Friday, September 16, 2005

Save Nick vs Save Apple

Here's an exchange I made in the Macrumors forum earlier today:

EvilMole Said:

The golden rule in law is that the accuser has to prove its accusations, not assume them

FixYourThinking said:

Wrong ... I have to have suspects first ... that's why they call them suspects.

I could have all the evidence in the world and it still does not command guilt or innocence ... that's why there is a jury system. Apple has enough proof that this was trade secret information. Receiving AND reporting on such are against the law.

Yes, the point of origin may be an Apple employee ... but the end result is that this is STOLEN information and Think Secret, AppleInsider, and The PowerPage are TRAFFICING STOLEN INFORMATION. They are breaking a law that supercedes the shield law, and ... just to be bratty ... they are NOT journalists.

EvilMole Said:

Oh yawn. It's nothing to do with enemies.

FixYourThinking said:

"Wrong again .. you don't know this and have no way to back that up... my hunch is IT IS enemies ... those involved in the reseller lawsuit perhaps .... perhaps Creative ... who declared "War on the iPod" "

Below, you will find a recent post I made to the Macrumors website concerning this issue.

Here is the petition started by FixYourThinking:

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.


Here is the petition started by John Eldridge:

To: Apple Computer

We implore Apple to withdraw legal action against 19-year old student Nicholas Ciarelli and his Web site, Think Secret. We urge all sides in the dispute to seek an alternative way to resolve their problem, and beg Apple not to value its corporate interest above the first amendment rights of journalists to report information. Surely in this case Think Secret has served to draw attention to Apple's new products, helping to generate massive publicity. This is a David and Goliath fight, we implore Apple not to use its power against an individual that has so little power with which to defend themself.


Posted by someone named RodRod at MacRumors:

One of your main conclusions is that ThinkSecret's publishing of rumors hurts Apple stock. As this is contrary to empirical evidence, what are you left with?

As petition signatory #38 states, "I think apple should pursue those that broke their NDA's not Nick dePlume. I am an apple shareholder. I have seen apple's ahres skyrocket this past year. the rumors help. haven't you heard the old addage, buy on rumor. sell on fact. nick's work helps apple."

As petition signatory #75 states, "Because a web based petition created by a smeghead apple sycophant in South Carolina is really going to motivate Apple Inc. to persecute a young adult for exposing their panties."

This lawsuit helps Apple's relations with developers. The message the lawsuit sends, and the one point on which both supporters and detractors of the lawsuit agree, is that Apple takes NDAs very seriously. In other words, the message is, "don't violate your NDA."

---------- FIX YOUR THINKING COMMENTARY ----------

Stock data FOR THIS QUARTER is skewed due to iPod holiday sales. Look at the stock and the inventory problems Apple has just before expos. Why do you think Apple is TRYING VERY HARD to get away from expo only announcements? Because - if they had continued, the rumor sites would continue to steal any thunder that Apple had at all. Also, Apple is in a unique position in the computer industry right now - where anything they do can ride the success of the iPod. Other companies are literally falling ALL OVER rumor sites trying to find out anything they can - it's nothing short of corporate espionage.

As for the dozen or so fake signatures that are on the petition; there are literally hundreds on the "save nick petition" that are fake. Steve Ballmer & Bill Gates signed it too with similar [ faked ] hate messages.

I knew when I created it - that it was somewhat flamebait. But the "save nick" petition is the most ridiculous thing I have seen come out of this debate. (what does his being a college student and being 19 have anything to do with the issue; for instance?)

Investigation doesn't equal Solicitation
The Press investigates & reports, Think Secret solicits & reports

It may NOT be right for Apple to pursue this from a PR perspective, but business is not about PR and it's not about bottom lines. It's all about integrity and responsibility. Any business that has those two characteristics will be a success no matter what market revelation.

Shame on Think Secret and shame on any one who agrees what they have done is ethically or legally appropriate. And certainly; shame on Think Secret for making Apple customers even discuss this issue to begin with.

You don't have to pay $$ to bribe someone

To some gossipers - being the source of the information is payment

I don't think many who consider Think Secret in the clear, are considering the points that I have brought up in this forum or others. It bothers me that Think Secret became a lot more accurate just as Elite Computers and Macadam declared "WAR ON APPLE". It bothers me that Think Secret has initimate knowledge of this lawsuit. It bothers me that Think Secret mixes obviously true stories like this, partially true stories like the MacMini, and completely inaccurate rumors like iPod Mini's with 2GB and starting at $99. It bothers me that they are unlike ANY OTHER rumor site that seems to report gossip. Instead Think Secret quotes sources as "deep with inside Apple" They also solicit for rumors via a phone number. You HAVE to know that anyone who gives such information is under NDA. sometimes bases rumors on reader submissions of patents and FCC approvals - I see nothing wrong with that. Macrumors also aggregates rumors - I see nothing wrong with that. Macrumors sometimes makes guesses based on release dates and refresh periods - again - I see nothing wrong with that.

As Mac lovers - we are all being taken advantage of because we are so interested in Apple that we cease to have any respect to their right to privacy and corporate integrity.

This debate has been bastardized into a freedom of speech - constitutional issue. This is the same type of misrepresentation that goes on with the separation of church and state. Many leave out the "free exercise thereof" part. Yet others, apply this part of the sentence to the freedom of speech clause.

Let's see that ammendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

This says, Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

Where does it say in there, "there are no consequences for what you say" or "words, business plans, product information are NOT property" or "if someone tells you something you have the right to report it without impunity" Where? Anyone? Please, where?

Here's the word rumor from the dictionary:

rumor (as in "gossip") v. : tell or spread rumors;

Gossip is often slanderous is it not? Gossip is often false or misleading or inaccurate, is it not?

Here's the word libel from the dictionary:

libel (as in "defame") v. : make slanderous statements against; "The paper was accused of libeling him"

Interesting that the dictionary uses this example. It shows the press is not immune from their reporting. They are free to report it; if they use legal means to acquire and investigate the issue at hand.

Come on people; is Think Secret really the press? Are they not providing traffic for stolen property? In this instance - the information acquired is embargoed by Non Disclosure Agreement. Do they have the right to pass it on if they know it to be embargoed? Does Apple not have the right to trade secret privacy?

If Apple or Steve Jobs were involved in some sort of corporate scandal, I could understand someone [ maybe even Think Secret ] reporting on it. This is not scandalous information, it is not news, it's not even rumormongering - plain and simple - it's theft and trafficing of stolen property!

If I feared this was a 1st ammendment issue, I wouldn't even remotely consider typing anything about this. I would fear that MY 1st ammendment rights may be in jeopardy because of the editorial commentary I make in my ramblings on this website.

I found the blurb below interesting from the previous Jackwhispers story posted. As I cut and pasted the new story here, I decided to leave this infomation:


"copyright law prohibits the substantial use of a copyrighted work without permission of the copyright owner"

See the FixYourThinking BLOG Archive for January 2005 for separate, more detailed articles:

January 2005 BLOG Archive

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