Forbes writer wonders if Apple is the new Microsoft

“It’s ironic that a company as innovative as Apple Computer could have such a regressive view of the changing world of American media,” Lisa DiCarlo writes for Forbes. The company, led by CEO Steve Jobs, won a round in its quest to force three Apple-enthusiast Web sites to disclose their sources on articles they published regarding unannounced Apple products. In court filings the company argued that the Web sites were not protected by free speech because they are not legitimate members of the press.”

“The ruling, if it stands, will have a chilling and potentially devastating effect not only on blogs, which are growing in stature and prominence, but online media in general,” DiCarlo writes. “This potential threat to first amendment rights and Apple’s crackdown on Web sites that, in general, love the company and its products, do nothing to bolster Apple’s image. In fact the company’s success of late as yielded accusations of bullying and potentially unlawful business tactics, not to mention complaints that songs purchased from its iTunes music service, the dominant digital music store, don’t work with any other music players than its own. To some, that might sound like its neighbor to the north.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple wins initial ruling in ‘Asteriod’ case, can pursue publishers’ confidential sources – March 03, 2005
Apple suspends legal action against three journalists – February 17, 2005
Stop the presses! Apple sues ThinkSecret over ‘Headless Mac,’ ‘iWork,’ and other rumors – January 05, 2005
Apple Computer sues three for posting Mac OS X ‘Tiger’ on Web – December 21, 2004
Apple sues anonymous people over leak of unreleased Apple product info on Web – December 17, 2004
RUMOR: Apple preps analog to FireWire audio device for GarageBand users – November 23, 2004


  1. Oh, Please….The people who published this info about Apple’s unannounced products are modern day thieves, plain and simple. Apple invests a lot of time and money into its product line, and for someone to hide behind the veil of the 1st amendment in an attempt to pass on sensitive information (which was acquired by someone breaking their non-disclosure agreement) is a mockery of the US law system. These people knew they were playing with fire and now they’re going to get burned.

  2. Apple = Big Brother

    (It´s like, hey Apple get over it. Even if someone leaks info on your product – so what? You can never deliver it on time on in quantities anyway.)

    By the time Apple gets mac mini up to snuff in the delivery dept. there will be 5 clones in the PC world out there…

    Hey, Steve where´s the 3 gig Mac you promised 2 years ago????

  3. How about those songs from the also-ran stores that don’t work on Mac? It’s okay to marginalize the Mac but not PC’s?

    Personally, I love reading the rumor sites. But as a stockholder they can do more harm than good. Numerous times the hype becomes an expected announcement and if that announcement doesn’t become reality there is a sell off.

    I think that Apple needs to go after the source, who most likely has signed a NDA. But the site should not be held accountable for relaying the information it has received.

  4. sg: “But as a stockholder they can do more harm than good.”

    Can you give me an instance where this has happened with Apple???

    What leaked rumor has effected Apple in anyway negatively- as in on cut into profits in a substantial way that lowered the stock price for a significant period of time???

  5. I love Apple’s products but this move flat out sucks. If they want to keep secrets, they should control their employees, not other peoples’ rights. “Intellectual property” is becoming a means of intellectual control.

  6. If the rumor sites want to protect themselves, then they should use anonymous donation to receive information.

    If they don’t know who sent the info then they can’t tell Apple.

    Apple do have a right to protect their intellectual property, but really the courts are going to have to decide whether this is protected under freedom of speech / press.

    Apple is probably pissed because the Asteroid device wno’t be released for a while and so this gives competitors plenty of heads up about what they are developing.

  7. hey guys, Apple is a relatively small company. When the basis of your whole appeal is innovation, style, difference, all you have is your secrecy. Doesn’t anyone here own a business? Imagine if Apple did not enforce its NDA’s. Well, what’s to keep secrets from coming out, then competitors like all the Korean variety releasing something quickly.

    JUST THINK, YOU PEOPLE: you are making fun of Intel’s copying the Mac Mini. Well, what if its style was leaked and then Intel made even their awful mockup. Then, Apple releases their product. Is anyone going to be intruigued by an also-ran, a copy, a late effort?

    Just get a clue already. When your whole business relies on being first and best, both demand secrecy until product release. So, if Apple doesn’t sue anyone to find out who leaked the info, what’s the point of having the NDA’s? I am surprised you’ve all been so taken in by the plight of “poor” reporters. Yes, they are just reporters, but the law suits deal with figuring out who broke the law, not the journalists themselves. Why are reports on the Plame case being jailed, but no word on the source of leaks?

  8. I believe that out of all the people complaining about Apple (including all the “Journalists”, who quite clearly have a bit of a biased view of this whole mess) absolutely NONE of them must run or own a business.

    I would (and have) sue employees whom I believed leaked or stole confidential company information (in all cases I have actually proven it). As a stockholder, I have no problem with Steve Jobs & Co. looking after the company’s interests. It is the Supreme Court’s job to look after the constitution and throw out the suit if they feel it doesn’t have merit.

    One can argue, as the Forbes writer did, that the negatives in PR outweigh the benefits to Apple. However, I have a feeling that there is more to the story that is not out in the public, and it is possible that a lot more was leaked than just the Asteroid information. Apple mayy be trying to get to the bottom of something much bigger that may have the potential to cause damage to the company. Why everyone is willing to side with the “leaker” and not be willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt is beyond me.

    In any case, I wonder how the journalists would feel if one of their coleagues went onto their computer, took a piece that they wrote, and than had it published under their own names. I don’t think you would hear any complaints about free speach if the offending party was punished.

  9. critic sez “… took a piece that they wrote, and than had it published under their own names.”

    Bad analogy.

    What product/technology or rumor of a product/technology that has ever been leaked about Apple that somebody else ever made?

    Steve gave the rumor of the 3Gig Mac nearly 2 years ago. That “Rumor” did more damage than any other. I still haven´t bought a Mac waiting for Steve´s rumor to materialize. (Oh and did somebody else bring out a 3Gig Mac based on Steve´s rumor?).

    This is not about any leak of info, it is about going after somebody in Apple – Steve has a vendetta against some fomer employee and is trying to fry them.

  10. Steve had better call off the dogs. This is seriously the uncoolest thing that corporation has ever done. There’s a LOT to criticise about America but the 1st amendment is something to be proud of. If they go through with this bullshit I swear I’ll turn over night from a Mac evangelist to one of its most active critics.

  11. “I’ll turn over night from a Mac evangelist to one of its most active critics.” -Anthony.

    Many of us do try to separate the Mac (the product) from the Company itself. Some of us really don’t like an actor or someone else personally, but really appreciate their performances or their abilities. What would you say when you began to criticize the Mac? That is is a terrible operating system? That it is plagued with viruses and security leaks? That it looks bad and its mother dresses it funny?

    No, it is Apple the corporation that you are concerned about, not the Mac itself.

    I am also VERY uncomfortable with Apple going after people who love and support its products, and who are people who I feel do meet the standard of being journalists in most (perhaps not all) cases.

    But, I’m not giving up my Mac!

  12. Sorry Hg, if you don’t give up on the product then you don’t give up on the corporation. They’re one in the same. You do not hurt the corporation by continuing to evangelise their products!

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