Reactions to Apple, Think Secret settlement run the gamut

“A ripple was felt through the Mac community early this morning, as one of its oldest and best-known rumor sites announced that it would be closing its doors. ThinkSecret announced that it had settled a three-year-old lawsuit with Apple, which resulted in the site’s tipsters to remain anonymous, apparently at the expense of the site’s continued operations,” Jacqui Cheng reports for Ars Technica.

“ThinkSecret has a long history of reporting on rumors, successfully predicting the introduction of the Mac mini as well as iWork in 2005. That prompted a lawsuit from Apple in an attempt to identify the leakers and to stop the site from continuing to publish what Apple called ‘trade secrets,'” Cheng reports.

“Apple argued that Ciarelli solicited for inside tips on his site, which the company argued was a violation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act,” Cheng reports. “The reaction to ThinkSecret’s closing has been mixed. Although not everyone has been fond of the site’s ‘me too’ reporting as of late, the precedent set by Ciarelli’s settlement is very troubling. With ThinkSecret down, who will Apple go after next?”

Cheng reports, “But the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kurt Opsahl has a different perspective on why things went down the way they did, and what it means for the community. ‘I’m very happy to see that no sources were disclosed,’ Opsahl told Ars… ‘Apple was faced with losing the case and having to pay attorney’s fees,’ explained Opsahl, which is likely part of the reason why it decided to settle instead of continuing to pursue it. As for Ciarelli, ‘We understand that Nick is very satisfied with the outcome of the case,’ Opsahl said. ‘We hope that Apple learns a lesson over this.'”

More in the full article here.

62 Comments

  1. the settlement means Apple will no longer hound Ciarelli and everyone goes home, if not happy, quietly. There’s no constitutional right to reveal trade secrets regardless of how much buzz some one is trying to make for their web site, so I won’t shed a tear to see him go.

  2. Yeah, it’s a bummer. But the leakers will just go elsewhere; maybe to AppleInsider now. Apple has to sue people like Think Secret to lay a solid legal foundation for preserving its intellectual property. Now all Think Secret (or whoever) needs to do is make it clear (via a prominent, posted declaration on their home page?) that they don’t “entice” insiders to come to them.

    Like spoiled celebrities who complain about the paparazzi, Apple wants it both ways: Be fascinated with us, but please don’t inconvenience us in the process of giving us all our money. Screw THAT! They can shut their pie-holes as they rake in billions.

  3. Oops. Goof fixed here:

    Yeah, it’s a bummer. But the leakers will just go elsewhere; maybe to AppleInsider now. Apple has to sue people like Think Secret to lay a solid legal foundation for preserving its intellectual property. Now all AppleInsider (or whomever) needs to do is make it clear (via a prominent, posted declaration on their home page?) that they don’t “entice” insiders to come to them.

    Like spoiled celebrities who complain about the paparazzi, Apple wants it both ways: Be fascinated with us, but please don’t inconvenience us in the process of giving us all our money. Screw THAT! They can shut their pie-holes as they rake in billions.

  4. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; “or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;” or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    That includes Apple Inc.

  5. apple is quickly becoming the kind of unabashed corporation we used to accuse microsoft of being: an 800-pound gorilla that likes to throw its weight around.

    And, true to form, mac fanatics are becoming just as ignorant as peecee apologists.

    I’ll be glad when apple becomes the apple of old again: a small niche player that made cool products for people in the know…

  6. Apple doesn’t want people to know about its products beforehand. No surprise there.

    Think Secret tries to find out, possibly illegally from insiders. The fact that Apple went after them is a surprise?

    Four words can sum up this situation nicely:

    Who gives a shit?

  7. I wonder if Mr Ciarelli got some money from Apple? He seems happy that he lost a source of revenue – his website. Also, he stated that he ‘will now be able to move forward with his college studies and broader journalistic pursuits’. Did he get some money or a job offer from somewhere out of this?

  8. The next one Apple “goes after” will be the next one who publishes information the nature of which the publishing thereof violates the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Apple’s actions in this case were not nefarious, just a bit heavy-handed. There’s a difference between the “source” of a “rumor” and an insider violating a non-disclosure agreement. It’s the “non-disclosure” part that gets ya. That, and the part about “agreement.”

  9. Simple.

    Both sides had a case, both had something to lose, both negotiated to a mutually agreed settlement.

    That’s the American Way. If either disagreed, either could have pursued it to a trial. Apple has their lawyers, Think Secret, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s lawyers, had theirs.

    Now, the dumbasses at Ars and everywhere else begin their speculation without research, facts, anything. Only a collection of other bloggers online and draw suppositions and conclusions.

    Ars is the anal sphincter of Mac sites.

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