Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×

1204 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Time Warner 1, Little blog network 0 (5, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989590)

enGadget is owned by Time Warner... they have lawyers, and those lawyers told them not to touch this story.

Gawker apparently didn't check before the leaped... and Apple's got much bigger bucks than they do.

Yea but (2, Insightful)

arcite (661011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989682)

Gawker received approximately 8 million hits last week, ergo they are swimming in oodles of extra ad revenue. Apple is just milking a new and profitable revenue stream, or at least their legion of blood sucking lawyers are.

Nothing to worry about.

Move along.

Sent from my iPad.

Re:Yea but (2, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989736)

Too bad all that ad space was already sold when they ran the iphone story.

Re:Yea but (1)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990026)

Ads are sold on a per-view basis [arstechnica.com] . More views = more ad revenue.

Just give us a name (4, Interesting)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989774)

Apple was being too quiet last week. I knew the other shoe would drop, it was just a matter of time. If Chen is lucky, the police are really more interested in the identity of the thief (if they don't know it already).

However, my guess is that the police are trying to build a strong case that Giz definitely knew it was stolen prior to paying $5000 for the device. Not sure who goes down in a situation like that: whether it's Jason Chen or Nick Denton.

Re:Just give us a name (0)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989852)

Nick Denton gets filed next to the Japanese man who killed himself a while ago because he lost an Apple prototype and knew his life was ruined. Nick will likely get fired by Apple for carelessness and never work in the tech industry again.

Jason Chen appears to be in a "What did you know and who told you it?" situation where he isn't supplying the identity of his source... because this isn't a source of information but a source of stolen goods.

Re:Just give us a name (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989942)

Nick Denton gets filed next to the Japanese man who killed himself a while ago because he lost an Apple prototype and knew his life was ruined. Nick will likely get fired by Apple for carelessness and never work in the tech industry again.

Tell me more, LostCluster. You clearly have a good grasp of who the key players in this story are and what exactly their roles are.

Re:Just give us a name (4, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989950)

Nick Denton is the publisher of Gawker Media (Gizmodo). The guy who's assigned prototype was stolen had a different name.

Re:Time Warner 1, Little blog network 0 (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989782)

Really?

Maybe you should go read the warrant, they basically said "you can take anything from his house that is electronic" including mice and including taking any passwords he has on his PC. Mice have evidence?

I'm quite sure that last one there is a first amendment violation. Any lawyers care to comment? I smell a mistrial where he won't get his stuff back for 5 years including all his cellphones which they took(at which point it'll be useless). gotta love the "hold his stuff indefinitely while you copy every hard drive".

Re:Time Warner 1, Little blog network 0 (3, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989888)

Some mice have evidence, yes.

I recall reading about a mouse that recorded (internally) what it did and could replay it later. Probably not the mouse that Chen owns, but hey, why not include the clause ? :)

I'm also not sure why you think passwords have any greater protection than anything else when the police have a court-granted right to search, but hey, I'm not a lawyer either.

Simon

Re:Time Warner 1, Little blog network 0 (5, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989910)

Mice keyboards have fingerprints, and therefore are proof a certain somebody used the computer it was connected to just so they can't deny it.

so they can take cable boxes that are cable co own (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989976)

so they can take cable boxes that are cable co owned as well? and then not have to give them back?

Re:Time Warner 1, Little blog network 0 (1)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989972)

It's sad that we live in a world today where people with more money seem to be more right about something because they can afford it, at least that's how some people think the system works. Really sad.

Re:Time Warner 1, Little blog network 0 (1, Offtopic)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989982)

Apple == The rise of a new Microsoft?

And in another thread, somebody told me I'm "eccentric" because I fear the government doing exactly what they did to Gizmodo's Editor. You're not being eccentric when you have case-after-case-after-case of government abuse to back you up.

Plus my own personal experience where my car was searched in Texas while I was supposed to be enjoying a vacation. Damn Feds made me stand around for an hour before finally admitting, "Well I guess you ain't got no illegals here." Duh. It's a coupe not a van. I wouldn't be able to hide anybody even if I wanted too, ya damn dirty apes..... I mean Homeland Security.

Oh well. Liberty wanes and each day we come closer to a revival of the Feudal state where citizens are serfs of the new Lords called politicians. "With the first link the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied..... chains us all irrevocably." - Captain Picard

Journalist? (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989594)

Wait, what? Journalists are immune from having their computers seized? In what dreamworld? They have the exact same first amendment protections as the rest of us. No more, no less. If Apple can get a warrant (which they obviously can), those computers are fair game, along with anything else that might be relevant to the charges.

The only reason that, traditionally, journalists had extra privileges was because they worked for large litigious media outlets who wouldn't put up with that horseshit, and the government was rightfully wary. These days, not so much.

Apple has a long history of suing people over trade secret violations, and since all you have to have to be a "trade secret" is simply to be arguably valuable, and, you know, secret, it's not hard to do. In this case I imagine they're looking in to charging them for full-on corporate espionage (which is a felony) and which the guy may be open to, depending on how he obtained the phone.

Re:Journalist? (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989656)

Read the Gawker Media response... they're claiming that Jason Chen's home was a "newsroom" and therefore exempt from contempt changes and warrents. We'll see if this holds water when they try to get any evidence from this search kept away from the jury.

Re:Journalist? (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989706)

The law quoted only protects from search warrants intended to discover the source of a journalist's INFORMATION. It of course doesn't protect from search warrants intended to discover the source of a journalist's STOLEN GOODS.

Re:Journalist? (1, Troll)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989956)

wtf "stolen"? The guy CALLED apple. Why bend reality and common sense to fit in the Apple-approved narrative?

Re:Journalist? (4, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989734)

Newspaper offices aren't exempt from crap. They're out of their minds. (disclaimer: sitting in a newspaper office right now)

Historically, whenever a journalist has been jailed for not ratting out a source, the cops have pulled all their stuff right off their desks. There is no legal exemption just because you happen to work for a media outlet.

Re:Journalist? (5, Insightful)

marphod (41394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989996)

Is there a federal exemption to search and seizure of property of a journalist? no.

Is there a state exemption in California to search and seizure of property of a journalist? Yes.

Was the search warrant executed a warrant issued by a federal bench? No.

Read the article and the response; the response cites California state law by statute. A simple web search will confirm that the quoted law is, in fact, accurate.

To me, an educated layman, it seems obvious that the warrant was invalid. There may be new case law since 2006 that changes the legal precedent, but without that, the warrant is not valid, prima facia.

Re:Journalist? (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989690)

. If Apple can get a warrant (which they obviously can), those computers are fair game, along with anything else that might be relevant to the charges.

This was for criminal charges related to theft/receiving stolen property. It's the cops not Apple. Apple has not yet filed suit for the trade secret violations.

Re:Journalist? (1, Funny)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990062)

Losers weepers; finder's keepers.

Possession is 9/10ths of the law.

Abandoned property belongs to nobody.

And so on. Besides the journalist did not keep the property. He investigated it, reported it, and then returned it to the original owner (which he did not have to do, since the owner had abandoned the property). What Apple is trying to do is force the journalist to keep his mouth shut, as if he had signed a non-disclosure agreement. But of course since he never signed an NDE he's breached no contract and committed no crime. He will eventually be freed.

Re:Journalist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989702)

Note that right now Apple isn't proven to have done anything at all. This story was all over the media, and the San Mateo DA may have decided to press charges without consulting with Apple, or being prompted by Apple to do so.

Re:Journalist? (5, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989898)

Note that right now Apple isn't proven to have done anything at all. This story was all over the media, and the San Mateo DA may have decided to press charges without consulting with Apple, or being prompted by Apple to do so.

Also note that I could have anything stolen that was worth $5000 and the best that I'd get out of the cops is a sympathetic look and some advice to check with my insurance.

Re:Journalist? (3, Informative)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989806)

Wait, what? Journalists are immune from having their computers seized? In what dreamworld?...

Did you even RTFA? They quote the laws in black and white. Journalists have *more* rights than the rest of us. This is a good thing.

Read the section entitled "Gawker's legal response to the police" in TFA.
-Taylor

Re:Journalist? (4, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990034)

California's laws are much more lenient than those for most of the rest of the country, which, yes, is good.

However, they don't apply in this case. If they're charging him with a felony, they're charging him with grand theft, or with corporate espionage. Has nothing to do with protecting his "source", and has everything to do with him obtaining property that doesn't belong to him. If they can prove he paid for it, he's fucked.

Re:Journalist? (1)

guspasho (941623) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989974)

Corporate espionage is a felony?

Re:Journalist? (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989986)

Actually, many US states and countries have laws specifically encompassing the work that journalists do. Whether or not those laws should exist is an interesting question, but not the one at issue here, because in Chen's home state, they do.

so, dear fool, (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990052)

it is ok for journalists backed with large companies that can defend themselves to enjoy freedom from prosecution, whereas the citizens get prosecuted if they do the same.

so, the one with the money makes the rules is it ?

an idiot engineer leaves out a corporation's prototype IN A FUCKING BAR, and when citizen press puts it out as news, it is ok to prosecute them ?

i cant even being to tell how wrong justifying above shit is, in so many levels.

Who Cares (-1, Flamebait)

Carrot007 (37198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989602)

Well for one I do not care about apple crap.

If you do more fool you.

iWarrant (3, Funny)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989606)

It was only a matter of time before this happened. iPwned.

Re:iWarrant (1)

Carrot007 (37198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989712)

indeed who is the bigger fool, apple for being so petty or gizmodo for caring about this shit.

Re:iWarrant (3, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989744)

Gizmodo clearly. One should know that it's illegal to purchase stolen goods.

Re:iWarrant (1, Insightful)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990000)

1. go to Apple campus and lose my wiped-out phone there?

2. claim Apple stole it from me?

3. profit!!!

What? Apple was going to let it go? (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989614)

I don't think so.

Re:What? Apple was going to let it go? (0, Flamebait)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989678)

wft steve jobs? did you report this as stolen? are you filing criminal and/or civil charges? Are you really taking advantage of your company's incompetence? You already like to go all-gestapo in that fucking app store, but it's time for you and all your altar-boys in Apple to back the fuck down from the religious fanaticism, respect the press, respect developers, and stop disrespecting users with your "retarded customer confusion" pile of shit. The people I feel most sorry for are the intelligent, independent, Apple employees who are in crisis mode and daily thinking about publicly screwing you over, along with your madness. THIS is the reason they threw you out from Apple in the past, Steve. And I tend to think you sorta want to see if they'll do it again, hence all of these shenanigans. I hope this becomes the magical and revolutionary mother of all streisand effects, and that it comes at an unbelievable price.

Re:What? Apple was going to let it go? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990036)

Hi Mr. Ballmer. You seem a tad angry. Perhaps some nice chair therapy is in order.

Get out of jail free? (2, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989620)

So, does being a journalist entitle you to full immunity from the law? The police are investigating a possible purchase of stolen goods. It's not like they are trying to arrest him simply because he wrote an article about it, or because they want to censor him.

Re:Get out of jail free? (0, Flamebait)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989752)

incompetence-->losing your shit and failing to get the phone bozos to respond to a "got your shit here" call

stealing-->lawyer tries to hide incompetence through some spin only religious-altar-boy Gruber would believe

Apple has lost its shit; in the full meaning of the phrase.

Re:Get out of jail free? (0, Offtopic)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990018)

To avoid waking up one day in PYITA prison, you may want to recheck your regional laws.

"Finders keepers" doesn't even count as valid in the second grade.

Apple wouldn't've had any issue if the phone wasn't _taken_ in the first place. In fact, it wouldn't've had an issue if the phone was returned (either to Apple or the police).

[On an unrelated note, aren't double contractions cool!]

Re:Get out of jail free? (1, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989876)

No, but being a Journalist gives you the right to write about anything that comes across your desk. Apparently an iPhone did just that...

Gizmodo paid for access to it, so that they could write the story and find out exactly what the device was.

Gizmodo returned the device to Apple willingly without hassle.

I'm pretty sure this isnt the first time a news story has "broke" in such manner.

Re:Get out of jail free? (1, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989908)

What theft would you be referring to, exactly? The cell phone was left unattended at a bar, and while the engineer who left it unattended may be incompetent, that does not mean that the person who retrieved it is guilty of thievery. This sounds like another case of Apple bullying journalists who obtain information about upcoming product releases to me, although it appears that some sort of political pressure was exerted this time (i.e. Apple pressured the police to seize this journalist's equipment).

Re:Get out of jail free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989988)

The cell phone was left unattended at a bar...

Well there you have it; someone on /. just cleared things right up. I guess the cops can end their investigation now.

Re:Get out of jail free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989990)

>>>The cell phone was left unattended at a bar, and while the engineer who left it unattended may be incompetent, that does not mean that the person who retrieved it is guilty of thievery

Selling it someone other than the owner is where it gets iffy, though.

So far Apple hasn't been shown to bully anyone. This can easily be explained as an overzealous DA who wants his name in the papers over a wildly publicized story.

Re:Get out of jail free? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990014)

The cell phone was left unattended at a bar, and while the engineer who left it unattended may be incompetent, that does not mean that the person who retrieved it is guilty of thievery.

In many jurisdictions, the requirement is to turn the property in to police, and after n days (30-90, usually) the property becomes the finder's. Until then it's presumed to belong to he who misplaced it. What's the law in Redwood Shores, CA?

This sounds like another case of Apple bullying journalists who obtain information about upcoming product releases to me

Yup. My business ran on Macs before the Think Secret case.

Re:Get out of jail free? (3, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990024)

What theft would you be referring to, exactly?

the fact that they paid the guy who found the phone $5000 for it. The guy sold something that wasn't his, and they purchased something from someone they knew neither to be the owner nor someone repersenting the owner. In most places this is known as theft.

Re:Get out of jail free? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31990030)

Read up a bit. It very obviously was theft under the legal definition of theft under California law.

If the jackass who sold it had, say, left it with the bartender or simply taken the thing to apple then it wouldn't have been theft. Taking off with the device and then selling it is certainly theft.

Re:Get out of jail free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989980)

Um.... You have never seen too many news broadcasts where they have people in an illegal lifestyle speak to them with a concealed identity have you?

How many gang members or drug smugglers do you think would talk to journalists if the journalists HAD to turn over their identity at the drop of a dime?
If they have to start doing that you can expect the episodes of Gangland, 20/20 and god knows how many other shows to get many more reruns and fewer new shows.

If only THIS would kill the "PR Stunt" meme... (4, Insightful)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989630)

If only this would kill the "This is just an apple PR Stunt" meme...

There is no way apple would be so outrageously stupid to bring in the police if this was just a matter of a PR stunt: the potential damage would be huge.

Instead, this really is about an inadvertant (or deliberate?) leak and did involve stolen property.

But I doubt it, those who see a Great Apple Conspiracy behind the V4 iPhone leak will not change their minds.

Re:If only THIS would kill the "PR Stunt" meme... (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989700)

The thing is, intentional or not, this has generated OODLES of delicious free mass-media publicity for the upcoming iPhone. A criminal investigation is even tastier, because it opens up the opportunity for new networks to talk about this case. Assuming that this was unintentional, it would be silly for Apple's PR department to let the noise die down before the actual launch of the phone.

Of course the launch itself will generate press, but in the meantime, if you keep reminding people that the iPhone 4G is coming out, many will likely hold out on whatever non-Apple phone they may have otherwise bought.

It's unlikely to be a conspiracy of any sort, but certainly it doesn't appear to be harming Apple very much.

Actually, there is a lot of harm to apple... (5, Interesting)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989858)

Do you think ANYONE is going to buy a 3G or 3GS iPhone in the next few months, with the "V4 is in final prototype, it has a much better screen, a flash, a front camera, etc" on everybody's lips?

The value of the existing stock of iPhones easily dropped $50 a phone thanks to this, a price drop which would have been postponed by a month or two if this leak didn't happen.

This is why apple is so leak paranoid: leaks like this really contribute to the Osborne Effect [wikipedia.org]

Re:If only THIS would kill the "PR Stunt" meme... (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989814)

Considering that Apple has people and a process in place for officially unofficially leaking things to the press (story was on /. a while back), it was a reasonable suspicion. But you're right, they probably wouldn't involve the police if it was an official unofficial leak.

That said, I have to say my grammar nazi side has been pleased by all the idiots unintentionally and hilariously confusing losing and loosing. As in, "Surely, Apple was behind this guy loosing the phone."

Re:If only THIS would kill the "PR Stunt" meme... (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989856)

found IS NOT EQUAL TO stolen, Gruber

So let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989644)

...all of these other "leaks" I see from other companies don't warrant someone getting their computers confiscated. Which means that when I hear about a "leak", it is endorsed by the company?

I can't say that I consider that good ethics either.

Re:So let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989728)

Do those other leaks involve (possibly) stolen goods? Apples and oranges.

"journalist" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989660)

Gawker media's COO has replied claiming that the warrant was served illegally due to Mr. Chen's status as a journalist.

I didn't realize that being a journalist protected you from prosecution for knowingly purchasing stolen goods. This is not about protecting sources of information, this is buying a product that is known to belong to someone else.

Re:"journalist" (0, Flamebait)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989786)

knowingly purchasing stolen goods.

      Stolen? It was left in a bar. DO YOU FUCKING AMERICANS NEED LAWS TO PROTECT YOU FROM LEAVING YOUR SHIT LYING AROUND? Hello? Common sense! You look after your stuff or you lose it. God you guys are dumb. I wouldn't care, but then you try to shove your laws down everyone else's throats via treaties. Heh, come to think of it, I hope Apple manages to take away a little more freedom from you douche-bags. Enjoy your "free" country.

Re:"journalist" (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989994)

Selling something that you know doesn't belong to you is against the law. Plain and simple.
Buying something that you know doesn't belong to the person who's selling it is against the law. Plain and simple.

If those concepts are foreign to you then please let us enjoy our country ... and you can enjoy yours (as long as someone doesn't sell it out from under you).

Re:"journalist" (5, Informative)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990032)

Simply stated, California law requires anyone picking up lost property to make a good-faith effort to return it to it's rightful owner. Here are the relevant sections

California penal code, section 485:L

One who finds lost property under circumstances which give him knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another person not entitled thereto, without first making reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him, is guilty of theft.

California civil code, section 2080.1:

If the owner is unknown or has not claimed the property, the person saving or finding the property shall, if the property is of the value of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, within a reasonable time turn the property over to the police department of the city or city and county, if found therein, or to the sheriff’s department of the county if found outside of city limits, and shall make an affidavit, stating when and where he or she found or saved the property, particularly describing it.

Since the finder of the phone did not follow the law, he/she could be convicted of a crime if charges are pressed. The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office was doing what it's supposed to do, although the fact that it was such a high-profile case probably moved it up to the top of their to-do list faster than it would have otherwise.

Re:"journalist" (2, Insightful)

Montezumaa (1674080) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989930)

Are you intentionally stupid or are you just incapable of reading? The phone was lost, not stolen and as such, no laws that prohibit the purchase of known stolen property will not apply. Just because it is known to belong to someone else is not the standard for laws that are similar ones we have in Georgia. You have to know that items you purchased were stolen, not just lost.

Company policy is not law either. Apple might not want their products to be leaking prior to their "magical" unveiling, but law could not care less. Aside from releasing trade secrets(such as the recipe for Coca-Cola), leaking new products is not a crime. To me, it sounds like the DA and law enforcement over there are both about to get in some amount of trouble over this.

From the reporting of the story, if it proves to be absolutely true, the person that found the phone is not guilty of committing a crime either. He made multiple attempts to return the property, and Apple simply wrote him off. Once Apple started to demand their property again, then they are allowed to retrieve it(once it is proven to actually be Apple's property).

Re:"journalist" (1, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989960)

The phone was not stolen, it was left unprotected and unattended -- and it was returned to Apple without delay when they asked for it back.

What laws were broken? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989668)

They bought a phone that was left in a bar, translated not stolen. They returned it when requested. It's not up to journalist to protect trade secrets they generally reveal them.

Actually, it WAS stolen... (3, Informative)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989738)

Under California law, lost property over a given value (and a prototype iPhone certainly qualifies), you are obligated to make a credible effort to return it to the owner (the "finder" did not: after all, he never talked to the BARTENDER!) or to the police. Otherwise, it is considered stolen.

So the iPhone in question was stolen property, and Gizmodo has effectively admitted to purchasing stolen property, and knowingly having purchased stolen property.

Given that Gizmodo paid $5K for it, they could be on the hook for felony receiving of stolen property.

Re:Actually, it WAS stolen... (2)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989834)

...and I think that's the crux of the matter. It has nothing to do with their status as a "journalist" or anything else. They KNEW it wasn't sold with the blessing of Apple, and they had to know that this outcome was possible. Gizmodo decided to hedge their bets and they lost.

Re:What laws were broken? (0, Troll)

mmmmbeer (107215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989918)

Taking an item that was left somewhere is stealing. "Finders keepers, losers weepers" doesn't apply in the real world. Most people/companies won't press charges if you give it back, but they can. This is especially true if you do anything other than seeking to return it to its proper owner. For example, something like taking the item apart and posting pictures of it while admitting that you know it's stolen property.

Seize Back! (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989688)

Now claim that unpublished articles were on the seized computers and file a claim against Apple and have the police come in and seize their computers. That'll teach 'em.

If the phone really was left in a public place, Apple has no case.
If the glove don't fit, you must aquit.

Re:Seize Back! (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989812)

Now claim that unpublished articles were on the seized computers and file a claim against Apple and have the police come in and seize their computers. That'll teach 'em.

Actually, the proper course is to sue the police for violating their rights as a publisher, like Steve Jackson [sjgames.com] did (and won, including legal fees).

Police sized computers (1)

frog_strat (852055) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989718)

So are they big or small ?

Re:Police sized computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989884)

Neither. Just thick.

Stunt (2, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989724)

I guess we can now say this whole thing was not a publicity stunt? It's seems a bit insane to go so far as engaging real-life policecops for a publicity stunt.

Re:Stunt (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989788)

Why not?

Wouldn't that be the best way to turn a simple mistake INTO a publicity stunt? Even if it turns out to be false, got people talking for another week, right?

Stolen Property Is Stolen Property (1)

BemoanAndMoan (1008829) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989748)

Charges are the only possible outcome from publishing this story, and his lawyer's efforts at using "Journalist" as a defense are an absurd stretch. The "for the sake of public interest" theme certainly won't mitigate the fact that Gizmodo staff knowingly purchased property from an individual who clearly did not own the property. While I'm no fan of Apple lately, and it certainly was an interesting story, common sense should have prevailed. I guess the carrot was too big and donkey too greedy.

Too bad. The 'ethical' choice might have earned them a place at the feet of Jobs, rather than under his heel.

Cosmic Justice has been served. (5, Insightful)

AutumnLeaf (50333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989754)

When the Gizmodo punks outed the name of the Apple Engineer who lost the phone for, as near as I could tell, no good reason other than to pile on, I lost all sympathy for them. This wasn't a whistle-blower story exposing corporate crime or government misdeeds. It was just a punk profiting off of another person's misfortune.

Enjoy your interactions with the Criminal Justice System, Mr. Chen.

schadenfreude (1)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989970)

I'm torn. On one hand, it's scary business to be raiding a journalists home (your opinion of Gizmodo and/or tech blogs in geneeral determines whether you put "journalist" in quotes or not). On the other hand, Gizmodo (and perhaps Chen specificaly) allegedly committed a crime here.

That said, the only thing that really bothered me was how they tarred-and-feathered that Apple engineer. It makes me feel little-to-know sympathy for Gizmodo.

Enjoy your interactions with the Criminal Justice System, Mr. Chen.

And it's ironic that Gizmodo pixelated Chen's personal details in the search warrant as well as the listing of what they took. I guess they suddenly start to value personal privacy when it's one of their own.

New from Gawker Games: Grand Theft iPhone! (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989758)

A story just posted by CNET [cnet.com] speculates that they're trying to enforce property laws that go back to the 1800s that say if you find something worth more than $400 and use it for your own purposes you can be charged with Grand Theft, and anybody you give that can be charged with Receipt of Stolen Property.

Doesn't seem to be a journalist's exemption to this one.

Re:New from Gawker Games: Grand Theft iPhone! (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989890)

There is no such thing as a journalists exemption. In fact, I can't think of a single profession where you're exempt from a law simply because you are a member of that profession.

The belief that journalists are in any way different from any other shmuck isn't based on any actual facts.

What Felony? (1)

PineHall (206441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989784)

It looks like the reason for seizing the equipment was because of a possible felony that the equipment was used during the felony or shows that a felony was committed. So who are they going after? And what is the felony? It seems odd but I don't know the whole story.

Re:What Felony? (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989922)

Easy felony: Receiving stolen property worth $5000.

A slam dunk case except the DA will probably plead it down to a misdemenor with probation-only, because a felony trial is expensive.

Well that answers it (1)

RJBeery (956252) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989792)

I guess I'm now convinced that this was not a publicity stunt by Apple to hype their new phone...unless my reaction to the warrant was predicted and this is all a truly well-orchestrated dance with the media that involves Apple, Gizmodo and the California po-po?

Really stolen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989800)

Perhaps someone knows more about this story than I do. But is it truly stolen property? If you find something on the ground, it is my understanding that it is yours unless you know whose its is (say if you saw someone drop it, or if it has an name/address) and then it is your if you make a good-faith effort to return it to its owner but are unable to do so (for whatever reason). Are my assumptions true for the state of California?
Just because you know someone lost it, doesn't mean that it is stolen

Re:Really stolen? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990058)

My friend found a gun on his property (the rednecks like to hunt there), and he had to turn it into the police as lost property, wait 90 days, then claim it.

May simple be that it was a fire-arm though.

While the entire world focused on iPhone gate... (1, Funny)

genghisjahn (1344927) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989802)

...Microsoft bought all of Linux. Checkmate open sourcians!

But it can't possibly happen! (0, Troll)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989810)

How can this happen when it was 100% totally and utterly obvious beyond a shadow of a doubt that Apple staged the whole 'lost prototype' in the first place! In fact I'm sure I received one of those chain emails that said someone somewhere had proof.

So is this also just a marketing ploy by Apple?

I'll wait for a few more forum posts (well only ones that I agree with) before I make up my mind.

(BTW, I'm going for +1, Funny, not so much -1, Troll)

Re:But it can't possibly happen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31990040)

News flash: it can be both.

Just because Apple "lost" the phone, didn't mean they forced anyone to sell it to someone else and/or disassemble it for publication. The people who did so, did it of their own volition. That it allowed Apple to subsequently ratchet up the hype over the impending iPhone release was just a lucky co-incidence.

APPLE UBER ALLES!

I kind of liked theFox News headline on this story (1)

gmfeier (1474997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989824)

"Police Sieze PCs of Editor Who Posted iPhone Prototype Story" Spell-check, anyone?

evidence (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989832)

What exactly were they expecting to find on these computers? Evidence that he had the "stolen" phone in his possession? They already had that. Information about the phone that wasn't published? Unlikely. Harassment of someone who is the object of a complaint by a politically connected corporation? Perhaps... Just plain incompetence and a routine overly-broad search policy? Most likely.

Re:evidence (2, Interesting)

tekrat (242117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989966)

Better yet, did you read the inventory? Among other items, they "seized" a box of business cards. I can only imagine what horrible forms of evidence will be hiding there! Why, it might have his email address on them! Holy cow, better call CSI!!!

Re:evidence (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990056)

...or perhaps information about the guy that originally "found" the phone. To my knowledge, this information has not been disclosed as of yet.

COOINAL (4, Funny)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989838)

Gawker media's COO has replied claiming that the warrant was served illegally due to Mr. Chen's status as a journalist.

There are two falsehoods in that statement.

Thats what they get for screwing Gray Powell (0, Troll)

SilentSage (656382) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989872)

When they posted the Apple Engineer's name and screen shots of his facebook page complete with picture I lost all sympathy for those bastards. Maybe a year in pound me in the ass prison is bad but afterwards he will go on a damn book tour like some kind of hippie hero. Meanwhile Gray Powell's life will still be ruined.

Lawfully Sizeable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31989904)

I wonder if it's any consolation that his equipment has been officially recognized as lawfully "sizeable". I'd be pretty stoked if someone served me legal papers to tell me my gear was "sizeable". Just sayin'...

It's too late... (0, Offtopic)

tbcpp (797625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989938)

...the photos/specs are already on the web. They can't stop the signal, Mal.

Re:It's too late... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990002)

Apple has a history of bullying journalists; they probably want to scare everyone with a, "Do not discuss our upcoming products if you enjoy your status as a free person" threat.

Re:It's too late... (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990050)

Yes, but they can make an example out of some pro-blogger, so all the other bloggers out there get the message to never try anything like this again or the Apple Police-State will crush you.

I think Steve needs to watch that 1984 commercial he helped make -- except HIS FACE needs to be the face of Big Brother. And see why 2010 will be like 1984...

Journalists... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989962)

If they are so journalistic, why did they push out all the personal information about the guy who lost the iPhone?

Lovely, friend of 'the people' Apple (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31989964)

enjoy. i wonder if there are STILL any apple fans who would come up and defend this kind of crookery. wait - there would. some idiot would come up and say that it was illegal for the site to expose the prototype.

i wont even touch that idiocy, which goes in line with 'it would be illegal to touch them scandalous tapes even if nixon left them out in the open', however i will comment on one thing :

1.5 years ago microsoft was increasingly coming up in news with crooked, bastardly, or oppressive actions like these. back then there were fools who were defending it. 1.5 years later, most of them seem to have shut up, not being able to take shit from their favorite company even themselves, anymore.

i said this before ; a corporate culture shows itself in all aspects of a corporation's activities. it will be same with apple.

No shock there.... (1)

Upaut (670171) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990006)

Well, admitting to having bought an expensive item that was not the sellers (hot, though not stolen....), refusing to return it to the rightful owner, etc....

Thats like saying you get drunk in a bar, go to another bar, also get drunk, and forget where you parked your car. The car still had its keys in the ignition. It was taken for a joyride by a teenager that happened upon it. Now, here you were a drunken fool, and he was a bit of a dick for taking a car that showed no owner... Now say that car was the new prototype of a sports electric hybrid from Mercedes. Why, this teen decides to sell it to GM, to see if he can get some fun cash.... GM creams itself to pick apart the prototype, gleaming and cribbing a few ideas here and there for their new car, that they rapidly force into production, with its own version of the hot new features, before Mercedes releases its long awaited car. GM admits to having bought the car, saying how it now has access to excellent German designs. Investors are thrilled.

MB demands the return of its prototype, and GM laughs at them and states they bought it from a source that found the lost prototype, and had attempted to return it to a MB reseller to no avail, and therefore they did nothing wrong. MB contacts the police - who then seize the prototype, and all the computer files that might have documentation of the corporate theft....

First Amendment corporate espionage. (5, Insightful)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31990020)

That's what it comes down to, really. Your First Amendment rights do not trump knowingly engaging in or abetting unlawful activity. Otherwise, you would have the media encouraging people to do illegal things, just so they could have their fifteen minutes of fame, then the "reporters" can protect them as confidential sources. Even if Gizmodo can make the case that they are journalists and deserve the protection of their sources, the problem is that they admitted they knowingly paid money to procure trade secrets. Would there have been any doubt about the legality of such an action had, say, Microsoft or Google bid on the phone instead of Gizmodo? Do you think a single one of their lawyers would have actually thought such a thing might be a good idea?

Journalism used to be about uncovering truth. It doesn't mean journalists are magically immune from the law and are protected from indictment and prosecution should their methods of uncovering the truth involve illegal activities, such as knowingly purchasing stolen property. No reasonable person can believe that the person who originally obtained the phone made the appropriate effort to return it to Apple. And Gizmodo dismantled the phone, presumably to confirm it was made by Apple, and published that information once it was discovered that was the case. But the fact that they knew the name of the engineer who lost the phone, and knew he was an Apple employee, means they should not have needed to dismantle the phone in the first place to confirm its provenance.

How hard would it have been for Gizmodo to call up Apple and ask "hey, did you lose a phone?" As much as I personally would have been interested in news about an iPhone 4G, even I'm not that incompetent. Then again, everyone knows such a device has been under development. They've released a new model every year around the same time. Just freaking wait and be patient like everyone else. It's just a PHONE for fuck's sake.

Gizmodo = fucked. And deservedly so, for doing something so obviously stupid and illegal, then bragging about it.

mercy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31990042)

If the police really want to be thorough they should look into all the residents that live on stolen land. Which would include themselves. Which really kills me on Arizona's new law. Sorry we came here first illegally you will just have to wait in line.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>