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Old 04-27-2010, 01:28 PM   #1
Fat Abe
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The war between Apple and the bloggers/reviewers is getting heated.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...418291840.html

"Law-enforcement officials in California seized computers, a camera and storage devices from a blogger and editor who had written about a prototype of Apple Inc.'s iPhone for technology blog Gizmodo, intensifying the controversy over how the Web site obtained the phone.

The tech world has been abuzz for a week about Gizmodo, which acknowledged paying $5,000 for what it said was a prototype of a next-generation iPhone, and posted stories and pictures of the phone and its innards. Gizmodo said on its Web site that the police in San Mateo County, Calif., seized several computers Friday at the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen."

Apple, one of the most secretive organizations on this planet, has a history of going after those who divulge information about their future products:

http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/2...D_yahoo_ticker

Where the iPhone goes, the iPad will follow. Thus, we should all be concerned about future product developments. Lemme see ... hmm, Apple can repackage Apple TV as Apple TV Reader, and host it on an iPad with a dongle to your giant home TV. Duh, brain fart. Or, how about the iPad as a media center remote control?
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:03 PM   #2
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What war? Jason Chen knowingly paid for what is considered stolen property and the police are investigating. Big deal.
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Old 04-27-2010, 03:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara View Post
What war? Jason Chen knowingly paid for what is considered stolen property and the police are investigating. Big deal.
Actually, it is not clear it is "stolen property." One may argue that calling Apple's customer service number and telling them about the phone, and asking around the bar if someone lost a phone, are good faith attempts to return the LOST phone.

Apple could have called the phone, or tracked its location easily. They were certainly ale to wipe it clean the day after it was lost.

Apple also sent a lame email demand letter to Gizmodo two days later, but again, it was not nearly as aggressive in pursuing this as it normally is.

Whether they didn't do these things because they banked on all the publicity it will generate (the G4 was already leaked from China earlier, anyway), or for some other reason, I don't know.

But it is clear that Apple didn't do all it could, or normally would, to recover the phone.

This is why it is surprising to see such sudden show of force by the San Mateo police. I do expect Apple to have clout with local officials, but breaking down a journalist's door certainly seems excessive.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:39 PM   #4
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The fact that the finder of the phone sold it for $5000 tells me he had a good idea of what he had, and brings into question (in my mind) that he tried all that hard to return it.

I have a hard time believing that Chen forked over $5000 for an iphone thinking that he was operating in good faith.

Quote:
"Under a California law dating back to 1872, any person who finds lost property and knows who the owner is likely to be but "appropriates such property to his own use" is guilty of theft. If the value of the property exceeds $400, more serious charges of grand theft can be filed. In addition, a second state law says that any person who knowingly receives property that has been obtained illegally can be imprisoned for up to one year. "
Source at CNet

Under that law, it's pretty clear that it's "stolen property" to me. But that's why they pay lawyers to fight about these things in court.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:54 PM   #5
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The question that comes to my mind is when did Apple report it stolen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennD View Post
The fact that the finder of the phone sold it for $5000 tells me he had a good idea of what he had, and brings into question (in my mind) that he tried all that hard to return it.

I have a hard time believing that Chen forked over $5000 for an iphone thinking that he was operating in good faith.

Source at CNet

Under that law, it's pretty clear that it's "stolen property" to me. But that's why they pay lawyers to fight about these things in court.
Boy do you have your facts wrong! Chen didn't pay anything for the iPhone. The person who bought it was the head of Gawker media, Chen's boss's boss. So your whole justification for the police smashing down Chen's door just went out the window.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:00 PM   #6
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Also lost, but a long time before the iPhone incident, was Jobs' integrity and sense of fair play. People are still looking for it though.*

*Return of Steve Jobs' integrity guarantees the returnee one black turtleneck and a 'get an organ first before the poor' card.**

**Not a guarntee
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:02 PM   #7
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Didnt Apple deny that there was a G4 phone in development when the person who found it called them? That is usually what they do when people calls them with stuff like this...
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Boy do you have your facts wrong! Chen didn't pay anything for the iPhone. The person who bought it was the head of Gawker media, Chen's boss's boss. So your whole justification for the police smashing down Chen's door just went out the window.
Gizmodo's article just says "we acquired", every other source I've read says that "Gizmodo acquired", without naming any internal chain of people. I would guess the police assumed the same thing I did - Chen opened the phone and wrote the article, so he was probably the one that received the stolen phone in the first place. Regardless, Chen received stolen property (under california law) whether he was the individual who paid for it or not.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GlennD View Post
... I would guess the police assumed the same thing I did - Chen opened the phone and wrote the article, so he was probably the one that received the stolen phone in the first place. Regardless, Chen received stolen property (under california law) whether he was the individual who paid for it or not.
Some may argue that "police assumed" is not enough justification to break down a reporter's home front door and take away his and his wife's personal property.

Quoting a snippet of "California law" doesn't really tell a full story, and can be often misleading. CA law has all sorts of things in it, including unenforceable stuff like the recently repealed archaic directive to "conduct research into the causes and potential cures of homosexuality," which it classified as deviant behavior.

I suppose we'll have to wait find out if the G4 is indeed viewed as "stolen," and how it will affect Gizmodo and Apple.

In any event, as I said earlier, I am a little surprised a warrant was issued in the first place and at such a late date, but more surprised at the method of execution.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:10 PM   #10
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Well, according to TechCrunch, the investigation has "come to a bit of a pause," while the legality of the raid is being examined.

"... With respect to the removal of Chen’s property, Wagstaffe says that the prosecutor on the case felt that the shield protection laws did not apply, so the raid was executed. However, after Gizmodo’s attorneys suggested some reasons why they believe Chen should be protected, the investigation has come to a bit of a pause. The DA will now reevaluate whether those shield laws do apply, and will not begin going through Chen’s possessions until they’ve reached a decision in the next few days (he says they’re in no hurry).

When I asked if it was typical for the DA to evaluate the relevance of these shield laws after removing evidence, Wagstaffe did concede that it was unusual. Which makes the situation extremely odd— it should have been readily apparent that Gawker would defend its actions using this shield law defense, why put the brakes on after the fact? ....
"

Just a little bizarre, IMO.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:13 PM   #11
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Those of you wanting more information on this debacle would do well to get it from the (admittedly biased) source, Gizmodo itself.

Most comments I've read condemn Gizmodo's actions, if not for using the lost phone to their own gain then at least for publishing Gary Powell's name and information in what they consider to be a serious breach of journalistic ethics. On the other hand, reactions to the police raid are more split; one camp considers it karmic justice while another decries what the police did as illegal and bemoans the fact that law enforcements works in the interests of corporations. Also, an expert claims that the warrant used in this search was invalid.

Me? I'm grabbing the popcorn and settling down. This is getting good. Oh, and I support Gizmodo, I guess.

Last edited by Jaime_Astorga; 04-27-2010 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:41 PM   #12
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What bothers me is the comments I've seen praising the police for "doing the right thing" and "protecting Apple". When did the job of the police become protecting corporations instead of protecting citizens?
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:48 PM   #13
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There's some more legal analysis of the situation here, with a couple of different interpretations mentioned. This post is prior to the search warrant being executed.

An analysis of the warrant/raid itself is here. They lean toward the interpretation that the iphone was stolen according to California law, but that the warrant was illegally executed because of California's shield laws (protecting the press and their sources).....but they're waiting to see how it plays out.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:52 PM   #14
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What bothers me is the comments I've seen praising the police for "doing the right thing" and "protecting Apple". When did the job of the police become protecting corporations instead of protecting citizens?
There's two corporations in question here: Apple and Gawker (Gizmodo's parent). There's three citizens to think about, in my mind: Jason Chen, Gray Powell (the apple engineer who lost the phone), and the person who found the phone and sold it. Lots of conflicting "rights" to worry about.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:17 PM   #15
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What bothers me is the comments I've seen praising the police for "doing the right thing" and "protecting Apple". When did the job of the police become protecting corporations instead of protecting citizens?
Just a little after Reagan and Thatcher took office in their respective countries. I don't have an exact date, but it was probably sometime in the eighties when the Corporations became numero uno, A no 1, Duke of New York! *

*This message is not affiliated with Monsanto corporation or any of its subsidiaries. Warning, Monstanto may cause moral decline and dullness of the mind. If exposed to Monsanto, please seek a doctor's advice immediately (if you can afford one that is. If not. Die, you poor scum, die!)
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