Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Did Engadget also break copyright and UTSA laws by publishing the false email?

More questions arise from "AppleGate"

An insightful reader left this comment last night on the FixYourThinking story; "Should Engadget be fined for posting false information.":

When considering whether Engadget should be "fined" (or otherwise punished), I'm curious as to why they didn't post this part of the bogus email (emphasis added):

"Copyright © Apple Inc. All rights reserved. As a condition of receiving this publication, you agree that you will not unlawfully duplicate, download to a database, transmit electronically, or disseminate by any means whatsoever any portion of this publication, nor will you use any information in this publication in violation of the Copyright Act. If you violate these terms, you will be subject to all penalties provided under United States copyright laws, including penalties of up to $50,000 per incident and all other remedies available to Apple Inc. in equity or at law."

Perhaps they didn't want to identify their obvious culpability.

Very good point!

* UTSA = Uniform Trade Secret Act


Anonymous said...

Well since the letter wasn't from Apple, it's a false copyright claim which completely invalidates it, doesn't it? Apple can't claim copyright on *somebody else's* communication passed through their email system as a hoax.

Besides, copyrights on workaday emails are stupid, and just a scare tactic. All the legal force in the nondisclosure agreement, if you don't have that, you don't have anything.

As for posting information that turned out to be false: uh, you'd have to lock up pretty much everyone in the country.

That being said, Ryan Block f'ed up big time and should have apologised instead of making excuses, I am totally unimpressed with that idiot. In fact this explains a lot about why Engadget consistently gets the details of many tech stories wrong. They are too credulous, don't check into anything very deeply, and are not very detail-oriented.

FYT said...

The fact that the notice is ON ALL Apple emails makes none of them capable of being disseminated "false or not".

Did you consider that one of the reasons that message is there is because of instances like this happening?

Paul Douglas said...

It doesn't matter that the e-mail's not real. Engadget thought it was and disregarded the copyright under that circumstance, as did the leak.

Anonymous said...

generally speaking, publishing things in the press is not a violation of the copyright act. otherwise drudge would have been out of business long ago.