Apple discontinues legal effort to expose ‘Asteroid’ leaker

“Apple Computer has abandoned a high-profile legal effort to unmask whoever leaked details about a still-unreleased music accessory,” Declan McCullagh reports for CNET News.

“The company’s deadline to continue a legal battle to find out who leaked the information to independent online journalists has passed, and Apple acknowledged in a brief court filing this week that it will not take its fight to the California Supreme Court,” McCullagh reports.

“On May 26, a state appeals court rejected Apple’s attempt to send a subpoena to obtain records and archived e-mail from Jason O’Grady, PowerPage.org’s creator, and Kasper Jade, the pseudonymous publisher and editor-in-chief of AppleInsider,” McCullagh reports.

“The three-judge panel rejected Apple’s arguments that the independent reporters were not true journalists. ‘We decline the implicit invitation to embroil ourselves in questions of what constitutes ‘legitimate journalism,” the court said, ruling that California’s journalist shield law would protect the Web reporters,” McCullagh reports. “By not appealing its loss, though, Apple has set a legal precedent that could embolden other journalists (and perhaps other leakers) in the future.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
The Great Apple Asteroid Hoax – June 09, 2006
Judge uses Wikipedia as source to blast Apple in ‘Asteroid’ case – May 30, 2006
Apple loses ‘Asteroid’ appeal in California’s 6th District Court – May 26, 2006
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

22 Comments

  1. Apple didn’t initiate court action. Apple violated basic constitutional rights and forced individuals to go to court to protect their rights or be trampled by the Apple Legal department.

    Wrong. Apple did not “trample” poor innocent people out of the blue.

    The core of this are people who broke their signed, binding NDAs and leaked to the press. Apple is fully justified to protect themselves in trying to track down the leakers. Knowingly publishing illegally leaked information should be considered aiding and abetting.

    Thanks to the leakers, this ruling, and Apple’s backing down, the NDA program will all but certainly be ended. Only those with proven trust (and likely only those who personally know Steve jobs) will be given inside access to anything. Think of Aqua. All rest of us will find out about cool new stuff when it’s announced. Enjoy it.

  2. “Apple violated basic constitutional rights”

    It is not a “constitutional right” to reveal company secrets. Someone BROKE the law by beaking a confideniality agreement and Apple was perfectly in the right, morally and legally, to legally go after the “law breaker”.

    You anarchist make me sick!

  3. Mac7 —

    Apple didn’t go after the “law breaker,” they went after Jason O’Grady, who never signed a confidentiality agreement with Apple. I wish Apple well in finding the leaker that they presume exists, but their scorched-earth policy isn’t the legal or moral way to do it.

    “Company Secrets” are not protected by the Constitution. In fact, the constitution doesn’t grant rights to companies. It grants rights to people and to the government. So O’Grady’s RIGHT to free speech is not trumped by Apple’s DESIRE to root out a sticky personnel problem.

    Civil liberties and civil rights are, actually, quite OPPOSITE from anarchy, BTW.

  4. You’re telling me that Jason O’Grady has some right to distribute a company’s secret information, esp. for no greater good than the aggrandizement of Jason O’Grady? Puh-lease. O’Grady in that case is an accessory after the fact. The Think Secret folks’ case is even more clear-cut. They were knowingly soliciting for a company’s secrets, which is to say, knowingly persuading people to break NDAs, which is entrapment.

  5. It amazes me how people bring up trade secrets, NDAs and all sorts of bugus arguements without having actually read the legal case or have listened to the oral arguements. Apple was wrong on multiple counts and the appellate court pointed this out quite clearly how Apple’s actions were in violation of multiple laws including the first amendment of the bill of rights to the US Constitution. Please remember from your civics class that the constitution is the highest law of the land. “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” – U.S. Supreme Court Marbury v. Madison, 2Cranch 5 U.S. (1803)

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