The Motley Fool’s Beyers: Apple’s ‘un-freaking-believable’ attack against bloggers

“There are some things I hate about Apple. Topping the list is its propensity to shut out reporters who have a habit of breaking news the Mac maker doesn’t like. Last week, a California court agreed to hear a case in which Apple’s lawyers are pressing a blogger to reveal the source of a leak. Here’s the background: In 2004, rumor sites PowerPage and AppleInsider reported that Apple would release a device that would allow musicians to plug analog gear directly into a Mac to take advantage of the GarageBand composing software. Apparently furious with the leak, Apple filed suit. Its subpoena seeks to unmask the unnamed sources referenced in published stories,” Tim Beyers writes for The Motley Fool. “Welcome to the 1970s. Here’s your reservation to the Watergate. Please enjoy your stay; just don’t make a ruckus while you’re here. And don’t go talking to anyone named Woodward or Bernstein, please.”

Beyers writes, “Not that I’m unsympathetic to the idea of Apple or others protecting their trade secrets, but breaking a story about a product in development without revealing exactly how to build that product — as the bloggers did — doesn’t exactly strike me as corporate espionage. It’s just . . . news. What’s more, this is hardly the first time Apple has played the bully when it comes to leaks. Does anyone else remember MacWEEK? Long before AppleInsider, PowerPage, ThinkSecret, and others like them, MacWEEK was earnings enemies at Apple for breaking stories about forthcoming products. It also published lots of rumors. But now that the journalistic gesticulating has fled from the pages of ink-stained weeklies to the URLs of digital dailies, the rights of writers have suddenly eroded? Un-freaking-believable.”

Full article here.

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Related articles:
Apple questioned in ‘Asteroid’ trade secrets case – April 20, 2006
San Jose court to hear Apple ‘Asteriod’ case, weigh in on bloggers’ rights – April 17, 2006
Apple wins initial ruling in ‘Asteroid’ case, can pursue publishers’ confidential sources – March 04, 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. Why can’t the bloggers just let Apple release their stuff when they want to? Why do they have to steal Apple’s thunder? If Apple wants to keep their stuff secret then it’s their right.

  2. I agree, Apple doesn’t need to focus so strongly on this kind of crap. It would be much better if instead they focused on the reaction to said rumor, and then make the friggin’ thing if it gets a strong reaction.

  3. It is sites like this that feed the need for rumors. Honestly, I’m glad Apple is getting kicked on this one. It will allow for more overall freedom of reporting by the web journalists.

    The sites in question, are not some kid making things up. They are ones that we as Mac fans have been looking to for details on up coming products.

    It is a dual edged sword for Apple. They have this incredable fan base. What other computer manufacturer or manufacture for that matter has a fan base like this? On the other hand, the fan base needs to be fed. The appitite for information for Apple related information and tidbits of future information is what is driving the fan base.

    Apple needs the fan base. They should not try to kill it.

    Magic Word: police as in… Apple really shouldn’t try to police the internet. (leave that to George W Bush)

    How does Magic work know what I’m going to say?!?

  4. Bloggers aren’t real journalists… most of these bozos just recycle news that REAL news sources go out and GET. Hence, they’re not protected. It may be “news” but blogs aren’t real “news” sources…

  5. Moe:
    I agree totally. Apple has every right to file a lawsuit and let a judge decide. Apple is being proactive about what it feels is a serious issue. This has become a childish cat and mouse game with these bloggers. They cry like freakin little girls when they don’t get their way. Pathetic.

    WTF?? If an idiot can file a suit for spilling hot McDonalds coffee on their dumb ass…..

  6. Letter to Motley Fool:
    Dear Sirs, Your analysis is absolutely wrong.

    “Unlike the whistleblower who discloses a health, safety, or welfare hazard affecting all, or the government employee who reveals mismanagement or worse by our public officials, (the Macintosh news sites) are doing nothing more than feeding the public’s insatiable desire for information.”

    “With all due respect, this is silly. Not that I’m unsympathetic
    to the idea of Apple or others protecting their trade secrets”

    You are calling the opinion of a Superior Court judge silly.
    How are you qualified to make this statement?
    Apple has a responsibility to its shareholders to protect its trade secrets.
    Your analysis is so far off base that
    I can no longer be a Motley Fool subscriber.
    I am canceling my MF accounts and email subscriptions. Sincerely, RL

  7. Why can’t the bloggers just let Apple release their stuff when they want to? Why do they have to steal Apple’s thunder? If Apple wants to keep their stuff secret then it’s their right.

    This behavior is GOING to happen, but I must say, it punishes innovative companies like Apple, and benefits companies like Dell. The result is all companies decide to act like Dell.

    When you get a patent, the information is simultaneously public, yet you hold the rights to usage of such information.

    The problem here is the bloggers are making Apple’s secrets public, before Apple can claim any protection over such rights.

    The Watergate stuff is just stupid–if Dell came up with original ideas, you’d hear it from them…same goes for Microsoft. In a country that champions individuality and innovation, this is how we treat the innovators?

  8. It’s my opinion that Apple clamps down so hard on unannounced product leaks because often the official announcement accounts for most of the advertisement of said product. Or at least the first big push down the hill before the media finishes the job. So for all you “Apple doesn’t advertise enough/correctly” folks…

    …here’s your sign.

    Recently moved to N.C. Steadily becoming a redneck.

  9. The question here is that who is considered a journalist and whos not. If every pimple faced teen who keeps a blog is considered as one then god help us all! The line has to be drawn somewhere.

  10. Folks, Please consider a company like a family.

    Would you want your family problems, ideas, and other assorted stuff aired to the pulblic, friends, or enemies?! It is like the Sun or what ever the current name for the trash mags.
    Yes, the report is a right, but when does a right come at a price to others.

    When you release a companies products before they do, you steal a lot of money-Marketing, competion, etc all get a head start.

    It is wrong, for all the jouralist out their, if you want to release somebodys info why not ask your friends to dig up info on you and release it. Like bounced checks, money spent at clubs, and where/when you went out and with whom.

    It may start to strike home then.

    Example: The politicians complantions about windfalls of the oil companies and how they should declose0-have you seen any of these politicans list the amount of tax on gas? Stuff we buy? No-only others….because they do not want there dirt out in the open.

    Same with news-they do not disclose there profits, news, and fight otherwise for their privcy.

  11. I can’t believe people are STILL bellyaching about this.

    Trade secrets were revealed. They want to know who did it. This is certainly within their rights to do so. Stop whining about it. There are FAR more important privacy and individual rights issues that need to be resolved than something as stupid as this.

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