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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."
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Apple Sues Think Secret

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  • Marketing ploy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @06:36AM (#11273907)
    This would certainly help more people hear more about Apple's new sub $500 Mac ;)
  • Bad Apple. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by onion2k (203094) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @06:40AM (#11273922) Homepage
    Apple couldn't find the internal leak, so they're shooting the messenger.. Not the nicest tactic ever.
  • In other news... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by davidoff404 (764733) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:03AM (#11274002)
    In other news from the carousel of litigation, Apple are being sued [bbc.co.uk] by an iTunes user who says that the lock in of iTunes to the iPod and iPod Mini is a violation of competition laws.

    Good to know that karma still works in this universe...
  • Where's the damages? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by spleck (312109) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:24AM (#11274070)
    Doesn't Apple need to prove that the leak somehow hurt them?

    I thought the rumors were helping... I had decided to hold on to my money in case these were real instead of building a video edit station for my home movies. I love my old B&W G3, but its just too slow to use on a daily basis for video editing. I would rather use iMovie on a $500 G4 at 1.25 GHz and I'm hoping it happens. Otherwise I've got stuff to order from newegg.
  • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DenDave (700621) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:27AM (#11274081)
    The sad thing is that in the mail list of stinkthecret.. um thinksecret the details of the machine were elaborated upon to such detail that it is undoubtedly a case of industrial espionage. Details on the construction and design... I have to say that, being a stinkthecret reader nonetheless, Apple has a point. I personally would not divulge that level of detail about a product on a internet community and I hope the guilty party is happy with the result.

    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.

    I don't believe for one second that Apple's Legal dept. has a grudge or is out to stiffle the community which so much loves the products their company produces.

    Stinking differently every day...

  • by nkh (750837) <exochicken@@@gmail...com> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:36AM (#11274107) Journal
    According to TS, this iMac was supposed to be for Windows users who had a previous Apple experience with the iPod. My Apple-fanboys friends always show me how OSX is the best OS ever and Apple is a great company. I never thought of buying a Mac before, but MAYBE this cheap Mac would have been a good introduction. It can be the Windows XP killer we've all been waiting for.

    But all I see of this Apple world is Steve trying to sue its customers and most loyal fans. I don't think I'm intersted anymore...
  • Re:Bad Apple. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CynicTheHedgehog (261139) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:38AM (#11274119) Homepage
    Or, they begin a lawsuit and the discovery process through which they can acquire much more information than they could otherwise. If the judge decides there is a case, then Apple is free to request (and must be provided) a lot of information it would not otherwise be privvy to...including ThinkSecret's source(s). Once they have the source I am sure the lawsuit will be dropped, since ThinkSecret itself is not under NDA. However, the source(s) will likely be terminated and/or sued themselves.

    Unless, of course, ThinkSecret destroys documents and/or lies under oath. One would hope that the "hero" in this story would suck it up and give Apple what they want so that they can enforce the contractual agreements they do have.
  • Re:Partiality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CrackedButter (646746) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:39AM (#11274124) Homepage Journal
    Maybe, but thats your opinion and I think you are generalising the slashdot crowd, a lot people here are actaully sick of the anti-MS stance here because it clouds discussion. We would have to wait and see the next time MS comes into the limelight.
  • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hype7 (239530) <u3295110.anu@edu@au> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @07:51AM (#11274187) Journal
    The sad thing is that in the mail list of stinkthecret.. um thinksecret the details of the machine were elaborated upon to such detail that it is undoubtedly a case of industrial espionage. Details on the construction and design... I have to say that, being a stinkthecret reader nonetheless, Apple has a point. I personally would not divulge that level of detail about a product on a internet community and I hope the guilty party is happy with the result.


    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.

    I don't believe for one second that Apple's Legal dept. has a grudge or is out to stiffle the community which so much loves the products their company produces.


    look, when an aura of secrecy surrounds anything like it does Apple, people who are interested in the object crave information. TS simply quenches that thirst, and it does it very well. If Apple doesn't want information leaked, it should stop it at the *source* - not the disseminators of information, like thinksecret.

    Thinksecret hasn't signed an NDA, they're not oblidged not to publish anything. On what basis then can Apple stop TS from saying what it wants?

    Fact is, you start down this slope, there's nowhere to stop, it's that slippery. By implication you're saying that before you can guess about any future Apple product, you have to run it by Apple first. But hey, why stop there? Next why not stop you from writing about Apple products altogether unless Apple approve it?

    And seeing we're making these blanket statements about what is and isn't publishable, why don't we run all future /. stores past MS before they're published?

    Thinksecret is just another type of the new form of journalism(TM). They do Apple-focussed exposes (heh) on products. I cannot see any moral basis for anyone preventing someone from publishing anonymous tips on the web; and I hope there isn't any legal basis and this is just Apple huffing and puffing and hoping to blow TS over. Otherwise, watch out, www.drudgereport.com and so on will be next.

    -- james
  • Re:In other news... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:31AM (#11274405) Homepage Journal
    The iTunes suit is a farce, IMO. Apple permits burning to CD, and you can even use that CD in iTunes to "import" the tracks as MP3. There you have it, two ways to play a track on nearly any portable audio player.

    I still question the idea of purchasing music as a pre-comressed data file, DRM'ed files at that. I'd much rather patronize my local used CD store, that way I don't get rights that might disappear if the computer or iPod crashes and I can't revoke its authorization. The files I can back up, sure, but if I hit my authorization limit then I'm screwed.
  • by sg3000 (87992) * <sg_public@m[ ]com ['ac.' in gap]> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:33AM (#11274418)
    > how do you know they haven't been spreading their own
    > rumours... ;)

    I think they've done this before.

    Back in 1998, rumor sites started talking about a new product Apple was going to launch dubbed "Apple Media Player", with a code name of "Columbus". Eventually mainstream news outlets picked it up. For example, C|Net wrote an article "Apple stakes future on new device" [com.com].

    Apple Computer (AAPL) is working on portable and TV set-top entertainment devices that offer Internet access and play everything from music CDs to DVD movies, as the company refashions itself for the convergence of consumer electronics and PC technologies.

    The idea was it was supposed to compete with WebTV.

    So everyone went into MacWorld thinking that Apple was going to get into the "set-top box" business. Instead, Apple introduced the iMac [apple-history.nl].

    Some people thought that Apple allowed the rumors of the "Apple Media Player" themselves in order to distract from the iMac's launch. It was even thought that the name was chosen to suggest that Apple was playing the media.
  • About Think Secret (Score:5, Interesting)

    by adzoox (615327) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @08:53AM (#11274527) Journal
    I have thought for a long time that Think Secret had the sole intention of harming Apple.

    Their rumor accuaracy is amazing and it seems they like to steal any thunder they can from Apple.

    They take any good news and put a negative spin on it such as; iPod sales. It is predicted that Apple will sell 4 million+ iPods this quarter ... Think Secret's spin is - small Apple Reseller's weren't getting enough and the two hard drive suppliers probably wouldn't be able to keep up.

    I have also believed that Think Secret's knowledge of the reseller lawsuit brought on MacAdam & Elite Computers is a little too intimate. It's almost like THIS is who's running the show there.

    I think Apple should go after them for more than just "trade secret revealing and developer coercing" but also libel and malicious intent.

    By The Time It Got To The Other End Of The Room: Notes About Apple Rumor Sites [jackwhispers.com]

  • Warning to the Site (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:12AM (#11274692)
    Why are people complaining about Apple trying to protect an unreleased/unannounced product? Apple contacted the site and requested that they remove the information from their site. The site decided to tell Apple "No". At this point, if Apple wants to protect what they are working on, the only real option they have at that point is to sue to the site to have the content removed.

    While it might not seem like publishing this type of information is a big deal, but it can have lots of effects on Apple. If people hear about this new $500 computer they are supposed to release soon, they could lose business because people just continue to push off buying a new computer until this one is announced(if ever). I know I have been guilty of doing this. Before Apple released their G5 computers, there had been rumors for over a year that they were going to be released "any day now". I waited over a six months since they were supposed to be released so soon, but they never came. After I went ahead and bought my new G4, it was still another 5 months before they announced the G5.
  • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Alan Partridge (516639) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:31AM (#11274895) Journal
    Why is life being meaningless a problem?

    Tennis is meaningless, yet it can still be good fun.
  • Re:Marketing ploy? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by torpor (458) <ibisum@gmail. c o m> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @11:12AM (#11276254) Homepage Journal
    But no -- I've never said anything about the Access line that wasn't told to me at a tradeshow infront of a dozen others or sent to me in an official email. Maybe if I owned one, I'd try to get in someones pants, but this hasn't happened yet :-)


    okay, well i apologize. i clearly need to get my sonikmatter personalities straight. there have been threads discussing current product development, though, which have made me literally cringe ...

    and i know you have a good enough relationship with the marketing folks here to have a 'line' on new details .. its those secret tips from beta testers that never get 'squashed' which irk me most ..
  • Re:There's no way... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KillerDeathRobot (818062) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @02:07PM (#11278880) Homepage
    That's why they're suing saying that Think Secret enticed people to break NDA, which IS illegal (or I assume it's illegal anyway).
  • by SnowDog74 (745848) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @02:35PM (#11279336)
    The problem I have with this situation is, if the folks at ThinkSecret really cared about how Mac fares... why on earth would they be so stupid as to give everyone, Microsoft included, advance notice?



    The entire purpose of maintaining trade secrets is to be able to give the competition as little time as possible to react... The hope here would be that Apple burst out with the product, and Microsoft and the PC manufacturers would be scrambling to react... by which time it'd already be too late and Apple would, as they have done with iMac and iPod in the past, rake in a chunk before the non-innovators in the industry knew what hit them.



    The Apple customer base is characteristically known for its sense of community... we like Apple, their products, their ideology (well, the pre-Sculley, post-Amelio ideology of Steve Jobs)... we want to see them do well so we can continue to enjoy their products.



    What kind of idiot ruins the surprise? The same kind of idiot that makes an entire business model out of telling you what you're bound to find out a few days later... Yes, I'm referring to that self-absorbed idiot who can't seem to stop stammering about his great comic book collection, Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News.



    At any rate, Apple has a legitimate concern... and their concern affects not only their bottom line, but ours as well.



    That is, unless there are any individuals here who really believe that Microsoft Windows is the most innovative, most productive operating system on the market, or that Microsoft Office is the most efficient, most cost-effective and most intuitively-designed productivity suite ever made...

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

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