Harvard Student and ThinkSecret owner Nick Ciarelli faces Apple’s legal wrath over product ‘leaks’

“In the wake of Apple Computer’s product announcement flurry this week, a Web site popular with Apple enthusiasts has evaluated its earlier predictions of the products and found it got much right–so much right that Apple has filed a law suit against the 19-year-old Harvard student who operates the Think Secret site,” TechWeb.com reports.

“Undergraduate Nicholas M. Ciarelli had disclosed some details about Apple’s ‘headless iMac,’ [Mac mini] the firm’s under-$500 computer unveiled at Macworld this week. For that, and for other leaks on planned Apple product announcements, Ciarelli has incurred the wrath of Apple, which has filed the complaint in Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara,” TechWeb.com reports. “Ciarelli, who has been running the Think Secret site since he was 13, is an editor at Harvard’s student newspaper, The Crimson. ‘I employ the same legal newsgathering practices used by any other journalist,’ he told the Crimson. ‘I talk to sources of information, investigate tips, follow up on leads, and corroborate details. I believe these practices are reflected in Think Secret’s track record.'”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews article:
Stop the presses! Apple sues ThinkSecret over ‘Headless Mac,’ ‘iWork,’ and other rumors – January 05, 2005


  1. The problem is that leaking confidential info can affect a company’s marketability of products and stock value. It’s serious stuff. While I like advance info as much as anyone on Apple products, a line has to be drawn on these paparazzi types to exist solely on digging up precious trade secrets from shady sources and spreading them to the world. The kid may be smart, but knowingly using sources that clearly breech legal confidentiality agreements is crossing the line of ethical journalism. Just my opinion.

  2. Give him a good tounge-lashing, tell him not to do it again�and let him go. Be good PR with the Mac community. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. “Give him a good tounge-lashing, tell him not to do it again�and let him go. Be good PR with the Mac community.”

    I think they’ve told him that several times already.

  4. RePlay: “Give him a good tounge-lashing, tell him not to do it again�and let him go. Be good PR with the Mac community.”

    Actually, they are going to have to bury the kid. Apple needs to set an example (if there is substantial evidence to back up the lawsuit) to others who would reveal such information. As they say in the legal profession, “A law is not a law unless you enforce it.” (Because then there would be no reason to have the law!) The same argument exists in this case.

  5. Screw with the bull and you get the horn, I have no sympathy for the kid. He was warned but the smart ass had to keep screwing with Apple. Hope he learns something from this, but based on his track record I doubt it. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cheese” style=”border:0;” />

  6. The fear is that it allows competitors to make copycat products more quickly.

    Remember how quickly that crappy Buymusic.com came online after the iTMS?

    Imagine if they had gotten screenshots and detailed descriptions of its functionality a couple months before launch. It actually is a problem that could affect Apple and its shareholders materially.

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