Think Secret ceases publishing to settle Apple suit

Think Secret ceases publishing to settle Apple suit

Summary: In a surprising move Apple rumor site Think Secret has agreed to stop publishing today to settle lawsuit with Apple, Inc. In a brief, 68-word press release, publisher and founder Nick Ciarelli said:Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides.

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TOPICS: Legal, Apple
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In a surprising move Apple rumor site Think Secret has agreed to stop publishing today to settle lawsuit with Apple, Inc. In a brief, 68-word press release, publisher and founder Nick Ciarelli said:

Think Secret ceases publishing to settle Apple suitApple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret's publisher, said "I'm pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits."

Apple filed suit against the dePlume Organization LLC and Think Secret's editor Ciarelli on 4 January 2005. Apple's lawsuit sought to shutter the site that published Apple news and rumors since 1998.

In March of 2005 Think Secret filed a special motion in California Superior Court, Santa Clara County to have Apple's lawsuit against the site dismissed on First Amendment grounds.

Note: Apple's lawsuit against Think Secret was a separate action from the Apple vs. Does case. In that case Apple sued 20 unnamed individuals who allegedly leaked information about an upcoming product (code named "Asteroid") to my Web site, O'Grady's PowerPage, and AppleInsider. As part of its investigation, Apple subpoenaed my email service provider at the time for communications and unpublished materials. PowerPage declined to produce the email sought under the First Amendment and won the case on appeal. Later Apple was forced to pay the legal fees in the case.

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Topics: Legal, Apple

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15 comments
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  • Apple be Friend With MPAA?

    The new business model of Crooked Corporate America: Sue your own consumers/Fans. How can company such as Apple can retain any kind of credibility after such a gross act of Bullying? If i where a Apple user i whould be wearing a brown bag over my head now.

    America land of Freedom? As long as company such as Apple can bully any want they like and free speech is impaired so easly... i don't think so...
    Mectron
    • Message has been deleted.

      i8thecat
      • I have a few questions for you:

        The first one is the most obvious:

        What laws are you talking about? Policies, sure...but what law did this kid break? The moles may have broken laws, but without knowing who they are you can't know that. You claim they were internal employees...and if that's the case, then they didn't break any laws, but likely violated a non-disclosure agreement, grounds for termination, and possibly fines that they had previously agreed to, but not imprisonment, and it's unlikley that it would even result in a lawsuit unless they refused to pay the penalties...but that doesn't explain why they were correct in suing someone who hadn't broken laws. I ask because, everyone except for you seems to be under the opinion that Apple is a big bully and they weren't going to win this case, just like they didn't win the others.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_secrets

        If you read this, it sounds like this kid was totally in the clear, as he was not the one leaking the information. The first amendment very clearly grants him the right as a journalist to acquire the information and report on it without fear or prosectution or litigation. So, please clarify that for me.

        Second:

        What do you mean "rooting for an Apple win"? There is no winning. They settled. No one won. Actually, if you follow the story, ThinkSecret won, because they didn't have to reveal their sources. Apple wanted names. They didn't get names. How can you root for something that a) didn't happen, and b) isn't going to happen? You are aware that it's over, right?

        Third:

        Why is the OP a troll because they don't like the attempt of Apple to circumvent the 1st Amendment? Where did he mention Microsoft to even make you think that he is a user of their products? What if he uses Linux? Or Apple? Even Apple's biggest fans don't agree with what they do all the time, and you are the first person I've read that actually thinks they did the right thing on this one. I don't see how that makes him a troll, so I'd like an answer to that one, too, please.

        Fourth:

        What lines are you reading between, because no one else saw what you saw? Think Secret agreed to stop publishing...but you do realize that this kid who has run this blog is graduating college and isn't getting a journalism degree. What do you think that the chances were that that page was going to stay up forever? Again, everyone but you has thought that he was likely to shut the site down anyway, has now hit a bankroll because of the settlement, and Apple didn't get their names. That doesn't sound like you are reading between the lines correctly...but maybe you are and everyone else is wrong. The tech pros that you think should be rooting for Apple are against them, too. So it sounds like you are the lone yay-sayer in this.

        I'm interested in real answers, not smartass ones. I am curious as to how you've formulated all of this in your head when the published facts don't really seem to support you at all. But I'm open to your evidence for your side.

        Before you reply, take the time to read what those whose job it is to follow and understand this type of information have to say about it:

        http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071220-settlement-shutters-thinksecret-eff-its-for-the-best.html

        http://computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9053798&intsrc=it_blogwatch

        http://svextra.com/blogs/gmsv/2007/12/apple_makes_the_messenger_kill_himself.html

        http://techdirt.com/articles/20071220/013343.shtml


        So, calm down, have a read, and get back to us. And please, no coffee before the reply. You get way too angry, apparently.

        Have a happy holiday! :)



        PS - I really dig the name. "i8thecat".....hahahaha...sweet.
        laura.b
        • An uncaffinated reply

          <<<If you read this, it sounds like this kid was totally in the clear, as he was not the one leaking the information.>>>

          I'm not talking about Apple going after the kid that is behind Think Secret (Nick Ciarelli). I agree that he is in the clear. I don't think Apple was ever actually interested in attacking Think Secret directly, nor Nick Ciarelli. I think they were going after the information leak all along, (the Apple employee(s) that leaked the info to Nick). Nick took a constitutional stand on principles as any journalist should. I support Nick 100%. I don?t think Nick planned on keeping the site around forever, and was going to sell it or dump it anyway. And I am not a Lawyer, but I think apple had to take on everything, Nick and Think Secret at once in order to get anywhere on it. One of the oldest tricks in the book are starting off big and settle for what you actually wanted all along.

          The agreement that they reached where Think Secret is going to stop publishing came as a surprise and makes me extremely curious as to what is going on behind the curtain. My best guess is that if Think Secret is no longer publishing, then the constitutional stand can and may get sidelined, and somehow, Apple gets the employee names and incriminating documents they have been after all along. And maybe Nick gets a big fat paycheck. I'm interested to see how that plays out. I don't think the real battle is over by a long shot.

          <<<What do you mean "rooting for an Apple win"?>>>
          This entire fiasco has been transparent from the start.. The win isn't against Think Secret, it is against the employees who leaked the information. Which I have always seen this as the real objective that Apple has been trying to get at. Sure we have laws like the Economic Espionage Act, but the actual precedence hasn?t been set yet. The Economic Espionage Act does about as much for business as George Bush?s ?Can Spam Act? does for common citizens, a whole lot of confusing nothing.

          Most people read a news story about freak cold weather in Florida and think, ouch, better wear a jacket. And a few read the same story and immediately sell stock in orange juice. This battle was never about Think Secret or bullying consumers/customers, it was all about protecting company secrets and laying the legal groundwork to do it. It directly affects every IT professional in the US. If Apple succeeds at laying that ground work, it will change the way the techno-challenged CEO world looks at computer/network security and company data loss. The only thing they stand to gain as of today is the dismissal of a bad employee, with the cost of hiring and training a new potentially bad employee.

          Let me ask everyone this.... What would apple have to gain by stopping one of a dozen news sites geared towards reporting on Apple? All of the sites have a legal shield protecting them that no company could ever tear down?. the constitution. Obvious Answer? there is nothing to gain. They can't do the impossible and I never thought they were trying to do that. Some people however think this is about Apple going after the press and they think Apple is too stupid to realize, the press is protected. Apple knows the press has a golden shield that will never be broken. But they also know they have a right to protect their property, and they are willing to pony up the money and resources to do it.

          If Apple sets legal precedence to get though that shield, providing a company can prove that an internal employee leaked the information that was covered under a legally binding confidentiality/ non disclosure agreement, and then companies across America could actually do something to take action against employees who leaked critical data. Granted, I don't feel the press/reporter should be punished in any way for reporting news, but if that news is company confidential and covered under non disclosure agreements, then I feel the news/reporter should have to reveal sources providing the prosecuting company can legally prove the data was confidential.

          Anyone who has ever dreamed of owning their own company should be rooting for Apple to lay this groundwork. Anyone that is responsible for company data loss should be rooting for apple to lay this groundwork. We all know that leaking company data is wrong, unethical, stealing, espionage, etc.

          If this were Microsoft trying to lay this groundwork, I would support them 100%. If companies can set this precedence, then we are one step closer to individuals being able to protect their private data. Think about that for a second or two.
          i8thecat
          • Thank you

            Thank you for clarifying your position, and calmly at that. Many would have assumed that I was being a smartass even though I specifically stated that I was not. I appreciate you giving me the benefit of the doubt and supplying honest and polite answers. Your points make more sense when they are construed in an eloquent manner.
            laura.b
  • Imagine the uproar if MS did this.

    Just imagine. :)
    NonZealot
    • What about MS vs. Lindows?

      In my opinion for MS to do that was quite a childish attitude. Quite a stretch on MS
      part but, they won. There are many other such instances in other fields as well. One
      that comes to mind is the Nissian Auto against Nissian computer corp. http://www.ncchelp.org/ an interesting read actually.

      Think about Tiger Direct the mail order firm. They sued to stop Apple from selling
      their OS Tiger. TD said folks would be confused however, they waited until about
      one month before Tiger was to go on sale.

      In the USA one can sue anyone for any reason. You're then guilty until you prove
      your innocence.
      BubbaJones_
      • but RicD this is about free speech of which Steve jobs has no

        but RicD this is about free speech of which Steve jobs has no respect. the man is sue happy he is a petty dictator want a be.
        SO.CAL Guy
      • So Apple is just as bad as Microsoft? Okay, I agree.

        I never said MS was a "saint". I've always only stated that Apple and MS should be held to the same standard. If MS has ever sued anyone to prevent their right to free speech, I would hope they get raked over the coals just as much as Apple deserves to be raked over the coals for this abomination of justice.
        NonZealot
        • NonZealot, completely I agree with you. (NT)

          .
          BubbaJones_
      • Re: What about MS vs. Lindows?

        [i]Quite a stretch on MS part but, they won.[/i]

        It did not win. In fact, the case was going so badly for MS it feared a judgment would strip it of its Windows trademark.

        Ultimately, MS paid Lindows $20 million to make the case go away. Apple wasn't going to win this case, either. One can only speculate how much it paid Ciarelli to go away.



        :)
        none none
  • So, SJ attacks (albeit indirectly) Powerpage, and yet...

    you still flock to the cause.

    Damn that kool-aid must be good.

    Jim Jones had nothing on Steve Jobs.
    Scrat
    • I like your attitude

      Had a good chuckle about your comments. I'm kinda am one of the flock, but saw this Apple power push. Can sell only so many iPods and iPhones ya know. coming all along. I'm not what you would say a pro-mac person per yah-yah Apple. Maybe it a love-hate thing. Go back into Apple's own history to where it was Jack Skelly running the biz and Steve was out on his butt trying to sell the idea of NeXT. I was actually glad Jobs came back on board after a while because Apples cpu's at that time were becoming a nightmare in quality and his NeXT project was a joke (anyone remember the Newton?). I was trained on the best cpu's at that time: the Apple ke-512, a Plus, a SE, a Mac II, and a SE/30 (which I still own and works if I so desire). Never the less, I view Steve Jobs as some sort of... hummm, the term anti-christ does come to mind overshadowing any other thoughts. But I still like their product no matter what windoze folk think. You people have your own operating system woes to contend with.
      ol_pip
  • Power Drunk

    It's always the same story in tech... 1) company
    makes good after long struggle against
    impossible odds, 2) founder/CEO's arrogance
    grows boundlessly, 3) arrogant company pisses
    off customers, 4) another company rises to kick
    their ass.

    Then the cycle repeats.

    I think Apple is at level 3.2. Your mileage may
    vary. Hopefully they'll get smart before they reach
    4.0.

    Shadar (who really likes the products but not the
    company)
    shadar1101
  • RE: Think Secret ceases publishing to settle Apple suit

    The speech Nazi are coming! Forget speech only, they are going after the whole thing soon!
    It maybe I sound like chicken little but slow erosion of our rights are the similar methods used by other totalitarian societies to "control" the people.
    phatkat