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Think Secret Gets Lawyer 371

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the polarize-the-hull-plating dept.
im333mfg writes "Looks like Nick dePlume and Think Secret have gotten some much needed help for their upcoming lawsuit battle with Apple. "Terry Gross of Gross & Belsky LLP, a lawyer at the forefront of Internet law since the net's early days, will defend Mac news Web site Think Secret from a lawsuit brought by Apple Computer Inc. 'Apple's attempt to silence a small publication's news reporting presents a troubling affront to the protections of the First Amendment,' said Nick dePlume, the site's publisher and editor in chief. 'I'm grateful that Mr. Gross has stepped forward to help defend these crucial freedoms.'""
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Think Secret Gets Lawyer

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  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @05:11PM (#11424240) Homepage Journal
    From the official Gross & Belsky LLP website [gbcounsel.com]:

    Terry Gross's bio [gbcounsel.com]

    REPRESENTATIVE CLIENTS [gbcounsel.com]
    O.J. Simpson Complaint Motion for Preliminary Injunction
    Quokka Sports, Inc.
    AlaskaMen Magazine
    Burning Man
    Women Count
    Republic of Cuba and its agencies and instrumentalities
    John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
    Food First
    Edna St. Vincent Millay Society
    Gianni Versace s.P.a.
    Supercuts, Inc.
    Chronicle Books
    Source Health & Mobility

  • Re:Trade secrets (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2005 @05:11PM (#11424244)
    For the last-time:

    Think Geek == Clothing store.
    Think Secret == Online apple rag.
  • heh (Score:5, Informative)

    by kupekhaize (220804) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @05:12PM (#11424251) Homepage
    I think he should do more research in the case before making public statements. Apple isn't suing ThinkSecret to have them stop posting news articles. They're suing to obtain the identity of the Apple Employee(s) who posted internal, confidential, NDA protected items that ThinkSecret published on their website. They're also upset that ThinkSecret was apparently trying to solicit the confidential information from employees to begin with.

    IF the allegation turns out to be true, I'd be pissed, too.
  • by geoffspear (692508) * on Thursday January 20, 2005 @05:29PM (#11424455) Homepage
    There's never been a journalist-source privilege. Journalists have been ordered by the courts to reveal their sources and gone to jail for contempt rather than breach their professional ethics.

    However, that's probably unlikely in a civil case. And in any event, this case isn't dealing with a subpoena for information about his source; he's being sued for tortious interference. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple offered to drop the charge in exchange for the name of his source, but I would be surprised if he's ordered to reveal it. I'd think that if Apple won they'd be awarded punitive monetary damages.

  • Re:Trade secrets (Score:3, Informative)

    by oliphaunt (124016) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @05:37PM (#11424575) Homepage
    mod parent (+1, insightful). Last I checked, exposing undercover CIA ops is still TREASON, but Robert Novak is still walking around free.

    This is a little trade secret squabble, and unless Apple can prove that TS committed a crime to obtain the information they published, or had a contractual relationship with Apple and breached that contract to reveal information THAT WASN'T EVEN 100% CORRECT, they don't have a case against him... Someone PROBABLY broke the rules, but TS should easily be able to get this claim dismissed.
  • Re:I'm confused (Score:3, Informative)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday January 20, 2005 @05:37PM (#11424585)
    Not being an American, someone may correct me on this, but doesnt the First Amendment only pertain to limitations on freedom and religious expression from the Government and not private companies?

    From here [cornell.edu]:

    The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference.

  • Re:I'm confused (Score:3, Informative)

    by zangdesign (462534) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @05:42PM (#11424648) Journal
    but doesnt the First Amendment only pertain to limitations on freedom and religious expression from the Government and not private companies?

    Yes, but don't try and change any misconceptions around here. They aren't listening and it won't work anyway. There is no First Amendment protection when you deal with a private corporation.

    The major difference is that we can choose to do business with a corporation or not, so if they offend us, it's off to the competition. Since the government effectively has no competition, and since it's a lawmaking body, the First Amendment provides the people with certain guarantees of redress for wrongs that they have no other means of handling.
  • Re:heh (Score:3, Informative)

    by learn fast (824724) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @05:47PM (#11424700)
    Apple isn't suing ThinkSecret to have them stop posting news articles. They're suing to obtain the identity of the Apple Employee(s) who posted internal, confidential, NDA protected items that ThinkSecret published on their website.

    Bzzt! Wrong. Try again. Apple wants the identities of those to whom Think Secret was leaked the info, but also claims it was "illegally soliciting Apple employees to violate confidentiality agreements" and they want "an injunction preventing further release of trade secrets." So, in effect they are suing to stop dePlume from posting news articles (so long as said articles have Apple trade secrets).
  • Re:Trade secrets (Score:2, Informative)

    by illest503 (130569) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @05:54PM (#11424809)
    I'm pretty sure the above poster meant to refer to ThinkSecret [thinksecret.com], the technology spoiler site, instead of ThinkGeek [thinkgeek.com], which sells nifty toys for geeks...
  • LOL Best troll ever (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rares Marian (83629) <hshdsgdsgfdsgfdr ... tdkiytdiytdc.org> on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:20PM (#11425122) Homepage
    How did Oliver North get involved in this?

    And what's a NADA Contract.

    Giveaway: Think GEEK!
  • Re:Trade secrets (Score:3, Informative)

    by moof1138 (215921) on Thursday January 20, 2005 @06:56PM (#11425611)
    Maybe you sould read your link. Those folks were arrested not for 'quoting bible verse', but for attempting to incite a riot. They went to Outfest looking to start trouble, not to peacefully quote the bible, and they were removed before they could cause the fights/riot they were trying to start.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2005 @07:08PM (#11425751)
    If Apple doesn't want the secret out, then they shouldn't share the secret until they're ready.


    Apple doesn't want the secret out and they aren't sharing it -- that's the implication here that you're missing. The leaks are from people obviously working at or for Apple and thus under a Non-Disclosure Agreement.

    Apple isn't going around parading new computers under black plastic and duct tape. They're sitting in the development labs, or being assembled in the factories, and somebody somewhere is leaking inside information to the outside much to Apple's displeasure.
  • Re:heh (Score:4, Informative)

    by belmolis (702863) <billposer@alum.m[ ]edu ['it.' in gap]> on Thursday January 20, 2005 @09:39PM (#11427214) Homepage
    There's nothing illegal (AFAIK) about asking someone to break a contract.

    It isn't a crime, and therefore is not illegal in the strict sense, but yes, inducing someone to break a contract is a tort, something that the injured party can sue you for. It is called tortious interference. Here's a definition [lectlaw.com]. You'll notice that one of the examples it gives is

    having the employees commit wrongs such as disclosing the former employer's trade secrets

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