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Apple Lawyering Up On "Fake Steve Jobs" 346

An anonymous reader sends us to The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs for a developing situation. Daniel Lyons, a.k.a. Fake Steve Jobs, made a post earlier today revealing that Apple was offering him some money (in the wake of the ThinkSecret shutdown) to close down his blog. He said he was interested in taking it. A few hours later, Lyons posted again revealing that Apple's lawyers had contacted him angrily, saying the details of the deal were supposed to remain private. Fake Steve replied 'we either deal out in the open, completely transparently, or we don't deal.' A third post gives details of Apple's lawyers' next response, going totally medieval on him. Since then the situation has calmed down a bit.
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Apple Lawyering Up On "Fake Steve Jobs"

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  • by wakim1618 ( 579135 ) on Saturday December 22, 2007 @11:33PM (#21795072)
    Apple's lawyers threatened the welfare of the guy and his family and proceeded to list his assets and their value:

    Their lists includes my home address, most recent assessed value of my house and all the information about my mortgage; a rental property that we own; my bank accounts and investment accounts, including the college funds for our kids, whose names are used; and our boat and two cars.

    Aren't US Banks and financial institutions legally obligated to protect your private information such as the terms of your mortgage and the details of your bank and investment accounts?

  • by Cheerio Boy ( 82178 ) * on Saturday December 22, 2007 @11:37PM (#21795102) Homepage Journal

    I don't get why Apple bothers with this. If they bribe this guy to shut down, they have to bribe the next guy who startsup a blog about apple secrets, and the next guy, and the next guy. Do they think these people have super powers and once they're gone, their secrets are safe?
    I do believe you've not only described the results of paying off people who blackmail others but have also given us a new business model to pursue...

    TIme to start up an "Apple Secretz" blog. ;-)

    Regardless, what Apple is doing is not very bright in my opinion. Parody is still fairly well protected despite the best efforts of big business/government to remove that protection and it says FAKE right in the title...
  • a joke? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by clragon ( 923326 ) on Saturday December 22, 2007 @11:40PM (#21795128)
    I was just reading the comments in the last link [] and found a comment made by blogger Diogenes:

    I wrote a bit of an inflammatory email to, and actually got a response.

    Here is the text of the conversation (read bottom to top, of course) ...

    I think this is all a joke. And I think you fell for it.


    On Dec 22, 2007, at 2:35 PM, Gary Baldwin wrote:

    I'm not sure who I've reached here, but in the interest of finishing what you start, this is what I'm referring to: []

    On Dec 22, 2007, at 5:29 PM, Steve Jobs wrote:

    What, praytell, are you talking about?

    On Dec 22, 2007, at 2:01 PM, Gary Baldwin wrote:

    I'm an admitted Apple fanboy, but I can't say I admire this. I would have thought you all would have appreciated the affectionate satire rather than being unaccountable assholes.

    Gary Baldwin

    I really do hope this is a joke, Apple doesn't have much to gain pulling a stunt like this...
  • Re:I'm just glad... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Saturday December 22, 2007 @11:43PM (#21795160)
    I agree. Apple sells popular products. The idea that they're somehow a better corporate citizen than any other, simply because they're popular, is sort of naive. That Apple has attack lawyers on staff, and is more than willing to use them, is readily apparent.
  • by ravenspear ( 756059 ) * on Saturday December 22, 2007 @11:58PM (#21795264)
    It's well known that all mail to is handled by a team of secretaries and few messages sent there are ever read by Steve. I have written one or two emails there myself expressing my opinion on certain Apple policies at times and have gotten responses as well. The responses are signed Steve but they are most likely not from him.
  • EFF? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ilyag ( 572316 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @12:12AM (#21795346)
    Apparently, the guy tried to contact EFF and was turned down [] (see bottom of the link) because the EFF didn't like some of his posts.

    Assuming that this is true, this doesn't shed too good a light on the EFF. Isn't the EFF supposed to help bloggers that are being attacked by large corporations, regardless of what is posted on the blog and, in particular, of whether the person likes the EFF? At least, isn't that what people who donate to the EFF expect it to do?

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Sunday December 23, 2007 @12:31AM (#21795448) Journal
    It's well known that all mail to is handled by a team of secretaries and few messages sent there are ever read by Steve.

    You are mistaken. Steve reads his mail, and has been known to rebuke Apple VPs who don't. It's Bill Gates who has the team of flacks to filter his mail for him.


  • by omeomi ( 675045 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @12:36AM (#21795482) Homepage
    Well, they did recently make a little girl cry []
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Sunday December 23, 2007 @12:40AM (#21795498) Journal
    I've written to him on several occasions over the years, before, during, and after the time that I worked at Apple. To date, I've gotten replies from him on four occasions, including his message tonight regarding this joke by FSJ.


  • Re:I'm just glad... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Namlak ( 850746 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @12:52AM (#21795550)

    I'm sure someone is going to mod me for flamebait, but I never understand the people who insist Apple is the greatest company of the fan of the planet when there is plenty of proof that Apple is a corporation (for better or worse) on par with most corporations.
    I'm sure someone is going to mod me for flamebait, but I never understand the zealots who insist religion/sports team/celebrity is the greatest religion/sports team/celebrity of the fan of the planet when there is plenty of proof that religion/sports team/celebrity is a religion/sports team/celebrity (for better or worse) on par with most religions/sports teams/celebrities.

    Fixed that for you.
  • by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @01:51AM (#21795830)
    And the fact that my post even after an hour and a half still hasn't been modded flamebait or troll is a fair indication around here of Apple's status presently on slashdot. Right now, I don't think that they've lost enough of the status to be permanently damaged. But the reality is that when you base you're business around the fanatical devotion of your users, they can choose other systems, and that passion for macs could very well turn into a large scale vendetta if pushed too far.

    Obviously I don't think that Apple is anywhere near there yet, but if they do lose their gilded status, it is going to cost them big time, where it hurts most, the stock price.

    I was shocked personally, that they went with the iphone rather than taking advantage of MS' weakness to boost the numbers of macs being sold. Macs have a definite advantage of stability, largely due to the control that Apple has over the platform, there are a number of people that would love to have that sort of stability and interface design. Throwing the opportunity away on a product that would be just as popular in 6 months is absurd.
  • by whitehatlurker ( 867714 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @02:09AM (#21795934) Journal
    Even given that RSJ is the one answering the email, how do you know that FSJ is the one perpetrating a hoax and not having one played on him?
  • Re:god (Score:1, Interesting)

    by indiechild ( 541156 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @02:25AM (#21796012)
    It just goes to show how easily people's emotions can be manipulated. The frigtards are out in force!

    Love seeing all the pathetic strawman posts about how Apple is the new Microsoft, Apple is the new fascist incarnate Evil, Steve Jobs has devil's horns etc. Entertaining stuff!

  • Relatively recently?

    I remember back in the System 7/8 days when in a 0.0.x update they modified the CD-ROM driver to no longer work with non-apple CD ROM drives. All you had to do to "fix" it was go open the driver in ResEdit and change two bytes, but still.

    Apple has always been about proprietary, closed in, locked down platforms. They've generally wanted to be Microsoft, but control the hardware too. None of this is new---nor should it be surprising.
  • Re:Not shocking (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Liquidrage ( 640463 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @03:59AM (#21796344)
    No, I think only Apple and IBM had a chance to do it. There were lots of other companies in the game. I just didn't see them as real contenders come the time when computers really started to get into everyone's home and office/desk, and it really forced one to win out.

    My first computer was a TRS-80 at school, and an Colecovision Adam at home. Dude across the street from me had a 64 that we messed around with. Another friend had a 2e. Another friend had a Vic. I know there were plenty home options in the 80's. But by the late 80's early 90's we were seeing computers crop up on desks at work, and having experience with the software and OS was becoming a requirement for the workplace. Basically one had to win. For that reason, and for 3rd parties to focus on. IBM dropped the ball with OS/2. Apple kept everything locked up too tight. And Wintel was really the best, and most open, option at the time. That's all I was saying.
  • by m2943 ( 1140797 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @07:23AM (#21796852)
    I think Fake Steve Jobs is funny, but, in the end, a lot of it is trolling. Listen to his talk at Google: []

    He says that intentionally introducing little errors (Lissabon vs Lebanon etc.) and watching the angry letters and corrections roll in is "better than sex".

    The video is well worth watching, though, also for some other insights into how the business publishing world works (e.g., Icahn placing stories that paint a bleak picture of Motorola in order to get rid of Zander).

    He may well have invented this entire legal stuff as a publicity stunt. If so, he may have crossed the line.
  • by the saltydog ( 450856 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @09:54AM (#21797442) Homepage
    Fake Steve Jobs? That's not the only thing he's faked being...
    How about fake journalist? Fake analyst? Fake intellectual?

    The guy is firmly attached to the corporate teat, and things like
    Linux scare him to death, because he can't figure out how to make
    money on it. When Fake SCO came along, he started spouting anti-Linux
    vitriol at every turn; here's just a sample;

    "In other words, like many religious folk, the Linux-loving crunchies
    in the open-source movement are a) convinced of their own
    righteousness, and b) sure the whole world, including judges, will
    agree." []

    Of course, when it turned out we Linux supporters had it right all
    along, Dan jumped off of the SCO bandwagon while it was hurtling
    downhill at warp speed, and he nearly broke both of his ankles in the
    process. His "apology" basically blamed Darl McBride, saying all Dan
    did was repeat what Darl and company told him. Excuse me? You're
    trying to pawn yourself off as a journalist, yet you take the word of
    a litigious, all hat, no cattle wannabe cowboy, and then fail to
    research the whole story?
    If anything, Dan Lyons is an even worse shill than Rob Enderle - at
    least Rob has the decency to reply to people directly, as he has done
    with me on several occasions; Dan is too chickenshit to admit he was
    wrong, on his own accord.
    (I'd bring up the poor quality of his "blook" here, but that would
    mean I'd have to detail all of the material he blatantly stole from
    the regulars of the Yahoo SCOX message board, which I don't have the
    time for right now; I will say that when you read the material there,
    you've gotten exactly what you paid for; I don't see how Dan can live
    with himself for trying to *charge* for it in print!) -saltydogmn on
    Yahoo SCOX

    P.S. Dan, if you're reading this, make sure to have Darl send me my $699/cpu invoice for running Linux on my computers; I have 3 of them, including this IBM laptop; 2 running Kubuntu, and 1 Xubuntu. Where should I send the check, and, more importantly, WHY? kthxbye
  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Sunday December 23, 2007 @11:01AM (#21797844) Homepage Journal

    It was all fun and games until he started flat-out lying about Apple and the EFF (just like he'd already flat-out lied about SCO and Linux). I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find either of them really suing them now, say for libel and defamation of character. Way to go, dumbass.

  • by LKM ( 227954 ) on Sunday December 23, 2007 @04:29PM (#21799972) Homepage
    I should be pointed out that the whole list of articles is part of an elaborate joke. Apple did not contact Lyons at all. I think it's highly dumb of /. to post something like this without verifying it.

Forty two.