Monday, January 17, 2005

The Apple Please Pursue Litigation Against Think Secret Petition

...


I am starting a petition to pursue the lawsuit for several reasons:

1) This costs you and I in higher prices due to attorney costs - HP, Dell do not have much of a trade secret protection legal team

2) Every time around Macworld; stockholders suffer and Apple sales plummet (temporarily) due to rumors. This can sometimes skew sales projections. (Admittedly this time, it might be different - but Apple is still riding the iPod wave - so it's hard to tell)

3) Think Secret is different than other rumor websites. It specifically solicits insider information with a phone number.



4) With the amount of accurate information - the sources used HAVE to be known NDA breaches. (As many have compared - this is similar to accessory to crime and to receiving stolen property)

5) Think Secret has a certain tone about it that is negative. Nick Ciarelli seems too intimate with the bogus reseller lawsuit. ( which I'm actually thinking could be someone fronting for the real writer - I notice recent postings on the site have been by someone named Ryan and not Nick dePlume (ciarelli's alias) )

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/0515opts/petition.html

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.


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.


...

1 comment:

Sef Tarbell said...

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?I think that journalism is a hard to define concept. For instance, is it journalism when the Enquirer and other rags publish stories about aliens, celebrity fat farms, etc? Well, I think it's stupid, but that's an opinion, so we need to find some basis for this distinction in fact. Looking at a dictionary and paraphrasing a bit for the modern world, I would define journalism as: the collecting, writing, editing and presentating of material that is of current interest or wide popular appeal. Or a simpler definition: Material written for publication. I would however exempt fiction from this, as there should be a fairly clear distinction between what is written purely for entertainment. So, is the Enquirer engaging in journalism? If they are not just making the stories up they are. If someone told them the aliens abducted them, they are reporting it. On the other hand, if some reporter is just sitting at his computer thinking up this s**t, then it's fiction.

So, was Think Secret engaging in journalism? Of course they were. They were reporting news, of a sort. Someone told them that a new Firewire interface for Garage Band was being developed and would be out soon. Yay! Tell everyone! Of course, there is another factor... Did the someone who told them this break a contract in doing so? Probably. So should TS reveal the source to Apple? Probably. Why? Because that person could be liable for the release of trade secrets and Apple should act to protect their intellectual property. As a software engineer, I would be pretty po'd if someone leaked information about what I was working on before I was ready.

And one last point, is TS practicing an immoral policy by soliciting NDA-breaking information? Although I hate to judge people... Yes.