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Think Secret Gets Lawyer

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the polarize-the-hull-plating dept.

The Courts 371

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

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371 comments

Trade secrets (5, Insightful)

slashnutt (807047) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424147)

The problems is that Think Geek obtain information freely from normal information gathering techniques such as social engineering and trend research using the internet. A California law prohibits divulging trade secrets yet if I remember correctly there is a set of laws each state agreed to abide by when joining. This law is freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Think Geek never signed a non-disclosure agreement thus if you or a representative of your company tells me something than that information is no longer protected as a trade secret unless there is a contracted obligation - the entity didn't adequately protect it's information. Case closed unless the corporation wants to sue the party in oblivion, which might be the case that we are seeing today. I don't see how this case can even get to the court level, as it should be dismissed under the grounds of no contractual agreement between the parties; thus, his speech is protected at the federal level.

As for the party that disclosed the information then they would be in breach of the NADA contract. Does Think Geek have to tell apple that divulged the information? Anyone remember Oliver North who forgot a lot of information during the Iran Contra scandal can attest that Think Geek surely can't remember the names either. Should Think Geek have to tell? Does the press have to cite sources? Nope they can protect their sources but if they can become in content in the courts and spend a little jail time - but were not talking about a murder trial or a treason tiral.

Re:Trade secrets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424197)

It is ThinkSecret brainiac not Think Geek.

Re:Trade secrets (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424203)

First off: ThinkGeek isn't involved, unless it be to provide electronic gadgets and caffeine to both parties.

Second off: the first amendment has always been limited. This is one of those limited areas.

Brain Fart (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424204)

It's ThinkSecret not Think Geek.

Re:Trade secrets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424221)

The first amendment only applies against the government. No free speech issue is involved. Did you know that your employer can fire you because he doesn't agree with your opinions?

Re:Trade secrets (0, Flamebait)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424231)

Pfff this whole thing is retarded. Apple was trying to accomplish 2 things.

1.) Quick profit! from ThinkSecret.
2.) Get some more publicity for the Tiny Mac Mini whatever.

Re:Trade secrets (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424404)

I don't think so, they're probably not getting that much more publicity from this thing that they'd usually get.

This is just Steve Jobs throwing a huge tantrum because someone let information leak before he could make a big presentation himself. It's just like the whole ATI thing.

Re:Trade secrets (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424244)

For the last-time:

Think Geek == Clothing store.
Think Secret == Online apple rag.

Re:Trade secrets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424372)

...but how is this any different than a New York Times reporter refusing to reveal sources of confidential information to a judge, police, grand jury, etc.?

Oliver North willingly lied to Congress, was proven to have lied, and went to jail because of it. That he is still a big personality for some of the "moral" right is befuddling to me, especially when some of them start making noise about the "10 Commandments".

Re:Trade secrets (2, Informative)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424575)

mod parent (+1, insightful). Last I checked, exposing undercover CIA ops is still TREASON, but Robert Novak is still walking around free.

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

Re:Trade secrets (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424419)

As was pointed out here [slashdot.org] , here [slashdot.org] , here [slashdot.org] , here [goat.cx] and finally here [slashdot.org] , it's Think Secret, not Think Geek.

Re:Trade secrets (2, Funny)

MutantHamster (816782) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424463)

"here [goat.cx] and finally..."

Quit trying to show off your personal photos on Slashdot!

PS: Nobody click that link.

Re:Trade secrets (0, Flamebait)

shimbee (444430) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424498)

Who is this guy? Why is his post at the top of both "legal" posts of the day? Your legal analysis might be more effective if you learn English. /flame on

Re:Trade secrets (1)

learn fast (824724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424571)

Anyone remember Oliver North who forgot a lot of information during the Iran Contra scandal can attest that Think (Secret) surely can't remember the names either. Should Think (Secret) have to tell?

Different kind of law, bro. Oliver North was able to use his 5th amendment rights against self-incrimination. This isn't criminal law, though. This is a civil case between Apple and Think Secret and whoever spilled the beans. The same protections don't apply. If you fail to divulge something you're not protected from being screwed even more for doing so.

Re:Trade secrets (2, Insightful)

Macadamizer (194404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424634)

"This isn't criminal law, though."

A minor point that most people happen to ignore...

I'm still bored (1)

Try to think about i (661547) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424148)

Just so everyone knows.

Re:I'm still bored (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424214)

I am not ghey. So stop putting Apple stories.
Thank you.

live journal (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424160)

sucks ass

I'm confused (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424163)

Do we respect people's first ammendment rights more than we love apple? I am a free thinker... please tell me what to think...

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424242)

You should think that this has nothing to do with First Amendment rights, because it doesn't.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424657)

Because it's Apple. If it was Microsoft then it would be all about First Amendment rights.

Re:I'm confused (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424537)

We love Apple?

Re:I'm confused (2, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424585)

Not being an American, someone may correct me on this, but doesnt the First Amendment only pertain to limitations on freedom and religious expression from the Government and not private companies?

From here [cornell.edu] :

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

Re:I'm confused (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424647)

Except the courts are part of the government.

If you can't enforce something throught the courts, it's meaningless to file a lawsuit.

Re:I'm confused (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424722)

They are part of the Government, but in this case it wouldnt be the Government interfering with freedom of expression, as the courts are being asked to adjudicate independantly in a civil case between two individuals (for suitably large values of individual), if this was a criminal matter I might have a different view.

Re:I'm confused (2, Informative)

zangdesign (462534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424648)

but doesnt the First Amendment only pertain to limitations on freedom and religious expression from the Government and not private companies?

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

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

Re:I'm confused (1)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424694)

Correct. There are many instances when speech is limited. Business practices are one of those (other notable ones include the oft cited example of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater).

Where? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424167)

IS the uproar?

If MS did this to someone everyone would be shitting bricks and how evil M$ is. Etc. Etc.

But I guess its ok for Apple to shit on the little guy...

Re:Where? (0, Offtopic)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424193)

Not only that, but he should smile, grab a fork and pretend its chocolate cake.

I hate first posts! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424170)

die, FP, die!!!

and down w/ the Illuminati.

-AC

It's not like he's Bob Woodward... (3, Funny)

jpellino (202698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424199)

And this is the government hiding info from us.

Not all speech is protected.

He openly solicits what odds are are insider info, and odds are those are covered by NDAs, and tells the world, and in California that's a crime.

His site suggests he knows exactly what he's doing, or else he's truly naive.

If he's this naive, I want to know who let him into Harvard.

Re:It's not like he's Bob Woodward... (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424239)

We have American journalists who disclose the identity of Americans operating as spies in other countries... and these journalists do no time. I won't argue the merits of these cases. However, if a journalist goes to jail for reporting on, what is at worst, a corporate espionage case, then we have a huge travesty of justice.

Re:It's not like he's Bob Woodward... (5, Funny)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424382)

Considering he's being sued by Apple, not charged with a crime, yes, it will be a huge travesty of justice if he gets sent to jail.

Re:It's not like he's Bob Woodward... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424341)

So only the likes of Bob Woodward are now covered by the first amandment?

I knew that Bush's second terms started today, but I'm impressed of the speed he seems to work with.

He stole more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424678)

He stole more than one second term?!?

He must be quick!

Re:It's not like he's Bob Woodward... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424453)


> If he's this naive, I want to know who let him into Harvard.

I know its OT but whenever I see the virtues of Harvard extolled (or suggested) I have to respond.
I have 6 bratty little Harvard guys working for me right now, and have had many others in the past. Courses in naivety and overblown career expectation must be stressed on the curriculum there.

Give me a wicked-smart state-college kid any day over these spoiled whiners.

Re:It's not like he's Bob Woodward... (2, Insightful)

rcs1000 (462363) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424629)

What???

Are you really telling me that news sites can't dig and try and find out stuff? Are you really suggesting that if PC Week finds out about a Microsoft bug it shouldn't be allowed to publish it?

Apart from anything, ThinkSecret is not in any contractual agreement with Apple. An Apple employee broke an NDA (a civil contract), and Apple (understandably) wants to find out who it was. But ThinkSecret wants to keep getting scoops (as would any newspaper or journal) and so is (rightly) fighting Apple's lawsuit.

I love Apple. I just ordered a Mac Mini. But in this case, you have to support ThinkSecret.

Am I the only one (2, Funny)

The Grey Clone (770110) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424211)

Am I the only one who giggled when reading the name "Mr. Gross"?

Re:Am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424279)

Am I the only one who giggled when reading the name "Mr. Gross"?

No, but you may be the only one over 12 years old that did.

Re:Am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424449)

I know a Mr. Yuk, he works for poison control.

More relevant links (Karma Whoring) (2, Informative)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424240)

From the official Gross & Belsky LLP website [gbcounsel.com] :

Terry Gross's bio [gbcounsel.com]

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

Re:More relevant links (Karma Whoring) (3, Funny)

Mumpsman (836490) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424359)

AlaskaMen Magazine...where the odds are good, but the goods are odd.

Re:More relevant links (Karma Whoring) (1)

awhelan (781773) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424517)

Maybe he's hoping that in return dePlume will redesign his website for free... default blue links for the navigation, frames... and gasp.... is that non-transparent text graphic made with Microsoft Wordart?

Re:More relevant links (Karma Whoring) (1)

learn fast (824724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424606)

Ah. A publicity hound. That explains it.

heh (5, Informative)

kupekhaize (220804) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424251)

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

IF the allegation turns out to be true, I'd be pissed, too.

Re:heh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424402)

Apple should do its own private investigative work.

They know who signed NDAs for what was published. They should start squeezing these people first.

Going after the ThinkSecret guy at this point is kind of like trying to put toothpaste back into the tube.

Re:heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424462)

I really think Nixon should go after those Woodstein guys. He'd simply be suing to obtain the identity of the government employees who posted internal, confidential, NDA protected items that these guys published in their newspaper. He has every right to be upset that Woodstein were apparently trying to solicit the confidential information from employees to begin with.

IF the allegation turns out to be true, I'd be pissed, too.

Re:heh (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424504)

You remember the Erin Brockevitch flick, when miss Sexylegs got an earful from an ex-employee who was supposed to shred but didn't?
She used the info, she knew it was protected by NDAs and all sorts of shit. Yet, in the Public Interest, she used it to win a 300 + Million dollar settlement.

Now, I'm not sayin' nuthin' about this case, except that from the looks of it, Apple Inc. is trying to restrict Freedom of Speech.

I'll tell you how:
I say I can force you to reveal your sources. And I can. So now, your sources tell you nothing. I have restricted communications between you and your sources. Arguably, the sources, being under NDA, should not talk. But if they do, does their NDA extend to you? I think not.
Essentially it's a gag order between you and your sources. Since you can never know what falls under an NDA and what does not (since you don't know), your best bet is not to talk to your sources at all, since doing so may expose you to costly lawsuits. So anybody who ever signed an NDA cannot talk about anything to anyone else without the other person being potentially threatened with litigation.

That's what the corps want.

That's why they have got to lose. The United States citizenry, by allowing this civil suit to stand, would unfairly restrict First Amendment Rights granted to the People of the United States by themselves for perpetuity.

That, my friend, is why Apple had better be REALLY careful. And they should remember Adobe and Skylarov.

They think it's bad now, they should wait a few more weeks until it really hits the blogosphere. See how many people lost their Jobs at ABC over the Bush service memo?

Re:heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424631)

"See how many people lost their Jobs at ABC over the Bush service memo?"

Erm, none?

Re:heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424685)

"She used the info, she knew it was protected by NDAs and all sorts of shit. Yet, in the Public Interest, she used it to win a 300 + Million dollar settlement."

That was different, as it was protected under whistleblower statues. Basically, NDAs can be disclosed if it is disclosing illegal activity.

That's not the case with Apple vs. Think Secret.

Re:heh (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424704)

...from the looks of it, Apple Inc. is trying to restrict Freedom of Speech.
Only if you accept that a nondisclosure agreement -- a contract willingly entered into by two parties -- is a restriction on freedom of speech. You might can probably argue that's true, by defining your terms broadly enough. But in any case, there's no reason to think that this would apply to anything but NDAs, and saying that "Apple is trying to restrict freedom of speech" is a misleading overgeneralization.
So now, your sources tell you nothing.
I don't see how this logically follows. Logically, your sources don't tell you anything that's covered under their nondisclosure agreements. It doesn't follow that they won't talk to you about anything.
The United States citizenry, by allowing this civil suit to stand, would unfairly restrict First Amendment Rights granted to the People of the United States by themselves for perpetuity.
Slippery slope, of course.

Re:heh (2, Informative)

learn fast (824724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424700)

Apple isn't suing ThinkSecret to have them stop posting news articles. They're suing to obtain the identity of the Apple Employee(s) who posted internal, confidential, NDA protected items that ThinkSecret published on their website.

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

Re:heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424715)

IF the allegation turns out to be true, I'd be pissed, too

Why? Doesn't information want to be free? Oh wait, I'm applying linux zealot logic. I have to switch to Apple fanboy logic.

Yea, you're right. For freeing information these people should be jailed!

Late to the punch... (4, Funny)

holzp (87423) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424259)

You're late guys, I found this on ThinkLegal over a week ago.

Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424263)

If I were to hand our companies confidential plans to some third party in secret, and they published it online or in print, you can bet your ass we'd sue. This kid is posting confidential material given to him by an Apple employee. This is not reporting, it is posting confidential material. He should be sued. He is guilty.

contracts (1)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424672)

If you were to hand me your company's confidential material, and I had no contractual relationship with your company, I can do whatever I want with what you gave me. I think your company might want to have some words with you, however. If trade secrets changed hands in this case, it's one or more Apple employees who are at fault, not ThinkSecret. Apple is suing to flush those people out of hiding.

Who do you work for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424726)

Who do you work for?

I need to avoid both you and Apple now.

Why not the EFF? (4, Interesting)

saddino (183491) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424265)

From the Seattle Times [nwsource.com] :

Ciarelli had sought legal help from groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a San Francisco-based organization that Gross has represented in the past.

The EFF declined to take Ciarelli's case.


Given that the EFF is defending AppleInder and PowerPage [macobserver.com] in a similar case, the question comes to mind: why not defend ThinkSecret?

Does anyone know?

Re:Why not the EFF? (1)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424330)

My guess would be money. The EFF doesn't have the cash to take on all these cases at once. They choose a few battles and then fight them in hopes of setting a precedent. Rest assured, every time they take a case, they're doing it for the greater good and not just for the person being sued... if they took every case people asked them to take, they'd run out of money and not be able to make a difference.

Re:Why not the EFF? (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424334)

EFF.resources infinite

Re:Why not the EFF? (4, Insightful)

CrankyFool (680025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424383)

Three possible reasons come to mind:

1. The EFF might believe that the AppleInsider suit has less merit than this suit;
2. The EFF might believe that if the AI suit succeeds, the damage to our rights will be more significant than the damage to our rights if the TS suit succeeds;
3. The EFF might believe that the suits are substantially similar and are only out to establish a precedent, so it makes no sense to represent both defendants.

Re:Why not the EFF? (2, Interesting)

learn fast (824724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424439)

RTFA:

Gross has been at the center of Internet law since the early days of the net, and served as the first counsel to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a leading advocacy and legal organization that works to defend civil liberties in the technology and electronic communications realm. In one successful case prior to popular use of the Internet, Gross, as special counsel, defended the constitutional rights of publishers to disseminate information they legally obtain, electronically or in print.


So, he's an EFF lawyer, he's just not acting with the EFF this time... that's my reading of it.

Re:Why not the EFF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424447)

Given that the EFF is defending AppleInder and PowerPage [macobserver.com] in a similar case, the question comes to mind: why not defend ThinkSecret?

That's not the question. The question is how we on Slashdot deal with our freedom fighters EFF going against our heroes Apple? Please, give us back the red pill!

Re:Why not the EFF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424582)

It's probably because they realize that much of the information he's gotten was probably considered trade secrets, and covered under non-disclosure agreements. The EFF are in the business of defending organizations and ideals, not criminals.

Legalities ? (3, Interesting)

cyberfunk2 (656339) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424278)

Here's the thing I'm wondering about.... if they can prove that think secret enticed employees under NDA to release privledged information, do they then have reason for retribution ?

That is, is it illegal to encourage someone to break their NDA, even if YOU arent doing the breaking ?
Wether or not ThinkSecret actually encouraged people or if they came to them with the information is of course another point of contention.

Re:Legalities ? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424408)

is it illegal to encourage someone to break their NDA, even if YOU arent doing the breaking ?

No it is not. It is, however, illegal to publish or release any information that you have obtained from someone under an NDA that you have reason to believe is a trade secret (in the state of California). Thus the employee probably broke their NDA, and both the employee and AppleInsider broke the law in California.

Circle the wagons (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424286)

Everyone tell us how much we respect IP law, and how much we love Apple for showing the rest of the world that "trade secret" commonlaw usurps the Freedom of Speech guaranteed us by the constitution.

They do, after all, have a neato little touchwheel dealy on the iPod.

Re:Circle the wagons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424377)

Do not taunt HippyFunSlashdot.

Must You Reveal Your Source? (1)

davide101 (847486) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424295)

Is anyone familiar with the laws regarding revealing your source. If employee tells person A a secrect and person A tells me, must I tell the company who person A is so they can trace the leak? I would think that if there was a criminal investigation and I was *not* a journalist I would have to reveal my source. If there was an investigation and I was a journalist, then it gets murky. Lately, it looks like the courts respect you keeping your source secret until they don't. The world is getting a little less free every day (but I'm making a little more money so it feels freer). Go figure! David

Re:Must You Reveal Your Source? (2, Informative)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424455)

There's never been a journalist-source privilege. Journalists have been ordered by the courts to reveal their sources and gone to jail for contempt rather than breach their professional ethics.

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

Re:Must You Reveal Your Source? (1)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424564)

Why should journalists be exempt, but not the rest of us? If I recall correctly, the argument goes that NOT allowing for the confidentiality of sources under normal conditions would impede upon freedom of the press, but there are limits to this (as, I believe, there are limits to confidentiality with your doctor, lawyer, or clergy).

Now, what constitutes "being a journalist"? With the plethora of blogs out there, and the very nature of the web, why can't everyone claim to be a journalist for putting up a one-time statuc webpage with an essay you wrote? Or posting to a web forum, or Usenet?

yes, I'm trying to raise a few points, but I'm also genuinely interested in discussion on these topics...

Well, that's a breath of Fresh Air (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424317)

Now that Terry Gross is on the case, I'm sure the proper questions will get asked, and I can't wait to hear it on NPR shile I guzzle my coffee in the morning.

I think it's so cool that radio personalities are able to have careers in the legal profession - I doubt she's getting rich from her NPR gig.

What? Sure it's the same person! Just gotta be! Right?

;-)

RS

Re:Well, that's a breath of Fresh Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424387)

Maybe this means Apple's lawyer is Bill O'Reilly.

Re:Well, that's a breath of Fresh Air (1)

xp_fetchbeer (599818) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424399)

Ciarelli should have held out for Bob Edwards. He's like an easy listening version of Johnny Cochran.

Down with Terry Gross! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424348)

How dare he go against Apple?

No good bastard.

Trade Secrets? (3, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424368)

Let's engage in little critical thinking here. There may be some argument for protecting trade secrets, but I seem to recall that the last time Apple slapped down [slashdot.org] Think Secret was for talking about products that would be launched in a day or two.

Given that probably thousands of people had already seen those products (the mac mini and iPod shuffle) it's a bit ridiculous to suggest that Apple suffered any damages whatsoever because of Think Secret's reporting.

Apple is behaving like a bully - nothing more.

Re:Trade Secrets? (1)

Gannoc (210256) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424432)

Given that probably thousands of people had already seen those products (the mac mini and iPod shuffle) it's a bit ridiculous to suggest that Apple suffered any damages whatsoever because of Think Secret's reporting.

If ONE person who was going to buy an iMac the day before the conference changed his mind after reading the article, then Apple suffered damages.

Re:Trade Secrets? (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424600)

Actually, apple suffered damages as a result of the lawsuit - a co-worker was going to order one to try it out - I told them about Job's petulance and the lawsuit, and they decided not to order.

Re:Trade Secrets? (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424619)

Yeah, but if ten people decided to buy the MINI based on Thinksecret repots, where is the sales commission?

It's a two way street.

----

Hey, here I came up with a nifty way to exmplain all that:

OSS && FREE Software:
You scratch my back I scratch yours.

The Corporate World:
You stab my back I stab yours.

Re:Trade Secrets? (3, Insightful)

nojomofo (123944) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424435)

The problem with your argument is that it's not up for you (or Nick DePlume) to decide when it's okay to release Apple trade secrets. I'm not arguing the merits of going after somebody who didn't sign the NDA. But those were trade secrets, even if it was only a day or 2 before they were to be released to everybody.

Re:Trade Secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424643)

The problem with your argument is that it's not up for you (or Nick DePlume) to decide when it's okay to release Apple trade secrets.

Why not? Obviously the courts are the ones that will judge whether he made the legally right decision, but Nick DePlume was the only one who could decide when or whether he would release the trade secrets in the first place. Suppose the courts rule in his favour, will you still maintain that he shouldn't have been allowed to make the decision?

Re:Trade Secrets? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424642)

If a thousand people outside of Apple know what they will release, Apple does not care. When the mainstream press, especially the Wall Street Journal start running articles about it however, especially when they are subjected to criticism which potentially lowers their stock price, then Apple cares. We are talking about a much larger and more financially significant readership than normal computing news sites. Since the Wall St. Journal quoted AppleInsider, it only makes sense to try to get the name of the leak from them.

In whistle blower cases, I fully hope that no journalist will reveal their sources and subject them to retribution from their employers, and possibly other parts of the industry. A person is speaking out about a danger to the public, or corruption in the government and benefits society. This case, however, is not for the benefit of society. This information was released to make money. It was a trade secret. The leak violated their contract. If the individual loses their job and has a hard time getting hired because they are considered untrustworthy then that is well deserved.

AppleInsider published the information and made money doing so by serving ads. In doing so they violated the law in California. Aside from that, they have no legal or ethical reason to not reveal the source to Apple through the legal instructions of the courts. Apple has done nothing to try to stop AppleInsider from publishing more articles, or even removing the one they already published. Their is no threat to free speech, only to their right not to reveal the evidence they know about a crime, when subpoenaed by the courts.

Re:Trade Secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424731)

Apple's share price on 1/7: $69

Apple's share price on 1/11 (when Mac Mini and iPod Shuffle are announced): $63

Rumors artificially inflate Apple's share price, then when they actually announce the product, the share price DROPS 6 dollars. There's your damages.

Publishing Stolen information (5, Insightful)

Shannon Love (705240) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424405)

The ultimate ramification of these cases isn't whether citizen journalists (meaning anyone with a website or blog) will have the same privileges granted "professional" journalists but rather whether any of us will every have any information privacy at all.

If every individual has a right to publish stolen information with no expectation that they will ever have to reveal how they got that stolen information, then no one's information, no matter how private or trivial to the public interest, will be safe

Currently, personal and institutional information is protected in two ways: First, access to the information is limited to selected individuals. It is this limitation, enforced by technology like passwords, encryption and physical isolation, that most people think of as information security. The second protection is the contractual and legal obligation that people with access to the information have to not misuse it.

No matter how elaborate the technological and procedural protections for everyone's information, at some point that information gets viewed by a human being. If we have no legal means of holding those individuals accountable then information security, and the privacy it brings, is a dead letter. Granting everyone, from private individuals to vast commercial interests, the right to disseminate stolen information destroys the second protection utterly. Anyone with access to protected information can steal it and perhaps even sell it with little expectation they will be caught.

What we have here is a tag team of privacy violation. The thief steals the information and then the publisher "fences" it. Shielding the thief as a "source" could open the floodgates for information theft. Today, we see the violation of Apple's NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) but the same legal concept could just as well apply to an individual's medical and financial data. Even if the actual theft were theoretically illegal, how could one prosecute if the person disseminating your private information had a legal right to protect the identity of the thief?

The internet changes all the rules. The old style press shield laws won't work in the internet era.

The Apple Please Pursue Litigation Petition (2, Interesting)

adzoox (615327) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424433)

I started this petition because of the petition for Apple to drop the lawsuit against Nick Ciarelli.

My petition isn't full of loaded emotional words that irrelevant to the matter.

Wording and background for the petition:

To: Apple Computer

The following represent the level headed Mac faithful who do not appreciate Nick Ciarelli of Think Secret. We understand, by definition, that Nick was outside the bounds of the constitution and outside the limits of journalism. Rumormongering such as Think Secret publishes is harmful to Apple. We understand that "Trade Secret" is important to Apple's business model. We would like Apple to pursue this litigation to send a message to any developer, Apple employee, or industry insider, or beta tester that breach of contract [by breaking your Non Disclosure Agreement] is very serious. We also represent potential customers - we feel such litigation may ease future need for litigation against others who try to take advantage of Apple at our expense (by higher prices). Further, we represent Apple shareholders. As shareholders we believe Think Secret sets financial expectations too high by mixing credible and ficticious rumors, that stock market analysts and major news sources, quote and misquote. This is often detrimental to Apple's stock and quarterly forecasts. ,b>A comment from insanelygreat.com:

"As an Apple stockholder I do not want anyone releasing detailed information about the company's products until they are ready for market and any new innovations have patents applied for. If Apple didn't sue this individual they would be negligent and subject to lawsuit by investors."

Most rumors sites are just that - speculators/prognosticators - manufacturers of stories. THIS - I do not see as harmful - and occasionally they are right. Other sites do rumor source by patent application.

NO OTHER rumor site solicits information by a phone number and regularly quotes sources as "deep with inside Apple"

NO OTHER website reports (firsthand) about the reseller lawsuit and knows the intimate details such as Think Secret

Plain and simple. Information about Apple products acquired on the Apple campus is Apple's property. You take Steve Jobs stapler from the Apple campus and tell a friend they can have it and they obviously can see you stole it or you say, "Yeah, I swiped it when he wasn't looking" - you are in receipt of stolen property. You are an accessory to a crime.

If you solicit and receive information that is a trade secret - that information belongs to Apple - if you choose to capitalise on that information you are an accessory to the process of theft.

It is NO different.

And I really wish everyone would stop saying rumormongering is journalism. Do you all have the same opinion of The Enquirer or The Weekly World? Is that journalism?

Further, understand that this ALL hurts Apple's relations with developers. I doubt seriously if I would want to be involved with Apple if I had something they wanted or wanted me to cooperate with them on. It's too much drama.

Re:The Apple Please Pursue Litigation Petition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424587)

I sell petitions for a living, and your post violates trade secrets. Expect a call from my lawyer.

I can never keep track.. (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424438)

Is Apple good this week, or evil? Between Apple and IBM I'm not sure anymore which corporations we're supposed to hate.

*removes tongue from cheek*

Re:I can never keep track.. (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424500)

In dubito pro Microsoft or SCO.

Wrong approach (1)

rxmd (205533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424489)

"Apple's attempt to silence a small publication's news reporting presents a troubling affront to the protections of the First Amendment..."
NOOOO! Boy, you've got a lot to learn.... This is 2005! Referring to the Constitution is so 20th century! Big no-no! "First amendment" sounds like a hippie to begin with!

Next try, back to square one: greenbacks ready, spot the pockets!

Think Switch (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424491)

From the article:

> "I'm grateful that Mr. Gross has stepped forward to help defend these crucial freedoms."

'Cuz all of a sudden Apple went berserk, the lawsuits startef flying, and these crucial freedoms just disappeared. All of 'em. And they were really good freedoms.

(I had to take the site down and rewrite it really quickly. Needless to say, my rushed website wasn't nearly as good, and I blame Steve Jobs for the grade I got.)

Which is worse? (3, Insightful)

xgyro (553902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424556)

There is something truly wrong if Apple can get this kid to divulge the source of his "leaker" when comparatively, Robert Novak can leak the name of an undercover CIA agent any not have to divulge his source? Tell me if I'm wrong here. I am not a political beast, however I am an Apple fan and this is just an outright atrocity in our society. How can we hold some 19 year old to the fire over something as minor as this and we can have no accountability to such things as the Robert Novak affair? And heck he is STILL employed at CNN!

Apple is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424581)

Simply put, NDA's aren't worth the paper they're written on if you can tell someone else secrets and get away with it as long as that person protects your identity.

We see people complaining about freedom of speech. What about Apple's freedom to keep their information secret?

Re:Apple is right (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424630)

What about the tobacco companies right to keep their information secret?

I don't buy into far reaching "trade secret" protections. You can arbitrarily decide anything someone says that you don't like is a trade secret, and do an end-run around free speech.

Watergate scandal? Excuse me Mr Woodward, our hotel's security and past break-n record is a trade secret, see you in court.

You want to keep a secret? Only tell one person. Then kill them.

You really cant keep secrets in the information age.

Gross & Belsky LLP's record on freedom of spee (1)

bazmail (764941) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424604)

Check out:
http://www.gbcounsel.com/highlights.htm

Specifically:
"Defamation: Gianni Versace, s.P.a. and Little, Brown. Jointly represented the Versace family and businesses in a defamation matter, which resulted in Little, Brown canceling publication of a controversial biography of Gianni Versace.
Hypocrasy?
What say you?

Re:Gross & Belsky LLP's record on freedom of s (1)

AddressException (187785) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424748)

I say hypocrisy; why don't you?

First Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424615)

So what the heck does a PRIVATE lawsuit (ie not involving the government) have to do with the First Amendment?

This is not a constitutional argument.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Re:First Amendment (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424690)

Your boss can't fire you for voting republican or going to the wrong church. If he did, you could sue him/her. So your freedoms of assembly and religion certainly have everything to do with civil law.

Your constitutional rights are your constitutional rights, and usurp civil and criminal law - you know, "Congress shall make no law..." or are at least supposed to.

I'm of the opinion that the constitution is a vague pile of horseshit (or horfefhit as they said in the olden times) that needs to be rewritten by literate Americans, but hey, what do I know about it.

Crapintosh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424633)

since i abandoned MSFT Windoze a few years ago i been using Linux exclusivly, but have been serously considering buying a Macintosh, since i see what pricks and assholes run Apple Computer i guess i will stick with Linux in x86

What a unique definition of "news reporting" (1, Interesting)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11424669)

Apple's attempt to silence a small publication's news reporting [...]

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I just don't get what the ruckus is about this suit. Calling the ThinkSecret publications that caused this suit "news reporting" seems disingenuous to me. Why? Because TS' model seems to be to solicit insider information from within Apple, likely in violation of both trade secret law and the hiring/IP contracts of those who leaked the information. Also, Apple's main aim in this is to find the leaks in its organization. Casting this as "Apple vs. ThinkSecret" also seems like BS, unless this is cast as some sort of yellow-journalism, David v. Goliath type of slant.

An interesting question this suit raises is: where is the line between "news reporting" and "any random schmoe with a blog/website"? What, if any, legal protections and judicial precedents apply to "news" reporters relevant to this context?

Yet more corporate evil (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11424671)

Yet again, Microsoft tries to shit on the little guy, trying to destroy the freedom of speech of an innocent college kid.
What, it's not MS ... it's Apple? Oh, I hope they ruin the guy. Apple rules!!! APPLE RULES! *drinks the kool-aid*.
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