Apple Forces Rumors Site To Shut Down

from the ouch dept

For a few years now, there’s been a legal battle going on between Apple and Think Secret, a very popular Apple rumors site for publishing certain rumors. The lawsuit had many people up in arms, as they pointed out that Think Secret should be protected in the same way a newspaper is protected (and noting that Apple would never sue the WSJ the way it sued Think Secret). It made sense to go after whoever leaked the info to ThinkSecret, but going after the publication was ridiculous. While the case has dragged on, unfortunately, Apple won some of the legal battles. Now, as sent in by Jon, comes the news that Apple and Think Secret have “settled,” but that settlement means that Think Secret needs to cease publishing entirely. The guy behind Think Secret notes that he never gave up the source, and calls this settlement amicable — but it sets a horrible precedent for plenty of sites, and may create quite the chilling effect on reporters and bloggers alike. It’s really a shame that Apple even decided to pursue this vendetta, and the fact that it ends with Think Secret being shut down completely is a travesty.

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Companies: apple, thinksecret

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Comments on “Apple Forces Rumors Site To Shut Down”

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bob walker (user link) says:


I can understand the need for secrecy with business, but I am disappointed with apple over this very much. seems like you ignore them and no one would have bothered reading the site. by suing them you make the info seem credible. seems like freedom of speech only applies to multinationals and deep pockets anymore. if you own the network – you are free to speak. what a shame – apple should have lost this one and I own a mac. jobs get a life….

FilmJr says:


Having owned only Macs since 1999, I’ve only recently decided to build my first PC. The two bitter pills I couldn’t swallow with Apple were: the lack of current generation, mid-level video cards, and the ridiculous prices of memory on BTO Macs from the Apple Store ($699 for 4g in a new iMac….please.)

I think this “settlement” with Think Secret shines a flashlight on a trend that’s difficult to notice when wearing Mac-colored glasses: that Apple is changing (or possibly has already changed) from a great company into a company that makes great products, and those are very different things.

Blame the iPod and its phenomenal mainstream success; the Mac hardcore just aren’t as important anymore.

Someone says:


Apple has definitely changed and your comment about the faithful not being as important is very true. ever evident by the delay in releasing leopard in favor of the iPhone. I work in education which I believe is still one of Apple’s Larger markets and the delay from a May release to an October release, basically meant that we bought almost 200 computers this summer that we knew were going to be running an outdated OS in the fall. and they didn’t even do what Microsoft did leading up to the release of Vista and let you purchase a freeminimal upgrade license, you have to buy it totally outright.

HAL (user link) says:


I remember Nicholas Ciarelli back when he was a troll on the IRC channel. Ryan Meader and the gang dismissed the kid (and really, he was just a kid) but he remained zealous. Times sure did change. Meader lost all his sources and ThinkSecret (along with AppleInsider) became the best rumour sites around.

Here’s to ya, Nick. You had a nice long run.. Well done, young man.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

How do you know this will have a chilling effect on other bloggers/reporters.

Um… because the next time a blogger/reporter gets a hot tip, he has to think about the fact that he may end up with years of legal headaches leading to his site being shut down. No matter what the actual agreement is, since it was totally private, this situation can be used to scare any blogger/reporter into settling quickly or just NOT posting their content.

That’s the chilling effect.

Technology Blog (user link) says:

A tear to my eye..

This news really saddened me. I used to be an avid reader of ThinkSecret, I was there in their glory days and their not-so-glorious days as well. I remember when the news first broke about the Apple lawsuit… I guess I never thought anything would come of it because thats what happens when major corporations sue website owners these days *cough*piratebay*cough*. I stopped reading ThinkSecret when they stopped putting up content frequently enough to keep up with the other 50Bajillion Mac Rumorsites. I wonder if Nick will anonymously startup a new rumor site now, afterall he DID get to keep his super secret source… 😀

Nice Post. Sad to see TS go. Anyhow, tomorrow is a new day, which means 5 Bazillion new mac rumor sites will spring up. haha


TerpsFreak (profile) says:

Apple vs MS? No Comparison

Anyone who would compare Apple to MS in the light of this article clearly has an MS agenda.

Fact: MS has a customer satisfaction rate of ~26% (their internal numbers)
Fact: Apple’s customer satisfaction number consistently hover above 60%
Fact: When my 17″ PowerBook G4, which I purchased in Feb, 2003, went down last month, Apple replaced the $1000 motherboard for $300 (AppleCare had run out long ago)
Fact: MS tried to charge my wife $300 for a new copy of XP when she lost her restore disks in a move even though she had proof of purchase (she loves the iBook I bought her after I chucked her Dell in the trash)
Fact: Initial 2007 holiday shopping reports show Apple products dominating consumer electronics purchases

This is a great company that makes great products. One of the reasons their products stand out has been Apple’s ability to release new products without copycat competitors being able to discern what’s coming around the bend and beating them to the punch with watered down rip-offs.

Some of Think Secret’s reports threatened Apple’s advantage in this regard and since Apple couldn’t track down the source internally, they gave Think Secret a nice wad of cash to walk away (“amicable” = i got enough cash that I feel good about this deal). Win/Win.

jhunter says:

Re: Apple vs MS? No Comparison

They aren’t comparing products, they are comparing their business practices. However, MS (despite everything else) doesn’t sue their biggest fans for promoting their product. I’m tired of reading these posts from Apple apologists all over the internet, if we discovered Steve Jobs sacrificing babies on an alter of iPods you would probably say “at least he isn’t dumb enough to say we will never need more than 640k of ram”.

Apple isn’t perfect, they don’t care about you, they want to make money. They make a better product than MS right now, but they are even more closed and just as big a dick as MS (they just have less weight to throw around).

xxdesmus (user link) says:

yet another reason to hate Apple

This just adds more fuel to the fire. I will NEVER buy an Apple computer because I despise what this company stands for. They cheat, they lie, they use dirty slanderous tactics, and they bully innocent journalists.

I hope the public will wake the f**k up. Apple is evil. If you think Microsoft is evil, well, then you need to also take a serious look at Apple’s practices.

Sean says:

You people are just so stupid

I can’t understand how you people post these hyperbolic anecdotal stories you have with a company that just proves that the entire company is X way because of one experience. All of you people who develop loyalty to one OS or one set of hardware are just incredibly stupid ‘sheep’ (To use the trendiest word ever) equally as brainwashed as the same people you criticize.

Anonymous Chowder says:

Did you hear???

Apple is going to be releasing new versions of the iPhone and iPod this year! And new versions of macs as well… Laptop and Desktop!

Don’t forget to look for the new iCradle that combines all of the current Apple products into a baby cradle. It will be available in pastel pink and blue for only $2999 and of course super ultra hip dark grey / nickel for $3999.

They’re going to be manufactured in China by a contract manufacturing company and several patents will be filed covering the innovativeness…

Steve Jobs will show it off at MacWorld and make the cover of babycouture magazine.

This will be followed with the next version 100 days later that has twice the memory and is iBinky (bluetooth enabled) compatible.



Damien says:

You call that a bargain?

Fact: When my 17″ PowerBook G4, which I purchased in Feb, 2003, went down last month, Apple replaced the $1000 motherboard for $300 (AppleCare had run out long ago)

That right there is your problem: you think you got a bargain. The most expensive PC motherboard I could find off the top of my hat is a whopping $399.99, with a board equal to the feature-set in the G4 (2-slot DDR ram, Ultra ATA HD connection, either AGP or PCI video card connection) only running around $50 dollars or so.

Sorry bud, you still got ripped off. Actually anyone who agrees to Apple’s ridiculous prices is getting ripped off; but then I say that as someone who builds his own PCs… so there might be a bias 🙂

Syn-Ack says:

Travesty....I don't think so

While I agree that it was bad publicity for Apple to persue this case, I definately do not feel it was a travesty for a couple of reasons.
1) The source was not revealed.
2) There was no court judgement which in my opinion would truly set a precedent.

This doesn’t prevent the source from reporting to someone else and twenty other sites can pop up without worrying about a judicial precedent. Not the best outcome, but hardly a travesty.

George Thornton says:

I guess this is a Non-constructive rant according to apple they pulled in three minutes from their forums.

Note: the **** that was the word ‘porn’, since when is the word porn considered profanity.


Each person I talked to was more arrogant than the last, it like they have been trained to be complete DICKS.

They all think they all think they are steve jobs.
Apple removed your post on Apple Discussions titled “Re: Quicktime 7.6 causes Sims 2 crash AND CIV IV not to run” because it contained the following:

Speculation or Rumors
Discussion of Apple Policies, Procedures or Decisions
Non-constructive rants or complaints

We are including a copy of your post at the end of this email for your reference.

Our terms of use, which include helpful information about using Apple Discussions, is located here: We encourage you to continue using the Apple Discussions while abiding by our terms of use.

If you would like to send feedback to Apple about a product, please use the appropriate selection here:

As part of submitting feedback, please read the Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy linked to the feedback page.

Kind regards,
Apple Discussions staff


This message is sent from a send-only email account. Any replies sent to this address are deleted automatically by the system.


A copy of your message for reference:


I was on the phone for over an hour yesterday and a half of an hour today with Apple support and yes, I have AppleCare. (Worthless). The wouldn’t call the manufacture, they wouldn’t even pull up the web page stating what we all know.
My problem is with Civ IV – won’t run after quicktime 7.6 update.
I have IMac 10.4.11 and is the ONLY software I have installed is Civ IV. Everything else I do is online. AGAIN, THE ONLY software I have installed is Civ IV. (Bought parallels never needed it, never install it).

No root kits, no programing suites, no russian ‘free’ games, no ****, no freeware, no shareware, no cute nifty anything, no file sharing, no ripping, no copying, NOTHING ELSE, nor do I use anything else installed on the machine. Nothing! No, garage band, no quicktime, no iphoto, no email,

So, it is either a problem with Apple OS 10.4.11 or Civ IV 2.13 — Lets think what changed two and half weeks ago. ONLY ONE THING – Quick Time 7.6.

After 22 years I have retired POOR from IT the industry.
My First Game Machine: Pong – 1972.
My Handheld Game Machine: TI-59 with the mag strip reader – 1977
MY first Computers Vic-20/Timex/appleii/mac 128.
And probably over a 100 computers since then.

Professionally, I sold and installed 10,000 plus operating systems, 1,000 of servers, hundreds of networks. I worked tier IV help desk – Thats where you stay on the phone until the problem is resolved! Shift changes someone else takes over but they keep working the problem until resolved!

Lets just ‘pretend’ a I know a little bit about computers, software and operating systems. little bit – No I don’t code, I solve the problems, that don’t need coding.
I called Apple care: they said reinstall your os?! blank-ME… I could have bought a Dell and saved a thousand bucks to have some idiot tell me to reinstall my os. (oh, and I did. now, I can’t double click an icon to open a file or run a program – nice reinstall)

They changed the operating system then they blame the manufacture. Great way to keep third party companies writing software for your OS. (Great business plan)
That Apple absolutely refuses to acknowledge anything is wrong – infuriates me.
I don’t like being treated like an idiot, talked down to, treated like the customer is the PROBLEM, etc. especially when I am right! (Or, I guess you are all wrong too.)

I told them it’s not just me it’s thousands of people, (Don’t care at all)
They pay for all this warm and fuzzy advertising but, they don’t deliver.

What happened to Apple? I notice ‘Computer Support’ is selection 3. I guess they are now a gadget company.

I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER APPLE AGAIN.(or ipod or phone or t-shirt)

I might even sell this one.

I will go out of my way to slam them on the internet and people I know anywhere and anytime.

You have ticked off one person but, you will lose a hundred customers (trust me)
Here the other excuse I find unacceptable, they sell what 50 software titles in their stores. 1/2 is apple software. 1/2 is third party software.

“Note: Products sold through this website that do not bear the Apple Brand name are serviced and supported exclusively by their manufacturers in accordance with terms and conditions packaged with the products. Apple’s Limited Warranty does not apply to products that are not Apple-branded, even if packaged or sold with Apple products. Please contact the manufacturer directly for technical support and customer service.”

Heck Microsoft has “certified to run” on ‘X’ OS.
Is that so hard Apple, that you won’t or unable to certify software to run under your own OS.

Quicktime is apple answer to microsofts ie – Something to lock into your os so you can only use it.

Quicktime sucked 8 years ago and still does, I-tunes is just about as bad. (you can’t list songs by file name?! what!)

Peeved, Angry, plus more…. ANGRY – VERY ANGRY
Apple, you better figure out customers don’t need you – you need them.

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