk to Hon. Otto R. Skopil, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1980-82; Partner and Associate, Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman, P.C., New York, New York, 1983-1993. Member, American Civil Liberties Union, 1982-present. Director, International Society for Technology in Education, 1992-1995. Advisory Committee, First Annual Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy, 1991. Member, Bar Association of San Francisco (Member: Intellectual Property Section; Superior Court Early Settlement Program; Legal Ethics Section); State Bar of California (Member: Committee on Federal Courts, 1994-1997; Intellectual Property Section; Litigation Section); New York State Bar Association; National Lawyers Guild (Executive Board, San Francisco Chapter, 1994-1997; Executive Committee, New York City Chapter, 1990-1993).
Sounds like the right man for the job.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,091
404
Based off this quote:
"Think Secret's reporting is protected by the First Amendment," Gross said. "The Supreme Court has said that a journalist cannot be held liable for publishing information that the journalist obtained lawfully. Think Secret has not used any improper newsgathering techniques. We will be filing a motion asking the Court to dismiss this case immediately on First Amendment grounds under a California statute which weeds out meritless claims that threaten First Amendment rights."
I suspect the entire case will revolve around whether Apple can prove that ThinkSecret gathered the leaks legally.

If they, say, bribed someone under contract, and Apple can prove it, they have them in the bag.
 

AirUncleP

macrumors regular
Dec 19, 2002
189
2
USA
If information is gotten legally then Apple has no case. Don't stockbrokers do this all the time to choose good investments?

Also, if a construction worker can go into Pam and Tommy's house, take a tape, sell it on the internet, and that's ok, then certainly a little pre-Macworld mac mini facts are ok.
 

mymemory

macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
2,495
0
Miami
I think Apple just want to make a point and Think Secret was the victim. Too many things leaking altelly and Aple had to do something about it "this time" and I quote because is not the first time a web site leak information about an Apple product.

On the other hand these lawyers may not be charging that much because a case against Apple is a very good one to create a name.

About Macrumors... you can tell Apple strategy this time is to send a warning to everyone.
 

xsedrinam

macrumors 601
Oct 21, 2004
4,348
1
kerb said:
I really hope dePlume wins.
Apple really doesn't need to sue this guy they're just trying to make an example of him and it stinks. dePlume isn't the one who should be targetted here, it's the Apple employees breaching their contracts.
Apparently lots in here don't see it that way; but that's the way I see it. When this kind of leaky disloyalty isn't taken care of as it should be, "in-house", then the whole public gets a whiff of the alternative aftermath, "out-house".
X
 

swissmann

macrumors 6502a
Sep 17, 2003
781
28
The Utah Alps
I don't think the rumors sites should be hit. They report on what they find out what is wrong with that. It is the people who have access to inside information that share it against contract that should be hit. I don't think Apple will win unless ThinkSecret did something illegal like hack into Apple's mainframe and steal data (like a spy movie). I like the rumor sites. Leave them alone. Besides isn't this whole thing supposed to be about "Asteroid"? What is up with that anyway?
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
GFLPraxis said:
Based off this quote:


I suspect the entire case will revolve around whether Apple can prove that ThinkSecret gathered the leaks legally.

If they, say, bribed someone under contract, and Apple can prove it, they have them in the bag.
Exactly and this is why TS doesn't stand a chance at summary dismissal. Obviously they have to try but its prob not going to happen unless they get an idiot judge which seems to be the norm now a days.

If Apple tries going after TS for anything other then your above reference IMHO they stand a higher degree of failing vs. going after TS for actively trying to coerce someone into breaking their NDAs which I think is the heart of the matter. But that begs the question how does Apple know or what makes Apple think that TS was playing such games. I don't see Apple releasing the lawyers without some pretty substantial proof to back up their claims. (e.g. Bob in accounting said he heard Think Secret was…Which probably wouldn't be enough to make Apple go rabid.)

Huh. :confused: Again I wonder if Steve simply had a complete hissy fit and said *insert image of Steve pointing out a window with thunderbolts shooting from his finger with a booming voice* SUE THEM hoping that TS would simply roll over like a good lapdog.
 

KindredMAC

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2003
966
158
Employees should be fired or dealt with severely.
Even if ThinkSecret offered them money, that doesn't mean that the Apple Employees HAD to take the cash to talk.

Apple would be biting the hand that feeds them if they shut down all the Apple Rumor websites. Because of these places, I get excited for new things and get others excited too.
 

caveman_uk

Guest
Feb 17, 2003
2,391
1
Hitchin, Herts, UK
Sounds like Apple's trying to shoot the messenger here when it should really being trying to stop people leaking in the first place. The employees/contractors are under legal obligation to Apple - not ThinkSecret
 

nsb3000

macrumors 6502
Jun 17, 2003
275
0
Boston, MA
Rumor sites don't help Apple..

KindredMAC said:
Apple would be biting the hand that feeds them if they shut down all the Apple Rumor websites. Because of these places, I get excited for new things and get others excited too.
Look, believe it or not, the rumor sites hurt Apple, not usually by when they are right, but by when they are wrong. Last year, before Macworld, Think Secret predicted that the iPod mini would start at $99, and the initial reaction when Apple introduced it at $249 was that it was over priced. The mini obviously went on to sell like hot cakes, but its introduction has directly marred by the false information disseminated by Think Secret. This is not to say that Think Secret does not have a right to publish such info, they do, but no one should be under the impression that sites like Think Secret actually help Apple. They don't.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
The leaker isn't necessarily an Apple employee. The manufacturing chain these on products is huge, and runs all the way to Asia. For all we know, it could have been some assembly line worker in China who leaked the info. If that's the case, Apple is going to have a heck of a time sanctioning them, even assuming Nick has a person's name he could give Apple, which I suspect he does not.
 

kahleeb

macrumors member
Jan 17, 2005
34
0
I just purchased my first Apple computer and I am very upset to read Apple is doing this. This is the kind of stuff that people blast MS for doing. I hope the judge not only throws out the case but fines Apple for this stupid lawsuit.
 

achmafooma

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2002
150
0
Northern Virginia
nsb3000 said:
Look, believe it or not, the rumor sites hurt Apple, not usually by when they are right, but by when they are wrong. Last year, before Macworld, Think Secret predicted that the iPod mini would start at $99, and the initial reaction when Apple introduced it at $249 was that it was over priced. The mini obviously went on to sell like hot cakes, but its introduction has directly marred by the false information disseminated by Think Secret. This is not to say that Think Secret does not have a right to publish such info, they do, but no one should be under the impression that sites like Think Secret actually help Apple. They don't.
Well ... I think that they are generally quite beneficial for Apple, however -- as you rightfully pointed out -- they have the power to be harmful.

I think ThinkSecret is in the right here (as others have said, it is the Apple employees or whoever else breaking NDAs that are liable here), but I think that nsb3000 makes a good point: We shouldn't give rumor sites a free ride because they generally help Apple. A bad/wrong rumor can hurt the company by drumming up unreasonable expectations.

POWERBOOK G5 ON TUESDAY!! ;-)
 

railthinner

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2002
177
0
2A Batterie said:
I'm in Nick's corner. I don't think he did anything unethical or illegal; it was those who violated their NDA that did.
Agreed.

Unfortunately it seems like a bit of a lose/lose situation. If Apple wins this suit it would be unjust. If they lose they'll look like chumps -- which I think is most likely. They should graciously back out of this.
 

elo

macrumors regular
Feb 6, 2003
140
0
A (very quick) legal perspective

Haven't had time to read the complaint and answer, but:

No one here should be saying which side is right at this point. We simply don't know how dePlume obtained the information he had. If Apple can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he obtained it illegally, then Apple easily wins.

However, don't rely on dePlume's answer (or his attorney's statement) for a definitive statement of the issue here. He's trying to frame the question narrowly (limiting it to whether or not dePlume legally obtained the information). Apple also has a broader argument as to whether the First Amendment protects someone who knowingly publishes illegal (and legally protected) information.

Thus, Apple has a non-First Amendment argument (going to the legality of dePlume's information gathering) and a potential First Amendment argument. The First Amendment has not ever been taken to allow everything into print.

Bottom line: Most of the opinions here are uninformed because we simply don't have the facts. Apple may be exactly right, or it may not have any argument at all. We just have to let the court do its job.

One other thing: This is likely to have very little effect on other rumor sites. If the case turns on how the information was obtained, then any site not engaging in illegal activities has nothing to worry about. If the issue goes to knowingly publishing trade secrets, then it still would depend how they were obtained. If they are already available to the public (as is nearly everything that appears on Macrumors. com), then they are, almost by definition, not trade secrets. If they are not, then the question again moves outside the First Amendment. It's possible that a court could issue a broader ruling here, but very unlikely.

elo