Friday, January 14, 2005

WSJ.com - Apple Sues Web Site Run by 19-Year-Old For Revealing Secrets

WSJ.com - Apple Sues Web Site Run by 19-Year-Old For Revealing Secrets: "More than almost any other technology company, Apple Computer Inc. likes to keep its secrets. Now it is cracking down on the mysterious mastermind behind a Web site that has gained fame among Mac-lovers -- and notoriety among company executives -- for revealing details about Apple products before they are launched.
But it turns out the target of an Apple lawsuit isn't some industry veteran or disgruntled former employee. Instead, it is a 19-year-old Harvard University freshman and Apple enthusiast known to most of his fans simply as 'Nick dePlume.'
...
"I didn't do anything wrong," says Mr. Ciarelli. "My reporting practices are the same that any journalists use. I talk to sources, I confirm details, I follow up on tips and leads that I get."
Mr. Ciarelli's site accepts ads, including from Apple rivals such as Microsoft. He says the site is profitable enough to help him pay for his Harvard tuition, but declines to discuss details. He adds that he hasn't yet hired a lawyer to defend himself in the Apple suit.
It will be difficult for Apple to prove that Think Secret's coverage violated its trade secrets, says Robert E. Camors, an intellectual property lawyer at Thelen Reid & Priest LLP in San Jose, Calif. Trade secrets usually deal with the formula behind products -- not simply the details about the products' release, he says. Secondly, it would be difficult for an Apple rival to benefit from the news the site has reported. "No competitor can design and market a product in two weeks," he says."

Lots of similarities between Apple's use of the press/media and the way the Bush administration works the press -- tightly control the audience and the message; squelch anything undesirable...
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