Friday, March 04, 2005

Apple 1 / Nick 0

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Apple won a preliminary ruling to allow subpoena of information from three Mac sites which leaked information surrounding a recently rumored audio product ("Asteroid").


In February, lawyers representing (O'Grady's PowerPage, Think Secret, & AppleInsider) challenged these subpoenas under first amendment protection.

An insightful comment from a MacRumors reader:

"I'm not surprised they won. The first amendment is about ensuring the government can't suppress criticism of it - it's not about publishing commercial in confidence information on web sites.

Historically it's very important that citizens be free to criticize the government. Trying to stretch such an important idea to cover Macintosh rumors demeans it I think.


Why they were most likely granted this ruling:

Think Secret solicits for information by phone number SPECIFICALLY for those that have information under non disclosure. This doesn't necessarily make what they publish illegal ... but the course of action it takes to get this information - is easily equatable to accessory to crime.

Apple also should (and most likely WILL) win this case, based on the fact that the UTSA was clearly broken. The Uniform Trade Secret Act says that you can not report trade secrets if you know they are such.

Lastly, they should win on copyright alone ... most everything Think Secret reports is under strict copyright/patent protection and is not given permission to reuse. (The only case this is so - is if one were to use USPTO.GOV info)

And here's a coupla comments from Slashdot I found interesting:

"Think Secret tries to inform its readers, even at Apple's expense. That this is a problem for Apple is only evidence of Apple's adversarial relationship with their users/customers."

A reply to this:

"Then why is it that Apple is consistently ranked #1, ahead of all other vendors, in customer service and support, and has been for years? I wouldn't call that an "adversarial relationship" with customers. (1 [macnn.com],2 [consumerreports.org])"

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