Apple ordered to pay ‘Asteroid’ bloggers $700,000 in legal costs

“Bloggers and online journalists have completed their final victory lap in a protracted fight against iPod maker Apple Inc. Earlier this month, a Santa Clara County Court ordered Apple to pay the legal fees associated with the defense of subpoenas issued to online journalists (and other related entities) in response to online reports about a confidential audio/video product — code-named ‘Asteroid’ — under development at the Cupertino-based company. The ‘Asteroid’ product was never released, but Apple claimed the news reports violated California state trade secret law and that the journalists were not entitled to First Amendment protections. However, following an appeals decision last year that strongly sided with the journalists, the Court ordered Apple to pay all legal costs associated with the defense, including a 2.2 times multiplier of the actual fees,” MacNN reports.

MacNN reports, “In total, Apple was ordered to pay nearly $700,000 — a small amount for a company that reported nearly $1 billion in profit in the December quarter, but a large moral victory for bloggers, journalists and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) which helped defend against Apple’s subpoenas.”

Much more in MacNN’s full article here.

Related articles:
Apple discontinues legal effort to expose ‘Asteroid’ leaker – July 12, 2006
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


  1. now release the damn thing and kick some serious ass. I have a $200 USB microphone called the Rode Podcaster and while it would be a lot better to have an Apple box that let me take multiple inputs and mix them, using Garage Band as the controller… I’d say it will show up in the next few months.

  2. See, if we were cult followers we would be upset at Apple’s loss.

    I think the bloggers might have a bit of extra cash now that they hit Apple’s iLotto. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  3. I think there is still some misconception about this, and i think Apple was right to try and find out who leaked the info. In the end thats what it was all about, not that the bloggers actually leaked it, but that they were hiding their source.

    In the end, I think Asteroid was a ruse, never a real product, and only there in order for Apple to weed out leaks.

  4. I do not think the blogger had signed an NDA with Apple thence Apple should/could not attack them unless they acquired their information with fraud or with the intention to break the law. The sentence seems to indicate that that is not the case so Apple lift that long legal arm of yours now. This was not a case worth to fight. C’mon, Asteroid! We only came to know about that because of the Apple lawsuit.

    Sometimes one should simply understand what fights are worth to be fought and which would simply fade into oblivion by ignoring them.

    Apple, you screwed this one! Period.

  5. That is because all of Microsoft’s products are Apple ideas/products until Microsoft “Window-izes” them or “Zunes” them. Even the XBOX was not an original idea, just Microsoft trying to keep Sony from grabbing the living room space.

    Microsoft PS’d the Playstation with XBOX
    Microsoft Window-ized OS X with Vista
    Microsoft Zuned the iPod with Zune

  6. As far as I’m concerned, people who leak illicitly-obtained information that in no way defends the public good have no legal rights whatsoever except those accorded to criminals. This case cannot be compared to Watergate, or to any other situation in which those who break the law seek to operate in secret to conceal evidence of their illegal activities. Apple has done nothing wrong and the public has absolutely no right to know what Apple is cooking up in their computer labs. Apple is the only loser when their trade secrets are unceremoniously broadcast over the internet, and they have every right to aggressively defend themselves against such losses by all legal means.

    The court’s decision in this case is not automatically the right one. Looks to me like Apple got screwed.

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