Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Businesses News Apple

Apple Sues Think Secret 451

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the plugging-the-leaks dept.
Isaac Newton writes "Reuters is reporting that Apple Computer has sued website Think Secret for allegedly divulging trade secrets relating to its upcoming sub-$500 Mac desktop and office suite. The lawsuit is apparently giving legitimacy to the rumors."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Sues Think Secret

Comments Filter:
  • by buro9 (633210) <david@@@buro9...com> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @06:40AM (#11273923) Homepage
    It's not as if anyone else is allowed to produce a cheap Mac to compete with Apple (thus beating them to it), as Apple hold all the cards for that.

    Cheap PC's already exist... so where is the competition that they are afriad of? Who can take advantage of this "trade secret"?

    As far as I can see (not far having not RTFA) this is just good journalistic work, and good promotion for Apple.
  • Bad Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @06:41AM (#11273925)
    I really like Apple. Though I had my share of problems with Apple products I generally think they make fine products and I definately prefer OSX to Windows.
    But things like this really piss me of (excuse my language).

    Doesn't Apple recognize, that sites like Think Secret actually help Apple? Just think about how many stories there are on the web about rumours that immanate from these kind of sides and how much exposure these stories give to Apple.

    Ah well, but judging from experience, the Apple advocates on /. will soon tell us why Apple is right in doing something that would certainly be considered evil by the /. crowd if any other company did it. Talk about a loyal followin.

  • by CrackedButter (646746) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @06:43AM (#11273935) Homepage Journal

    I'm a fanboy as well. But Apple are right in doing this to one of the best rumour sites on the net. What if this information is false but because of it, their share price goes up and there is a geniune interest from investors. Only for the rumour to be false and thus they get hit by it.
    Thats not to say however that they will succeed, I think they are after the people who leak information to TS. Im not up to date on american law, but wouldn't TS be protected by some sort of freedom of speech law.
    In any case, I don't think Nick Depulme is bothered, he's still posting rumours on his site, even after the lawsuit! TS have just confirmed the ipod micro rumour.
  • by igorthefiend (831721) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @06:43AM (#11273936)
    That's why it's "funny" rather than "informative". But seriously, suing people who are effectively giving you free publicity could come back and bite you in the future, perhaps when you *want* to leak something.
  • by BobPaul (710574) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @06:44AM (#11273939) Journal
    Apple couldn't find the internal leak

    Companies often provide information about product launches ahead of time with non-disclosure agreements. Perhaps it was a member of the press or some other non-Mac employee.......

    And then paragraph 3 of TFA... claiming that Think Secret had induced these individuals to breach confidentiality agreements that they had signed with Apple. Perhaps that's what it was...
  • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ford Prefect (8777) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @06:50AM (#11273957) Homepage
    The rumours were even the subject of the non-computing Pass Notes column in yesterday's Guardian [guardian.co.uk]. I'm definitely interested in whatever it is Apple are going to announce, but there is always the possibility that it's, say, a $600 Mac, or just a new word processor.

    The rumours might be accurate in part, but perhaps terribly inaccurate in other ways - and could significantly undermine the true products if they're seen as inferior to the imaginary ones. If that's the case, I can see why people at Apple would be upset...
  • by Apatharch (796324) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @06:55AM (#11273969)
    I'm a fanboy as well. But Apple are right in doing this to one of the best rumour sites on the net. What if this information is false but because of it, their share price goes up and there is a geniune interest from investors. Only for the rumour to be false and thus they get hit by it.

    Surely if the rumour was unfounded, it would leave the lawsuit without a basis, and Apple would still lose out?

    I dare say that the litgation would cost Apple less than some more conventional advertising. But I'm cynical that way.

  • Re:Bad Apple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ford Prefect (8777) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @06:59AM (#11273986) Homepage
    Doesn't Apple recognize, that sites like Think Secret actually help Apple? Just think about how many stories there are on the web about rumours that immanate from these kind of sides and how much exposure these stories give to Apple.

    Yes, but if the rumours are wrong, they can damage how any real products might be perceived.

    Okay, I'll invent the next iPod rumour - it's going to have full video capability, an 18 hour battery life and the top model will have a 220GB hard disk. You can connect up a digital camcorder to its Firewire port, or a camera to its USB port, and use it to store all your photos and video, for syncing into the next-generation iLife suite.

    If someone picks up on that rumour, and if it gains legitimacy, people may be disappointed by the next real iPod.

    I've got an iBook, and while it's a great machine I still look on with bemusement at some of the more fanatical followers of Apple. As, I imagine, do some of the levels of Apple management - why, when Fred Smith worked at Dell, he didn't have www.DellSecrets.web posting distorted rumours about the latest products... ;-)
  • by agent dero (680753) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:00AM (#11273987) Homepage
    how do you know they haven't been spreading their own rumours... ;)
  • by weave (48069) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:01AM (#11273991) Journal
    I can imagine something like this.
    1. Jobs tells crew to make a $500 iMac.
    2. Apple personnel set out to design and produce a cheap iMac with that goal in mind
    3. Rumor leaks to press
    4. Everyone gets excited
    5. Financial people sit down to figure out how to sell it without going bankrupt based on current costs to make it
    6. Find out they can't sell it cheaper than $750 and set a price there
    7. Jobs announces it at macworld, the audience boos, the press rip them a new ass, all the while missing the fact that it's a damn good computer for the price
    8. Stock goes down in flames
  • Partiality (Score:3, Insightful)

    by northcat (827059) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:03AM (#11273999) Journal
    Instead of Apple, if Microsoft had done the same thing, all slashdotters would have tied MS to a stake burned it by now. In fact, if any other company had done the same thing, it would have attracted a lot more negative responses from slashdot and everyone else than Apple. This is not the first time Apple is doing something like this. I remember some guy creating that OS X panel thing (whatever it's called) for windows (without taking anything from OS X) and Apple making him take it off the web because it infringed on their IP. I think it was called Yz dock. I guess Apple bigots are the worst.
  • Re:Bad Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by julesh (229690) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:17AM (#11274043)
    Yes, but if the rumours are wrong, they can damage how any real products might be perceived.

    Okay, I'll invent the next iPod rumour - it's going to have full video capability, an 18 hour battery life and the top model will have a 220GB hard disk. You can connect up a digital camcorder to its Firewire port, or a camera to its USB port, and use it to store all your photos and video, for syncing into the next-generation iLife suite.


    You see the problem here, though? Because that rumour isn't accurate, it is obvious that you haven't broken any NDAs by spreading it. Therefore Apple _cannot_ sue you over it.

    In order for them to consider taking action over an NDA breach, the information must be accurate. Otherwise it isn't an NDA breach.

    Unless Apple has been spreading disinformation under NDA. Which would be a wierd thing to do.
  • Re:Bad Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rdc_uk (792215) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:21AM (#11274057)
    You fell into my cunning trap:

    In time, certainly, good companies will come to measure success in terms of successful litigation.

    We are in the here and now; and that is PATENTLY not what current legal departments are aiming at. They are very evidently "trigger happy" at the moment.

    Costly losses, or embarrassing negative publicity from their over-eagerness is required to _sink in_ to upper management's minds before the goal will change.

    Basically if SCO (etc) lose, badly, and either go bankrupt or see (the last few in SCO's case)investors vanish, other companies will begin to think a little more about firing off a law suit "because we can", or "because the other guy will probably cave".

    How much have constant losses slowed the MPIAA/RIAA's flood of suits?
  • by JTunny (653851) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:23AM (#11274067) Homepage
    Shouldn't the trade partner (or even the Apple employee) that let the information leave the company be held ultimately culpable ?

    Maybe this is why IANAL
  • by CrackedButter (646746) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:24AM (#11274072) Homepage Journal

    I think you will find that Apple is suing somebody for breaking an NDA somewhere. By your rational, because its Apple, they should let people say whatever they want without being sued?
    Btw, I don't remember MS or SCO suing somebody for breaking an NDA, normally its an IP rights issue or because some kid has a website like "mikerowsoft.com". If you're going to troll, you should click "Post Anonymously" and get a clue.
  • by BetterThanCaesar (625636) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:43AM (#11274142)

    Maybe they were about to release a $600 Mac. Now, there will be great disappointment when they charge more than the rumours said, and they will have to defend themselves by saying "We never said we'd release a $500 Mac", but the damage is already be done.

  • Re:Bad Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nighty5 (615965) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:44AM (#11274145)
    Who gives a shit - Movie Critics do this all the time.

    They will blast a movie even after $250 million has been invested.

    Audience listens to critic, half the amount of people end up seeing it, affecting the bottom line.

    Apple need to wake up. Think Secret did not sign any NDAs and the right for free speech will prevail.

  • Really ridiculous! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:46AM (#11274161)
    "Apple has a point"

    No they don't.

    This happens in any other field. Cars, designer clothes, politics, entertainment, everthing.

    And sometimes that information is inaccurate. And sometimes it puts that company is a really poor light.

    And nobody sues. Oh. Except apple.

    The real joke is that Apple only sues little guys... the guys who are hard pressed to defend themselves.

    If these guys had a decent budget, they could sue the hell out of Apple. I'm hoping someone does, because Apple only bullies little tiny websites. They stay clear of anybodhy their own size.

    And then people like you defend them. I just bought 3 new Macs, but honestly, people like you are the least enjoyable part of the Macintosh experience, because you'd defend Apple no matter what. You sicken me.
  • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by clifyt (11768) <sonikmatter@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:59AM (#11274207) Homepage
    "Of course lawsuits are bad press and one can question the efficacity of such a lawsuit but most likely it will be about strong-arming the community maintainers into divulging their sources so that Apple can take measures against the staff members who broke their agreement."

    You know it also says a lot about the fucktards that run Thinksecret.

    Personally, I see nothing wrong with the suits. I run a music site based for a big part around Apple computers and their software (Emagic's Logic Audio, a wholely owned division of the company). Occasionally I get insider knowledge about whats going on inside the company as well as companies that make synths and other goodies. Sometimes I'll post a rumor about it that is so vague that no one will ever guess (but be completely obvious when its released), but never any details. Sadly, the details are never from the guys that work there (I'm very good friends with a few upper management types as well as the lowly cubicle jockies) -- its always from contractors or beta testers looking to make their mark.

    You have to ask yourself if you care about the products and the people that work at these companies when you start releasing wholesale details. Out to stiffle the community which loves the products? Not the community -- the idiotic sites that love to ruin the surprise. Or kill business.

    The thing with Apple is that if something isn't right, more often than not they will pull it 24 hours before its supposed to be released and never be heard of again (though there have been a few stinkers). Or maybe the next year at the same convention. In that time, they retune the product and make it right. In this same time, companies that don't care about quality and only care about being first to market get there and end up conquering the area leaving companies like Apple with little chance. In this market, its a rare occasion when a better made product like the iPod (which for the most part serves as the best example of what it does, and nothing more -- no extra features just because it can -- the horrible iPod Photo excluded) actually comes out ahead of the original market leaders.

    So does this company really love Apple or love the attention -- and if Apple didn't exist, the same people would be running a rumormill for some other company.

    This isn't to say I don't visit the site on occasion, once or twice of a dozen times a week. I just wish they weren't so explicit about their rumors.
  • by lucason (795664) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:04AM (#11274222) Homepage
    How bout these two scenarios.

    1. Jobs tells crew to make a $500 iMac.
    2. Apple personnel set out to design and produce a cheap iMac with that goal in mind
    3. Rumor leaks to press
    4. Everyone gets excited
    5. Apple sues a website for publishing the rumour.
    6. Everyone gets pissed.
    7. Court rules in favour of Apple
    8. Everyone gets scared to post bleeding edge material.
    9. Only strong and financially viable media have the finacial backing to be able to risk reporting news that is not sanctioned by large cooperations. (Seeing as there is now a good chance you'll get sued)
    10. Everyone loses

    I prefer this one:


    1. Jobs tells crew to make a $500 iMac.
    2. Apple personnel set out to design and produce a cheap iMac with that goal in mind
    3. Rumor leaks to press
    4. Everyone gets excited
    5. Apple goes on the record to confirm or deny the rumours depending on the validity of the rumour and the way they want the market and public to react. Thereby either calming market tensions or elevating public intrest.
    6. Everyone gets correct info.
    7. Everyone is wins.
  • by sg3000 (87992) * <sg_public@m[ ]com ['ac.' in gap]> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:18AM (#11274331)
    > I mean, if they really wanted to deal with this more effectively
    > they'd wait until AFTER the 11th.

    I think this is more than squelching a rumor so as to not blow Steve Jobs' "oh, one more thing" that he uses to introduce whatever is the centerpiece of the show. Investors and competitors pay attention to Apple's offerings, too.

    If investors (or potential investors) hear a rumor of a possible Apple product, the price of AAPL can be affected (either positively or negatively). What if the rumor is more interesting than the actual product? Remember when the iPod was about to be announced? People on Slashdot were speculating that Apple was going to deliver nothing short of a perpetual motion machine. When it was a more mundane MP3 player (albeit, the most successful one introduced to date), people were let down. I can imagine even a sell-off of AAPL happening after this. So Apple's job is to protect the price of AAPL, too.

    Also, competitive intelligence is pretty hard, but Apple's competitors must love all these Apple rumor sites, because they do their job for them. Even just getting wind of a product that Apple's planning to build can give them an advantage. They can either shift product plans, or at least not get caught with their jaw on the floor when they see a new Apple innovation (think about people's first reaction to Aqua).

    I like hearing Apple rumors, too, but I realize that Apple has every right to protect their intellectual property.
  • Re:Bad Apple. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CynicTheHedgehog (261139) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:19AM (#11274337) Homepage
    There are limits on free speech. Contractual agreements are one of them. ThinkSecret may be free to express anything they like (and are), but their source is not.

    Besides, this is not some human rights violation or political scandal. Apple seems to be trying to prevent damage to their business from stock price inflation and consumer disappointment, which in my opinion is a worthy goal. In any case, if someone signed an NDA and spilled the beans then they should be punished.

    Furthermore, ThinkSecret is profiting from this secret information, so it's not as if they are some altruistic, pro-consumer reporter. If Apple can demonstrate that ThinkSecret profits from information that ultimately causes damage to Apple's business, then they may have a case against them as well.
  • by reallocate (142797) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:29AM (#11274396)
    Think Secret has every right to publish that story, and every right to retain the identity of its source. Apple has every right to to sue them.

    Being prepared to defend your right to keep your sources secret and to defend your right to publish is a cost of doing business of any new publication. Think Secret and other online publications don't get a free pass, but neither should they be exempted from the same standards that apply to and protect traditional publications.
  • by gad_zuki! (70830) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:32AM (#11274413)
    > Or, thinksecret can do what real journalists do and refuse to reveal their source

    Christ man, you're talking about a computer rumor site relaying information from people with NDAs. This isn't exactly Valerie Plame. If a "journalist" gets involved in a lawsuit regarding sources, the question becomes one of ethics based on the public trust/greater good not some absolute, "I wont tell you who murdered that couple because I'm a journalist!!!" If you can't see the difference betweeen Watergate and Think Secret its time to step away from the computer for a long, long time.

    Like the grandparent posted lawsuits like these are started to help the discovery process to find those who did break the NDAs. The manufactured outrage of "Big company goes after little guy" is paper thin and on par with the false outrage of the RIAA actually suing people for giving away their songs.

    I'd much rather see a system which goes after unethical people because the alternative is to go after the technology itself. What I dont need is bittorrent made illegal or having special licenses to run a web server because a few rotten apples are ruining it for everyone else.

    Not to mention Think Secret is a commercial site (it serves at least three ads on its pages) and its business model is to coax people to break NDAs and post them on the web soley for profit, not for greater good or whistleblowing, but for money and ego inflation. Not exactly Woodward and Berstein here.
  • Rumour sites (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mark (495) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:34AM (#11274426)
    Some people here reckon that "if it were Microsoft" suing rumour sites, then we here at /. would be ripping them a new bunghole. These people say that, because it's Apple doing the suing, we're letting them off with nary a flame.

    But... MS rumour web sites must be pretty boring. Not only do most rumours come from Microsoft themselves... most of them /revoke/ previously announced features from previously announced products whose previously announced shipping dates have just been slipped by two years!! While Apple fansites try to guess what Apple will release next, MS fansites are left to try to guess what announced features might be left out!!
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:48AM (#11274493) Homepage Journal
    Most people can't put together that system though. Besides which, even at $500 I can put together a box including a Wal*Mart PC, a semi-modern graphics card, and a monitor, running GNOME or something, that'll be more powerful than this device. That's not really the point. You and I are geeks, sure we can do this, 95% of the population doesn't want to however.

    The point is that a low cost Mac (not a practical form factor, because you have to use a fucking huge 17" monitor - either as the screen or as a paperwieght - for the life of the machine. That's why people who "just want to try OS X" are not buying $800 eMacs) is about to come out. So it is good news, whether it's $500 or $750. People will buy it, and more people will buy it than currently buy eMacs.

    I don't think this has much to do with pricing. Apple's prices have almost never matched the rumours. Apple didn't sue the rumour sites over the PowerMac G5 (sent out cease and desists, yes, but didn't actually sue), or over the iMac G5, or over the iPod Mini.

    Remember the iPod mini? That was supposed to include a 2G model that'd retail for less than $100. The 4G model would be under $200. Remember the uproar when it didn't happen? Just a 4G model, and that was $250.

    Prices are rarely correct because pricing is determined by marketing and high level management not random people at Apple or at Apple's many suppliers. The guy at the factory in South East Asia who's looking at these machines coming off assembly lines knows enough to call ThinkSecret and others with the exact specs, but has about as much clue as to the pricing as George W. Bush. The guy who goes for a drink with Jonathan Ive's assistant every night knows that the machine has a fairly sweet look, and Apple has the thing at the factory, but hasn't a clue how much it'll cost, except that it's the much sought-after rumoured headless iMac.

    Whatever Apple's concerns here, they have nothing to do with pricing. The most likely explanation is that Apple generally wants to crack down on the rumours. They probably feel that the rumours have the potential to Osbourne their business. In all probability, eMac sales are very slow right now, partially because eMacs are underspecced, but also - in large part - because budget Mac buyers are waiting for a supposed $500 iMac. And, as the rumour is essentially true (except it'll probably be more expensive, like in the $600-700 range), Trade Secrets law is the weapon Apple are using.

    Mac enthusiasts like to think the rumour sites help Apple. Actually, they don't. They create false expectations of Apple, they Osbourne Apple on a regular information, often with machines that'll never be released, and they undermine Apple's own marketing efforts by pre-announcing products. If Apple was particularly bad at marketing, as they were in the mid-nineties, this might actually help them, but that was then and this is now. Apple is spectacularly good at marketing. Anyone trying to do it for them is going to be undermine what they're doing.

    FWIW, I think the lawsuit sucks and Apple shouldn't be allowed to do it. I'm merely trying to follow the logic here, and unfortunately, ethics are not usually a part of what Apple does.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:50AM (#11274507)
    For those no in the know the osbourne effect is explained here

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,360 4, 922517,00.html

    Apple has been wary of this for a long time too.

    And also, for ppl who think apple are stupid. They are not. For example, ever wonder why there is a one button mouse?

    Think about the requirements that puts on the software designers to make things simple if they know the target market only has one button. They will always make a way to do it with one button. They may well make a right click hidden menu and pro shortcuts, but the simple method always has to be there. Hence their software and OS more usable (to a newbie) than something like the GIMP which starts off with some weird assumptions. Not that GIMP is bad, or linux for that matter, I would prefer to see them prevail over any apple product. I am just explaining why the apples succeed in BOTH newbie and tech markets, because it is possible to do BOTH.

    When in doubt, do both. I.E GIMP should have a toggle to MDI mode, but it doesn't because they think only one way can suceed. When in fact adding both ways would be the true success.

    Everything about apple is calculated. It's not warm and fuzzy at all.
  • by Karl Cocknozzle (514413) <kcocknozzle.hotmail@com> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:20AM (#11274774) Homepage
    Apple doesn't have a leg to stand on. Thinksecret is a news and rumours site. They are in the business of printing information that is newsworthy to their readers.

    Unless ThinkSecret broke into Apple (physically or electronically) and stole the info they published, they've done nothing wrong. If Apple sues them in a state with a good reporter's shield law they might not even have to disclose who gave them the information.
  • by eriko (35554) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:36AM (#11274948) Homepage
    S'truth, that. The more /. hates an Apple product, the better it sells. See "What fool buys a computer without a floppy?" and "Who would pay $250 for a 4GB iPod? Nobody!"

    I'm kind of worried about this theoretical iMac -- enough posters have been positive about it that it may fail.
  • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:34AM (#11275680) Homepage Journal
    Let's pretend Squiggleslash Corp is about to release the MicroSquiggle 6000, a dual 2.8GHZ 970 based desktop computer with a built in LCD monitor that's 2"x20"x14". Price hasn't been determined yet, but our marketing people are pretty sure the sweet spot is about $2,000. We'll decide in a meeting this week so we can announce the complete package at SquiggleExpo.

    ThinkSquiggle then publishes a leaked story, clearly coming from someone with an NDA, who claims that Squiggleslash Corp is about to release a new computer, probably part of the MicroSquiggle line, a dual 970 based desktop computer, probably 2GHz or better, with a built in LCD monitor. The dimensions are about 20" across, it's about 2" thick, and it's sub-$1,000.

    The specs are largely right. The price (and clockspeed) is almost certainly wrong. Does Trade Secret law apply in this case?

    Changing the specs a little, supposing SquiggleInsider has also got a friend working at a factory in Taiwan. He reports that the device doesn't actually have a built-in LCD (that's 'cos the factory ships units with a plate in place of the LCD, the LCDs being inserted in another factory three blocks down the road. Hey, it was cheaper that way. At Squiggleslash, we're always looking for savings we can pass on to YOU the customer. Besides, these LCDs are sweeeeeeeet. We didn't want the first factory to install them because they're actually quad-colour, so those women with the reverse colour blindness thing can now see photo-realistic pictures. We're also coming up with three models of two colour LCD too, for slightly less, for colour blind users. Anyway, that's all a major trade secret, so don't tell anyone) So SquiggleInsider then publishes:

    Squiggleslash Corp is about to release an entirely new machine at SquiggleExpo! Sporting two 2.8GHz G5s, the machine is headless, and according to other rumour sites, is priced at $999!
    So has SquiggleInsider also published trade secrets, despite getting the story wrong?

    The answer is: probably. And from Squiggleslash Corp's point of view, we're fucked. Since SquiggleInsider and ThinkSquiggle published these rumours, sales of the MicroSquiggle 100 - our current lowest price MicroSquiggle - have plummetted, even though the MicroSquiggle 6000 will cost nearly twice the price and be aimed at a completely different group of people. So, given the chance, we want to take action.

    Which, when Steve Quiggleslash owned Squiggleslash Corp, would probably have meant we'd have sent out a few angry letters and announced the product early so there are no false expectations. Unfortunately we were taken over by Steve Jobs last week so lawsuits are pending...

  • by SpamJunkie (557825) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:37AM (#11275713)
    The real joke is that Apple only sues little guys.

    You consider Microsoft little?
  • by DesScorp (410532) <<DesScorp> <at> <Gmail.com>> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:47AM (#11275858) Homepage Journal
    "Apple, in the complaint filed on Tuesday, sued Web site Think Secret and other unnamed individuals, claiming that Think Secret had induced these individuals to breach confidentiality agreements that they had signed with Apple."

    Ummm, so what? We're not dealing with government secrets, only private enterprise. The press "induces" people to spill secrets all the time. And thinksecret is the press here. If Apple has the right to sue anyone, it's the people who broke their confidentiality agreements. Not the press. I hope ThinkSecret gets a good legal team and shoves this right up Apple's ass. One wonders if free speech organizations will get involved with this, such as the ACLU (or do they only deal with the goverment? I don't know...). What we have here is a corporation trying to intimidate a news outlet. Pure and simple. Of course, Apple can do no wrong...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @11:57AM (#11276970)
    Apple cannot/should not sue anyone that exposes unannounced products and gives the competition advance warning of what they have up their sleeve?

    It happens in other industries and no one sues, except Apple?

    Rubbish.

    No other significant company is in the same position that Apple is in. For it to survive, it has to be able to periodically pull a rabbit out of its hat and surprise everyone with a new product, a new design. They need to be able to establish their new product before the competition gets over the surprise and peddles their take on the Apple product -- that's when they don't simply rip-off Apple's design, like what happened with the original Bondi Blue iMac (1998).

    The competition don't do the same level of R&D that Apple does, they don't develop their OS and usually simply re-badge something others made for them (think Dell's MP3 player).

    Apple has to do everything, has to keep on moving and innovate (not in the Bill Gates sense, but in the real meaning of the word) in order to survive. Sometimes they produce a dud (think Mac Cube, the eMac or, IMO, the 1990 Mac IIsi), and some time they pull off something unexpected (think the iMac, the iPod, etc.).

    I think that Think Secret could have simply said that Apple would unveil something that it designed to increase its market share and leave it at that. But by doing what they did (assuming TS is spot on the money on this), Steve's keynote will be somewhat anti-climatic and will not have the same impact it would have had otherwhise (sp?).

    What you don't seem to understand is that Apple needs to make a big media splash in order to get people to notice its product, to attract new buyers to its platform. By removing the element of surprise, the big media splash won't happen and chances are this new inexpensive iMac (MyMac?) will not acheive the goal it was designed for. And Billg will have had time to come up with a plan to blunt whatever impact the new Mac could have, just in case. Not giving Gates the chance to FUD a competing product is something Apple could use.

    Obviously, you don't seem to understand this.

    Personally, having seen two of my Win2K boxen go south due to registry corruption (thank ${deity} I still have my *nix boxen to get some things done), I would snap a 5xxUSD Mac or two just to lessen the impact of a Windows crash on me.
  • Re:Partiality (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kehvarl (812337) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:04PM (#11277101)
    Two things:
    1> Not all the posts are supporting Apple in this (most that I've seen so far are neutral or negative in their reaction) though Apple is getting bashed much less severely than any other comapny would for this

    2> Apple is something of a darling of Slashdot, no matter how often everyone says they're not a mac fan (not coutning the mac fans of course) we don't really attack Apple that much. This is probably because Apple provokes our protective urges for being so cute and cuddly looking.

    a third thing that you may want to consider: I'm most likely making this post up as I go along and probably insane in some fashion. Ignore me as always.

  • Re:Bad Apple. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vellmont (569020) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:42PM (#11277653) Homepage

    ThinkSecret may be free to express anything they like (and are), but their source is not.


    Then why sue ThinkSecret? Oh, for the skeevy legal maneurvering of discovery. ThinkSecret isn't guilty of anything, but sue them to get information.


    Furthermore, ThinkSecret is profiting from this secret information, so it's not as if they are some altruistic, pro-consumer reporter. If Apple can demonstrate that ThinkSecret profits from information that ultimately causes damage to Apple's business, then they may have a case against them as well.


    Utter bullshit. The first amendment protects ThinkSecret from any "you hurt our business" crap. There's no NDA on ThinkSecret, therefor Apple has no case. The whole thing is just Apple doing sleazy legal maneuvering to obtain information on who leaked the information. Similar lawsuits have been brought against sites advertising what was on sale the day after thanksgiving.
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @12:51PM (#11277769) Homepage Journal
    If he's the sanest commentator...
    t's not all that difficult to figure out. The eMac already is the "Switcher vehicle" that the delusionals keep talking about, they just don't know it. In delusionland, the eMac is being rejected by potential Switchers because it has a built-in monitor. But in reality, Windows users are already Switching to the eMac, in droves for that matter. All you have to do is stick your head outside the delusionland bubble for a few minutes in order to get a whiff of just how many people have already switched.
    Wow, insulting and completely insane to boot... people are switching to the butt-ugly and CRT-monitor laden eMac? I've never come across anyone.

    I've said in my journal I doubt there's a $500 headless iMac coming but right now it's the $500 I find the unlikely part of the rumour, not the machine itself which continues to make perfect sense as long as the price is reasonable. Around $700 seems credible to me.

  • How about "accessory after the fact" or "dealing in stolen property"? If Think Secret was reselling goods they bought from a thief would you insist they had done nothing wrong?

    Hello oranges... Meet kumquats. (Didn't want to add to the confusion by saying "apples and oranges" in the middle of an Apple story.)

    You make several points, all of them wrong:

    1) Think Secret isn't "Dealing" in anything, they are journalists reporting the news. First amendment protected their right to publish--regardless of Apple's desire to keep the info private. I'm sure Nixon would've preferred Woodward and Bernstein keep their mouths shut and stop looking into things over at the Watergate, but again, the First Amendment protects their right to publish.

    2) Accessory after the fact implies that the reporter at TS had some knowledge that a crime has been comitted. Yet if the info was leaked by somebody who had authorized access to the information, or if the info was left somewhere that anybody could gain access to it, there wasn't any crime. Perhaps a breach of contract on the part of the employee, but not a crime, therefore no "accessory" charge possible.

    3) A reporter publishing information and somebody reselling stolen property are total polar opposites--one has nothing to do with the other. Please call a cab for your strawman--he appears to have had too much to drink.

    4) Only a government can criminalize disseminating information. A private party doesn't have this option. If they give the information to somebody who hands it to the press, their only redress is with the leaker and not the reporter/newspaper.

    Now, if they were suing the person who LEAKED the info for breach of a confidentiality agreement, they would have a case. But the reporter/newspaper who brings the information public is not comitting a crime, he is exercising his rights under the first amendment (and doing his job, to boot.)

In order to get a loan you must first prove you don't need it.

Working...