Commentator: Apple need to patch its own ‘leaks’ to better protect trade secrets

“There’s a been a lot of good commentary on free speech, journalism, Apple’s rights, and the nature of the press since Apple first filed suit against Think Secret on the eve of the January Macworld Expo,” Dan Knight writes for LowEndMac. “Apple contends that Think Secret, as well as AppleInsider and PowerPage, knowingly published trade secrets provided to them by one or more individuals violating their nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) with Apple. Apple has also subpoenaed these sites to learn the identity of their sources. These websites, two of which deal primarily in rumors and discussion of prerelease versions of Mac OS X, contend that they are news media, so their reporters should be covered by shield laws.”

Knight writes, “If Apple really wants to protect their trade secrets, they need to be more careful who they put under NDA, put these sites under NDA (Would the publishers agree to it for full information? Only one way to find out….), or discredit their leaks and these publishers with misinformation. As long as Apple has a leaky ship, secrets are going to slip out, people are going to publish them, and the public is going to have some advance knowledge about the next iPod, PowerBook, or version of OS X. Patch your ship, Apple, and keep your crew in line. Then you won’t have to worry about Think Secret and others publishing your trade secrets. Of course, that’s part of the reason for these lawsuits. If Apple can compel these sites to disclose their sources, not only will they have stopped one leak, they will also give others under NDA a reason not to break their promises.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Think Secret files motion to have Apple lawsuit dismissed – March 04, 2005
Attorneys expect decision ‘early next week’ on Apple trade secrets hearing – March 04, 2005
Forbes writer wonders if Apple is the new Microsoft – March 04, 2005
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
ThinkSecret’s Ciarelli gains pro bono legal help in defense of Apple lawsuit – January 19, 2005
ThinkSecret’s Nick Ciarelli says he can’t afford to defend himself against Apple lawsuit – January 15, 2005
Harvard Student and ThinkSecret owner Nick Ciarelli faces Apple’s legal wrath over product ‘leaks’ – January 13, 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

15 Comments

  1. What Apple needs to do is offer monitary incentives for not leaking information.

    If a product or technology can make it to release without any leaks then everyone who signed the NDA would get a bonus of say $500. If a product is leaked before it’s released then anyone who was involved does not get the bonus. It could get pricey for Apple, but it might be one way to avoid leaks. I don’t think sites like Think Secret offer much in the way of compensation for these anonymous sources.

  2. You guys love publishing useless nuggest from other sites, don’t you? How about some original content instead of just quoting everyone else and putting your spin on it at the end. MDN is the Fox News of the Mac world.

  3. What Apple needs to do is offer monitary incentives for not leaking information
    —-

    HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH

    Hrmm.. cost/benefit of NOT getting sued by a huge company

  4. Alex Trebek’s Mother,

    Are you retarded? One man’s “useless nugget” is another’s interesting link. Perhaps you should get familiar with MDN before you open your piehole again?

    “Our mission is to scour the Web for articles that interest Mac and Apple product users, remark on the content of these articles, provide news about Apple Computer, Inc. and their products, and to opine about all things related to Apple and the Mac. Most importantly, MacDailyNews exists to provide a place for our readers and the Mac community to discuss these daily news items in their own words with real-time feedback.”

    http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/contact/

  5. The tone of this article is perplexing to me. It starts out blaming Apple and directing Apple to “…Patch your ship, Apple, and keep your crew in line.”

    Laughably, the author’s solution to Apple’s NDA woes is to “…be more careful who they put under NDA, put these sites under NDA (Would the publishers agree to it for full information? Only one way to find out….), or discredit their leaks and these publishers with misinformation.” I cannot believe that any of these sites would agree to an NDA with Apple because then they could really get hammered with lawsuits. Plus, it goes against the very nature of these sites to ferret out Apple rumors and plans and then publish them. As far as misinformation goes, what kind of an idiotic loser strategy is that?? Apple should be almost as concerned about misinformation (i.e., inflated consumer expectations and deferred sales) as it is about pre-release information.

    The concluding statement hits closer to the mark – Apple needs to identify the NDA violators and stop them. If they have a bad NDA approval and enforcement process, then they need to fix it. But no company is safe from people who are willing to disregard an NDA.

  6. ok.. first of all… Gabriel, Alex Trebek’s Mother.. lighten the hell up. MDN stands for Mac Daily News, and this current issue does qualify as Mac News.

    Now to idea?…. you are suggesting that Apple give their employees a bonus for doing their job and not breaking the law? Well I submit to you that they already do.. it is called a paycheck.

  7. “Patch your ship, Apple, and keep your crew in line. Then you won’t have to worry about Think Secret and others publishing your trade secrets.”

    This is like telling a rape victim to dress more conservatively in the future to avoid being raped. A non-disclosure agreement is a legal document, a promise that in exchange for information necessary for software development, etc. the receiver agrees not to expose that information to the public. Must Apple and every other business or individual who signs a contract assume that it will be routinely violated? Is it somehow unfair to hold people to their written promises? Grow up!

  8. “What Apple needs to do is offer monitary incentives for not leaking information. “

    There is a monetary incentive: the get to keep their paycheck and not get sued.

    Why do they have to offer any additional incentive for people to do what they agreed to do in a legally binding contact?

    It shouldn’t be about getting compensated in the first place. It is a moral issue. These people gave their word to not disclose things, and they shouldn’t violate that no matter how much money was offered.

    Just goes to show that morality discussions should have a place in school, since so many here on MDN don’t seem to see the violators of NDAs as the bad guys in this case.

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