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Apple Fails Due Diligence in Trade Secret Case 236

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-your-homework dept.
Brett writes "Despite claims to the contrary, it now appears that Apple didn't do any serious investigation inside the company before they sued AppleInsider and the PowerPage. This is quite a bit of a problem because Californian law and First Amendment precedent requires Apple check up on itself before threatening journalists. From the article, "It appears that Apple has adopted a shoot-first, ask questions later approach to dealing with rumors sites. The company took no depositions, required no oaths from its employees, and failed to subpoena anyone related to the company or the development of the device in question.""
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Apple Fails Due Diligence in Trade Secret Case

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  • Oh, well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Pig Hogger (10379)
    Win some, lose most of them...
  • by doublem (118724) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @08:15AM (#13565296) Homepage Journal
    I still don't get why people are so enamored with Apple. For every piece of FUD Microsoft spews, Apple tosses out a lawsuit.

    People forget that Apple sued Microsoft to keep non Apple GUIS off the market. If they had their way, everything would be text mode or Apple. No Windows, no X, no nothing. The only up shot to this I can think of is we'd have been spared the silly KDE vs GNOME battles. OF course that's because if Apple had their way, neither would exist.

    They're no better than Microsoft, SUN or even SCO, but because they're considered an underdog in the hardware and OS wars, shenanigans like this are given a free pass.

    What gives?

    We're talking about a company who took until version TEN to have a decent OS, and still ships their laptops with one frigging mouse button, even though they cram as much functionality into the alternate mouse buttons as any Windows developer.
    • by damieng (230610) * on Thursday September 15, 2005 @08:23AM (#13565351) Homepage Journal
      I think you are forgetting that Microsoft didn't have any GUI under development when Apple gave them Mac developer kits for them to write Office for the Mac.

      Apple had given Xerox shares in exchange for just a demo of what they had achieved at PARC.

      Microsoft did not give Apple or Xerox anything.
      • by tpgp (48001) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:17AM (#13565659) Homepage
        I think you are forgetting that Microsoft didn't have any GUI under development when Apple gave them Mac developer kits for them to write Office for the Mac.

        So what? Do you really believe that Apple had the right to "copyright" items like overlapping windows?

        Microsoft (filth tho they are) were IMO able to reimplement Apples GUI if they so chose.

        Or do you believe that Apple should not be able to use items like tabbed dialogue boxes? (they appeared in windows first)

        Apple had given Xerox shares in exchange for just a demo of what they had achieved at PARC.

        Reference please. I see many Apple shills pulling this out, but it seems to be contradicted by Xerox sueing Apple. [utexas.edu]

        Choice quote from the article:
        Xerox contends that such software should be licensed widely to encourage a single industry standard. But Apple has tried to prevent other companies from imitating its software, in an attempt to differentiate its products from those of competitors.

        Microsoft did not give Apple or Xerox anything.

        so what?
        I don't believe they should have - they didn't steal Apple's copyrighted code did they?

        Apple are a great company - they make nice hardware, a reasonable Unix like system to run on it and are innovative in many ways.

        But it doesn't mean we have to defend them when they're clearly wrong.
        • by eyegone (644831) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @10:13AM (#13566099)

          Or do you believe that Apple should not be able to use items like tabbed dialogue boxes? (they appeared in windows first)

          I remember seeing them in OS/2 before Windows 95 came out.
          • Or do you believe that Apple should not be able to use items like tabbed dialogue boxes? (they appeared in windows first)

            I remember seeing them in OS/2 before Windows 95 came out.

            OK - I should have said "they appeared in non-apple operating systems first" (fwiw I found this information at wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

            But it doesn't really change my point does it? All GUI developers copy useful GUI features from each other.

            • To a point. Clearly had the patent case gone differently I bet Apple would have done the UI differently. I'd note one big patent UI precedence though - Adobe's patents for movable tabs that one sees in say Photoshop but never in non-Adobe products.
              • To a point. Clearly had the patent case gone differently I bet Apple would have done the UI differently.

                I'm not sure what you mean, but Apple vs Microsoft was a copyright case, not a patent case.

                I'd note one big patent UI precedence though - Adobe's patents for movable tabs that one sees in say Photoshop but never in non-Adobe products.

                Broad software patents are not valid in most parts of the world. I note that Opera - a European browser contains movable tabs. [opera.com]

                From the linked article:

                Change the order of the

        • by Reverberant (303566) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:02AM (#13566554) Homepage
          Reference please. I see many Apple shills pulling this out, but it seems to be contradicted by Xerox sueing Apple.

          The very link you provided contains the following statement: "Mr. Jobs had been permitted to visit the Xerox laboratory in return for allowing Xerox to invest in one of Apple's last private financing offerings." More links. [google.com]

          they didn't steal Apple's copyrighted code did they?

          For the GUI, no. For Quicktime (AVI), tes [theregister.co.uk]

          • The very link you provided contains the following statement: "Mr. Jobs had been permitted to visit the Xerox laboratory in return for allowing Xerox to invest in one of Apple's last private financing offerings." More links.

            OK - the statement as worded was correct in a legalistic sense. However, many take Apples share off to mean that Xerox ceded Apple all rights to their UI. This is simply not true - as the Xerox lawsuit link I provided shows.

            they didn't steal Apple's copyrighted code did they?

            For the GUI,

        • Apple had given Xerox shares in exchange for just a demo of what they had achieved at PARC.

          Reference please. I see many Apple shills pulling this out, but it seems to be contradicted by Xerox sueing Apple. [utexas.edu]

          The very link you reference says this:

          Mr. Jobs had been permitted to visit the Xerox laboratory in return for allowing Xerox to invest in one of Apple's last private financing offerings.

          And another reference [mac.com]:

          Jobs offered Xerox the opportunity to invest $1 million in Apple by b

    • The main difference between Microsoft and Apple as I see it: Apple makes great software and hardware. Microsoft makes crappy software and decent hardware.

      Lots of people love Apple. This has nothing to do with the company's treatment of rumour sites or any other legal matters. It has to do with the great hardware and software Apple makes.

      • Apple makes great software and hardware.

        Yeah, but that's just your opinion. I bought a Powerbook last summer to start playing with OSX. I just sold it a couple of months back and went back, happily, to XP. I couldn't stand their interface. No, let me clarify...the interface was nice, but I found it terribly difficult to use. Too mouse-centric, and considering the mouse is a PITA with its one button, that didn't work for me. It might be nice and simple for first time users and long time Mac users, b
    • by AnonymousYellowBelly (913452) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @08:40AM (#13565426)
      Well, sometimes Apple is no better than some of the assholes that run/runed the company. For the sake of the people that live in the RDF: I'm not talking of Steve Jobs -many mistakes but good overall-.

      Yes, some of this guys are control freaks, DRM-lovers, RIAA-bitches, that are no different than MS/SCO/SUN troops.

      What IS different is the organizational culture of Apple and other companies. I believe it is better than Microsoft's, Sun's and, definitely, SCO's. That I like, and because of it Apple is capable of making great products not only because they want big profits but for the sake of doing things right.

      Sometimes it seems that they are forced to do "Good Things", or that their intentions are not 'pure', like some interactions with the OS community.
      But look at their DRM strategy compared to M$. They looked at things from the user's perspective and tried to change the views of the RIAA to match the 'reality' of us. I don't think this was only motivated by profit but because Apple 'thinks different' than M$.

      As for the case at hand: I don't think Apple should be suing those websites. They should plug their leaks.
       
      • by Anonymous Coward
        What IS different is the organizational culture of Apple and other companies. I believe it is better than Microsoft's, Sun's and, definitely, SCO's. That I like, and because of it Apple is capable of making great products not only because they want big profits but for the sake of doing things right.

        A friend of mine interviewed for some iPod special projects group at Apple. When asking for specifics about the position, he was told that he shouldn't care what he was working on as long as it was for Apple.

    • Hmm, care to name then _one_ (successful) company worth rooting for?
    • by HairyCanary (688865) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:17AM (#13565653)
      I would not call myself enamored with Apple, but I do see a distinction between them and Microsoft.

      Apple is a small company, they have no monopoly in any market, and in the market where they are the strongest (iPod) they do not show a tendency to prey on other manufacturers at the expense of the customer. They simply out-compete everyone else by producing a superior product (superior at least, in the definition of most consumers).

      Microsoft on the other hand, has a monopoly in several markets, and exploits their position to maintain the monopoly at the expense of innovation, and ultimately the customer. Microsoft does not maintain their dominance in the market by producing a superior product (even the die-hard Microsoft apologists would conceed that point), they do it by force. Shady business practices, bastardization of standards, etc.

      So yes, Apple pulls some stunts, like this one, which it should be criticized for. But to use this kind of misstep as an excuse for the absolutely unholy way Microsoft operates is to make a huge mathmatical mistake ;-). Microsoft has several orders of magnitude more impact on societ than does Apple, and therefore Microsoft -has- to be held to even higher standards.

      • "Microsoft has several orders of magnitude more impact on societ than does Apple, and therefore Microsoft -has- to be held to even higher standards."

        HAD. What was the last thing MS did that mattered, versus the last thing Apple did that mattered (iPod). I think one could make the argument that Apple is more culturally relevant right now than MS.
      • by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:33AM (#13566897)
        Apple is a small company, they have no monopoly in any market, and in the market where they are the strongest (iPod) they do not show a tendency to prey on other manufacturers at the expense of the customer.

        Then why can't I play songs purchased from iTunes on my Creative player?
        • Because iTunes is designed as an incentive for people to buy iPods.

          Predatory would be more along the lines of Creative suing Apple for using menus on its music player.

          If you want to buy a Creative player, that's fine. You can do so, and use every online music provider that's not Apple--none of which will let themselves work on an iPod, either, I might add. Apple's not saying you can't play any music on your Creative player, just that you can't buy it from them in particular.

          Do you think it's predatory that
        • Then why can't I play songs purchased from iTunes on my Creative player?

          Turn their old "RIP MIX BURN" ad campaign on its head.

          MIX the songs into a playlist about 70 minutes long.

          BURN them to CD.

          RIP them to MP3.

          In some cases there MAY be a detectable loss of quality from the re-encoding, but if you cared about quality you'd have bought the original CD instead of the lossy-compressed online versions anyway.
        • by rsborg (111459) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @03:04PM (#13569160) Homepage
          they do not show a tendency to prey on other manufacturers at the expense of the customer.

          Then why can't I play songs purchased from iTunes on my Creative player?

          Same reason you can't see AIM buddies on your yahoo IM tool. Apple *created* their own network (iTunes). It's theirs to use. No other company has the RIGHT to inherently have their products work with with it. Compare and contrast this with Microsoft who has repeatedly *actively sabotaged* other companies' products from working with their system, especially when that system was pre-existing and open (hint: microsoft.com sent bad headers toOpera browsers).

          Both Apple and Microsoft are evil to some degree, but the depth of their evil is entire leagues apart.

      • "Apple is a small company"

        Apple is a huge company.

        "and in the market where they are the strongest (iPod) they do not show a tendency to prey on other manufacturers at the expense of the customer."

        They prevent other companies from providing iTunes compatible hardware, and they prevent other companies from providing iPod compatible software. This is preying on other manufacturors at the expense of the customer. Note that I don't deny they have a right to do this, but they clearly do it.
    • That there weren't software patents back then. Windows wouldn't exist, or if it did a hefty fee would be paid to Apple for every license.

      Oh wait patents foster innovation. Right....
      • You got it there.

        Apple would OWN the GUI, and real graphics work would be next to impossible without it, because everything necessary would be patented.

        Apple wanted to be what Microsoft is, they just have some good marketing pushing a neuvo Hippie image.
    • > I still don't get why people are so enamored with Apple. For every piece of FUD Microsoft spews, Apple
      > tosses out a lawsuit.

      Because Apple makes great stuff, as opposed to the M$ monopoly offal that we are forced to use at work.

      jfs

      • So it's OK to be a slimeball, as long as your product is good.
        • So it's OK to be a slimeball, as long as your product is good.

          No, it's not OK. But the reality is that if you are going to be a jerk, people are far more likely to tolerate you and make excuses for you if you produce something they appreciate and find important, than if you don't.

          So I guess the lesson is, don't be a jerk if you don't have to. If you can't help it, at least have some redeeming qualities.

    • Your post does read a lot like a troll.

      In my house I happen to have two documents - one is the instruction manual that came with an Apple //gs. The other is the instruction manual that came with Windows 1.0.

      Anyone with half a brain can flip through both books, look at screenshots, and realize that they are almost identical. This is not a "KDE copies the Windows UI", this is "Wow, if I had not looked at the cover of the book, I would not be able to identify some of these screenshots correctly."

      Based on that
      • Except that Apple did *not* sue for Windows 1.0, because this version had non-overlapping windows, precisely as the Apple-Microsoft GUI agreement said.

        Apple sued for Windows 2.0, which did have overlapping windows, and had broadly similar look-and-feel as the Macintosh GUI.

        BTW Apple threw away lots of creds for this stupid move and haven't quite recovered. It should be a lesson for all, no matter what your behaviour later on, one really stupid & evil move does stick, and for a long time, as this thread
    • If they had their way, everything would be text mode

      You say that like it's a bad thing.
    • Apple Good! Apple Bad! These /. people are having trouble making up their mind.

      Microsoft, by concentrating on software, helped build an industry of interchangable hardware and software. They are to thank for low cost, reliable (mostly) PC components. Even Apple has benefited from the technology, leveraging low-cost chipsets for disk drives, USB, keyboard and mouse controllers, etc.

      Apple, on the other hand, wants to control everything--hardware and software. If it were feasable, everything would be propr

      • You;re suffering form a common delusion.

        You seem to think that your impression of the prevailing /. opinion on a topic is the opinion that all /. readers and posters should have.

        I, as an individual, am not being inconsistent.

        I think Apple products are largely dumbed down and lame. I think they're a collection of jerks who wanted to be monopolists, but didn't have the business savvy in the 1980's to pull it off, and have been culturing an underdog, hippie image ever since.

        I dissent from what you see as the
    • People root for Apple because they're tired of a Microsoft world. Even I think the world would be much better if the market were 50/50 Microsoft/Apple.

      I don't want Apple to completely take over. I just want there to be real, solid competition. The sort of competition that drives real innovation, and keeps developers from only working with on platform because it is "dominant".

      I want Apple and Microsoft to outright go to war. Bloody, no-holds-barred war. When this happens, we win; neither company will try fun
    • by piecewise (169377)
      So, if Apple does so many things right, develops a new industry, has one of the most successful product in history, creates a killer OS, becomes a top global brand, sparks their performances, sales, and stocks, and makes the whole Valley jealous -- that's apparently talked about too much by your standards.

      However, if Apple makes a legal mistake, that should be the topic of conversation?

      Look, Apple is doing amazing things. They deserve - and will continue to deserve - immense credit. They're certainly much m
      • If Apple gets more positive press than it does negative, it seems clear that they DO more positive things than negative.

        No, it just means the press is reporting more of the good things they do.

        Remember, the "News" media is there to get our eyeballs delivered to advertisers, not to actually inform us.
    • Apple may have waited until version ten to get a decent OS out (a point that may be debated, by the way), but MS didn't have anything close until version 95... nearly an order of magnitude :)
      • I don't know about that.

        While networking, memory management and multitasking were lacking, Windows 3.1 was a decent OS, and DOS is second only to a good BASH prompt in overall power.

        And they were both fairly light on processor usage.
    • People forget that Apple sued Microsoft to keep non Apple GUIS off the market.

      They sued because Microsoft had made an agreement with them about what they were going to do with Windows. Then Microsoft decided the agreement meant one thing, Apple decided it meant another, and the judge sided with Microsoft.

      It was Xerox who sued over whether anyone else could have a GUI. Because, after all, they did invent it. The judge said 'you idiots, you waited too long' and that was the end of it.
    • We're talking about a company who took until version TEN to have a decent OS

      True. But so what. It's now the best OS out there. Do you tell people you meet "it took 3.5 billion yours for you to evolve so clearly you are a crap person?" Before OSX Apple was in a rut producing second rate products. The company reinvented itself. It seems wrong to hold its past against it, just as I no longer joke about the BSOD now that MS have had a stable OS since 2000.

      If they had their way, everything would be text mod

    • "For every piece of FUD Microsoft spews, Apple tosses out a lawsuit."

      I would say there are not enough laywers in the world for that :)

      People forget that Apple sued Microsoft to keep non Apple GUIS off the market. If they had their way, everything would be text mode or Apple. No Windows, no X, no nothing.

      See? Now that is what we call FUD, in case you wondered. They sued because of certain similarities in the GUI. And they sued because they had a contract with MS, of which Apple thought MS would have viola

  • by bigtallmofo (695287) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @08:15AM (#13565301)
    The summary is very conclusive that Apple failed to do something required by law. Though from TFA:

    "The First Amendment requires that compelled disclosure from journalists be a last resort," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "Apple must first investigate its own house before seeking to disturb the freedom of the press."

    Is the only source of this information in the summary this quote from an attorney working against Apple? If so, something stated by an opposing attoreny in the middle of a case shouldn't be taken as settled fact.
    • Especially the part about him being a journalist! That's contested by Apple and others. And the most interesting part of this case: Is any random guy with a webpage a journalist with the right to protect his sources (he can allways keep quiet, but if he's not a journalist he'll get in trouble).

      So this is more like an attempt by his attorney to establish as a fact that he's a journalist.
      • That's one of the decisions I hope will fall out from all this. If J. Random Busybody happens to find out something covered by an NDA, can he just buy a domain name, throw up a web page with that information and claim "Hey, I'm a journalist, I don't have to tell you anything!"? Hopefully not, but how long do you have to have a web site up before you become recognized as a journalist? Is there some specific kind of content you have to include (editorials?), or some specific disclaimer? Does your site hav
    • by tpgp (48001) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @08:51AM (#13565502) Homepage
      Articles from the register [theregister.co.uk] and many others [google.com] make it sound more like EFF had court documents unsealed that show Apple's lack of dilligence.

      From the reg article:

      Apple's legal eagles failed to take depositions or subpoena its own employees, and didn't examine telephone records or individuals' computers. It made only a cursory examination of a single email server. The testimony was provided by Robin Zonic and Al Ortiz, senior manager of investigations, and senior investigator in the corporate security department at Apple....

      Seriously - I really don't understand why the Apple Fans are defending Apple on this one. Apple crossed the line of reasonableness here, defending them means you've crossed the line from fan to shill.

      • by node 3 (115640)
        Seriously - I really don't understand why the Apple Fans are defending Apple on this one. Apple crossed the line of reasonableness here, defending them means you've crossed the line from fan to shill.

        I haven't seen a single person defend Apple on this one. The poster you just called a "shill" was merely pointing out that it's not established that Apple has legally failed to undertake due diligence. That's for a judge or jury to decide, *not* the legal opposition.

        *Everyone* is upset that Apple sued the websi
        • by tpgp (48001)
          I haven't seen a single person defend Apple on this one.
          Here you go [slashdot.org]
          The poster you just called a "shill" was merely pointing out that it's not established that Apple has legally failed to undertake due diligence. That's for a judge or jury to decide, *not* the legal opposition.

          No. The OP tried to make the entire summary sound incorrect.

          Despite claims to the contrary, it now appears that Apple didn't do any serious investigation inside the company before they sued AppleInsider and the PowerPage

          Court documents

          • No. The OP tried to make the entire summary sound incorrect.

            No, the OP said, "The summary is very conclusive that Apple failed to do something required by law. Though from TFA:"

            In other words, he wasn't saying that the "entire summary" was incorrect, but that the conclusiveness the summary conveys isn't well supported.

            Court documents appear to back this [Apple's failure of due diligence] up.

            I agree, but that wasn't the point. The point wasn't that "Apple did no wrong", but that the basis of this claim is a
        • they're clearly not every bit as evil as ms.

          if that were true, everyone with even a small bit of sense could see it.

          the reason people get pissed off is that apple customers seem to defend them even in cases where the action isn't approved of by the rest of the computer using population.

          personally, as i have grown up i have lost all sense of "loyalty" to companies and corporations. they simply, from my point of view, don't deserve anything of the kind.

          i give them money in exchange for services/products. that
    • Is the only source of this information in the summary this quote from an attorney working against Apple? If so, something stated by an opposing attoreny in the middle of a case shouldn't be taken as settled fact.

      Exactly. My understanding of the law is that Apple must first exhaust all reasonable alternatives, not all alternatives. The EFF seems to want to claim that deposing up to all employees would have been reasonable; Apple disagrees.
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @08:16AM (#13565302)
    The article is not based on any decision made by a judge, it is based on what the opposing lawyers say. It is not even based on the _opinion_ of the opposing lawyers (which they might be very wise to keep to themselves), but on their interpretation that is most helpful to their clients.

    It would be interesting to see what Apple's lawyers think about it. Maybe, just maybe, they have a slightly different point of few. Maybe they don't quite agree that the victim of a crime has to shoulder all the cost and hardship of the investigation.
    • by MojoRilla (591502) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @09:18AM (#13565670)
      Maybe they don't quite agree that the victim of a crime has to shoulder all the cost and hardship of the investigation.

      This is not a criminal lawsuit. This is a civil case.

      From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

      In civil law cases, the "burden of proof" requires the plaintiff to convince the trier of fact (whether judge or jury) of the plaintiff's entitlement to the relief sought. This means that the plaintiff must prove each element of the claim, or cause of action, in order to recover.

      If this wasn't the case, you would have companies making sweeping allegations and suing with no evidence. But no company [wikipedia.org] would ever do that, would they?
    • I don't care what Apple's lawyers think. As far as I'm concerned they should be up against the wall by now.

      The story is that the judge unsealed the documents, and those documents show that Apple didn't fulfil its obligations to investigate internally FIRST. Besides, this is the EFF, they usually pick their causes well. I trust their legal actions much more than any corporations, because they're not out just to make money, they're here to protect people's rights.

      I wonder if that's grounds for a malicious pro
      • Apple didn't fulfil its obligations to investigate internally FIRST.

        Sitting in a different jurisdiction, knowing little about U.S. law, I find myself asking: So all it takes for a U.S. corporation to compel a journalist (or anybody else) to reveal his source is that they conduct an internal investigation?

        I understand we are talking about the First Amendment here, about fundamental civil rights. You should be able to talk to the press and trust them not to reveal their source unless some action of your o

        • This is a little different than a lot of First Amendment cases in that the information the journalist obtained was simply trade secrets. While I think First Amendment rights are extremely important, I don't see protecting the source of a trade secret in the same light as, say, protecting a whistle blower who tips off a journalist to illegal or morally corrupt behavior.

          If you obtained trade secrets under an NDA, you do NOT have the right to tell those to a journalist at all. If a company can prove that it
  • by brajesh (847246) <brajesh.sachanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @08:18AM (#13565315) Homepage

    Here [eff.org] is a comprehensive summary of the case at EFF's site. The coverage has obvious bias, but informative nonetheless.
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @08:18AM (#13565317) Homepage Journal
    They don't wanna lose their jobs,
    "Of fucking course I didn't tell Apple Insider anything".

    The mole may not even have known about a deliberate leak, similar to earlier this morning reading about Yahoo mail updates - this was 1st posted:
    I saw the new interface when my cousin, who works for yahoo was visiting [slashdot.org]
    • Thats the nice thing about taking depositions ... once you do that, if you eventually uncover the mole they've now committed an extra crime. This can help to put fear into the mole, and maybe make them think twice about continuing to expose information.
  • by narzy (166978) * <narzy2001 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @08:18AM (#13565321) Homepage
    Way to go Apple, you ass hats.

    When the story first broke that apple was sueing rumor sites I withheld judgement, you see I run a review site, I understand the dynamics of the tech industry and the vital role of a journalist, I also understand the letters NDA, and what they mean to a company, and what they mean to me when I sign one. I do feel that as a journalist I have protections given to me by the US constitution protecting me and everyone for that matter from persecution and prosocution as a result of what I write.

    That being said it also needs to be aknowlaged that there have to be some checks and balances in the system that allow companies to protect information that if released early could damage the company. We need to recognize that we do have great freedoms and powers in the press but that we need to make sure we use those powers and freedoms responsibly, for example not outing a CIA agent that isn't doing anything more then her job, that isn't say stealing from the Repbulican National Convention headquarters, but is making our country a safer place. You know that thing we refer to as common sense.

    We as a society also need to infer and compel in to people that when they make a resonable agreement with someone be it a company or other individual or institution, they need to be held to that agreement, meaning if employee's of apple did disclose information about an upcomming product and had signed an NDA, and the upcomming product was not part of a large and publicly damaging scandal they had no right to reveal that information to a third party, and thusly the third party doesn't have the right (even under freedom of the press / speech) to reveal that information to the public.
    • That being said it also needs to be aknowlaged that there have to be some checks and balances in the system that allow companies to protect information that if released early could damage the company.

      Yes, balances are lacking in a lot of ways. The other side of the coin is that in this industry, everything is under NDA. When I accept employment, I have to sign a paper that says basically my employer owns everything that crosses my mind, and I can't talk to anyone about anything that the company owns. E

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I run a review site, I understand the dynamics of the tech industry and the vital role of a journalist

      You certainly do. It's spelt "suing", not "sueing"; "prosecution", not "prosocution"; "acknowledged", not "aknowlaged"; "Republican", not "Repbulican"; "reasonable", not "resonable"; and "upcoming", not "upcomming". Also, proper nouns tend to start with a capital letter, and apostrophes aren't used for plurals. You need more commas too.

      I don't usually play spelling/grammar nazi, but your spelling a


    • Or to put it more succintly: "With great power comes great responsibility" ;-)

  • Not that apple shouldn't have done checks at home, but given the fact that most employees are aware that they can be easily monitored under company premises (especially when working on a secretive stuff), most of such sources would typically NOT use company resources, so it doesn't make much sense to search them.

    Instead ask the "journalist" himself.

    Again, Apple SHOULD have done checks at home, just to be on the safe side of law at least.
    • If you don't use resources you have, why have them?

      If I was working at Apple (I don't) intending to leak secrets (which I wouldn't), and knew that they monitored everything, but never looked at those monitors to see what happened, you bet I'd use company resources to leak things. When I send something from an anonymous source, I'm not trustworthy. Anyone can say anything, if I can make my leaks come from apple, I'm not just anyone, I'm clearly an Apple insider, and thus more trustworthy.

      If Apple isn't

  • Apple did introduce a great product in Ipod, proving that usability and industrial design can help corner a market. And the tie in to itunes was an excellent idea from the perspective of locking in a market. Furthermore the inability of ipod to understand any DRM other than Fairplay means taht any musician who wants to sell music and have it be portable while having DRM must sell via itunes. These are all great ways to sell a product, and "bring portable music to the masses."

    History is full of great but evi
  • by EraserMouseMan (847479) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @08:41AM (#13565432)
    We don't even want to know about the details. We forgive them anyway. But deep down inside we know that they are not really at fault or it was just an honest mistake. And I'm almost sure MS has something to do with this.

  • No one will dare publish interesting rumors, even if they're not legally protected trade secrets, unless they're either judgment-proof or have their own pack of snarling lawyers.
  • by museumpeace (735109) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @10:54AM (#13566458) Journal
    Rumors don't come from nowhere. What if all Apple needs to accomplish is to intimdidate a few talkative employees? They don't have to win a lawsuit to demonstrate that they mean business, just bring a suit to court. And consider the other costs of "due diligence": if they have to go from cube to cube with a polygraph, they are going to alienate a lot of their own people. "Shoot first and ask questions later" can work OK if you only mean to fire warning shots.
  • Devils advocate... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Formz (870969)
    Did anyone stop and think that it was more of a scare tactic than anything else? I for one can't sit here and actually believe that the lawyers for the fastest growing computer company in the world has inept lawyers.

    My guess is they did it to scare the people who were leaking, just to prove that they CAN do something, without actually DOING something.

    But then again, I'm just speculating.
  • This is quite a bit of a problem because Californian law and First Amendment precedent requires Apple check up on itself before threatening journalists.

    This is clearly wrong. The law requires nothing for a lawsuit but an allegation. Most companies actually get the desired result from these kind of lawsuits because the defendent doesn't have the money to fight it. The only way you can recover your money from the plaintif is if you can prove the plaintif knew the lawsuit was bogus, but judges rarely (mea

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