“For those who don’t get why Gizmodo is in deep trouble, imagine if the iPhone prototype was a new model Honda about to be released,” Les Posen blogs. “Imagine our test driver pulls over and runs into a bar because he desperately needs a restroom. As he asks the bartender where to go, he inadvertently leaves his car keys, with car registration ID, on the counter.”
Then imagine that “another patron has picked them up,” Posen writes. “Let’s imagine for a moment the patron glances at the keys, and notes the car registration number. He looks through the bar window and matches car to keys. But it’s a most unusual looking car. Let’s now imagine the patron is something of a car afficionado and knows a disguised new model when he sees one. What to do?”
Posen asks, “Does he call out in the bar, ‘Hey anyone lose a set of keys?’ or ‘Hey, who owns the funny looking car out there – I think these are your keys.’ Or does he simply hand the keys to the bartender saying, ‘I found these on the floor?'”
None of the above.
“If we are to take the Gizmodo line, having identified the car as say a Honda (which has research facilities nearby), he instead rings Honda headquarters’ 800 number to report he has the keys to a some funny looking Honda, who, as secretive as Apple, has no idea about any research car out in the wild, but will get back to him anyway,” Posen writes. “Our key finding patron then goes to the car, uses the key to open it (perhaps it’s a new fangled electronic opening device too) and locates the driver’s wallet and driver’s license with picture ID on the front seat. So he knows now the identity of the driver.”
Posen writes, “But instead of going back inside the bar to locate the driver, he drives the car home, where he removes all the disguising devices, takes pictures, and emails various car magazines with a potential scoop. He caused no damage to the car, used the keys to start it, and drove it without breaking any road laws, such as speeding or going through a stop sign or a one-way street the wrong way. And he didn’t hot wire the car, but used the rightful key. (At this point, it should be dawning on some readers that he has in fact stolen the car, even if he used the right key, no?)”
“Soon enough, an edgy car review website announces they have all the goodies on Honda’s next Accord (one of the US’s best selling cars), and here are the teardown pictures of its insides and outsides,” Posen writes. “And they tell the world they paid $250,000 to obtain the car (even though it had been mooted to sell for about $30,000)… And that, dear reader, is what Gizmodo, Jason Chen, and the mystery iPhone finder did, on Gizmodo’s own admission.”
Posen writes, “Apart from the initial theft, and receiving stolen goods, there is [also] the problem of publication of trade secrets. “
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.