Documents reveal Apple never conducted internal investigation before suing rumor sites

“The Electronic Frontier Foundation said Apple acted too quickly in subpoenaing journalists and bloggers accused of stealing trade secrets,” David Needle reports for “Court documents in the case were unsealed last week. EFF said they reveal Apple tried to subpoena two reporters’ anonymous sources without first conducting a thorough internal investigation.”

Needle reports, “EFF said this is a crucial issue in the case, which will be heard by a California appeals court. The First Amendment and the California Constitution require that Apple exhaust all other alternatives before trying to subpoena journalists. ‘The First Amendment requires that compelled disclosure from journalists be a last resort,’ said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl in a statement. ‘Apple must first investigate its own house before seeking to disturb the freedom of the press.’ Apple also claimed that its internal investigation was itself a trade secret that needed to be sealed from opposing counsel, but the EFF and its co-counsel, Thomas Moore III and Richard Wiebe, argued successfully to the court that it be unsealed.”

“The EFF and co-counsel are representing journalists with the online news sites and After the sites printed articles about ‘Asteroid,’ rumored to be a much-anticipated FireWire audio interface for its GarageBand music program, Apple claimed violation of trade secret law. In December, the company sued several unknown parties, known as ‘Does,’ who allegedly leaked information about “Asteroid” to the journalists,” Needle reports.

Full article here.

Related articles:
Appeal filed in Apple trade secrets suit – March 23, 2005
Dvorak weighs in on Apple vs. ‘rumor website’ lawsuits – March 16, 2005
Apple wins key ruling; three people who published trade secrets must reveal sources – March 11, 2005
Apple’s lawsuits to guard against rumor sites cause sour taste for some – March 09, 2005
Commentator: Apple need to patch its own ‘leaks’ to better protect trade secrets – March 07, 2005
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


  1. I always find it amusing that we gripe about Microsoft to no end and, then, faced with the cold hard truth that Apple can be just as greedy as anybody else, nobody really comments on these postings. Apple talks all big about “think different” but does the exact opposite and attacks its incredibly loyal user base – that makes its actions a hundred times worse. And I know everybody’s excuse – it hurts the company, its sales, etc – but these secrets are being leaked internally. Apple fans have always been the most loyal computer users around – why are they being punished? Why doesn’t this bother anybody else?

    SuSE is looking better and better.

    MDN magic word: the

  2. My position is the same as it has always been. Apple rumor sites should not take a position of conflict with Apple. These are ostensibly fan sites, catering to the Apple junkies’ insatiable lust for inside information. As such, it makes no sense to turn Apple into an enemy.

  3. g$

    unpossible is one of those words you run across on the internet which makes you cry for the future of the english language, but also make you laugh out loud.

    Try saying it … fun isn’t it?

    The point is that when someone makes an idiotically trollish comment the only proper way to respond is with some ridiculous “arguing on the internet” type of retort. Hence … “unpossible.”

    welcome to the internets!

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