Apple Wins Round One Against Rumor Sites

from the oh-well dept

While ThinkSecret and others have tried to persuade Apple to drop their lawsuits against sites that posted leaked info about products, the lawsuits have moved forward. It looks like Apple has won the first round, as a judge told the sites that they do need to reveal who leaked the info to them. The EFF, who is defending the sites, say they’ll appeal the decision. While this might not seem like such a big deal, it may eventually set a precedent on just what kind of protections independent writers have online.

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Comments on “Apple Wins Round One Against Rumor Sites”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

Have your cake and eat it, too

As I read it, the judge claims that the bloggers have no legal right to protect their sources as they are not journalists.

However, the reason Apple is sueing them is because they (the bloggers in question) have a system in place for sharing information on a worldwide basis, which in a way makes them journalists.

What bugs me is that it’s not like they were sharing the secret formula for Coca-Cola or the seventeen herbs and spices in KFC chicken, which are obvious trade secrets – they simply revealed Apple’s new products a few days before Apple did. Once Apple revealed the products, the early leaks became a moot point – IMHO.

If anything, Apple should be excited that their customers are willing to visit underground/rumor sites to find out what’s coming next.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

While I agree with you.

Take this stance, Apple is releasign new products, they want all the press, people waitign in breath to see what their new products will be, and don’t like it when someone steals the thunder from them. Granted the news is about their products, just they didn’t announce it first. [Just a take on it, i agree with you].

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Design is a critical part of Apple’s appeal to customers, so revealing design “secrets” will of course miff them.

I can understand Apple’s frustration: employees have (likely) violated the terms of their employment contracts with Apple, and they would like to know whom they can trust.

It is as much about theft as it is about journalistic fringes.

Karl says:

Re: Amusing

Can you imagine if “APPLE” were replaced with “MICROSOFT”? God this company has a Teflon coating that should be packaged and sold. They can do no wrong….

So basically, on-line journalists can scoop major papers and have their stories stolen by print-mags weeks later, but they aren’t offered the same source protection. Ridiculous.

Mojo says:

Re: Re: Amusing

ABSOLUTLEY bloggs and fan sites will count as journalism and the appeal will be won. Websites are protected by first amendment rights and that’s all there is to it. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about millions of NY Times readers or a few thousand 2600 subscribers, it’s all the same.

And while I understand Apple’s plight, the fact is that trying to get the scoop on a product is a game that goes way back. Pick up any automotive magazine and you’ll see that they ROUTINELY try to get spy pictures and advance info on the latest cars before they are made public. These magazines never get sued and the same principles will apply to online journalism.

Apple can’t become an expaning, huge company and expect to still keep everything a secret. It just can’t be done. However, they have to remember that only a small fraction of the buying public will ever read fan sites and see these rumors, so really who cares?

Stevemc (user link) says:

Re: Re: Amusing

You’ve got that right. Apple has the type of business pracices Microsoft can only dream of… you can have any Mac you want as long as you buy it from Apple, any music you want as long as you buy it from the iTunes store, and they’ve even choked a networks of loyal dealers with their own retail outlets….and it seems that you can have any information you want about their products, if you wait and get it from Apple… Always amazes me that this type of business model appeals to “creative types”…. “Think different”, indeed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Amusing

You are absolutely RIGHT, Apple computer is a LOUSY company. Every one knows that, it is not secret. They have, for a LONG time had HORRIBLE customer service, and everyone knows it, their products are more expensive than the competition, and they are, on the whole, starting from Steve Jobbs on down, a group of arrogant, ignorant, rude, jackasses.

No doubt about it. Apple doesn?t have a Teflon reputation? it has the ultimately shitty reputation.

So how do they stay in business? Why to the educated types and the creative types tolerate it?

Because Apple has the one thing that Microsoft lacks? stuff that WORKS.

Yah, we have to put up with a HUGE load of crap from Apple, Yah, we have to pay more to do it, but at the end of the day, we spend our time getting work done on the computer, rather than working on the computer?

Of course the crap to usefulness ratio has been pointing on the other direction for a year or so? but Apple does that? they go through peaks and valleys.

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