Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 9th Apr 2006 18:29 UTC
Apple I'm from the Netherlands. That may sound like a weird statement to start a column with-- don't worry, at the end of this week's Sunday Eve Column you'll understand why I put my nationality so bluntly up front.
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I think you have lost it
by Brad on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:20 UTC
Brad
Member since:
2005-07-06

First, the part of the Netherlands constitution is no different then what the constitutions of most democratic countries have. I don't know when yours was put in place though, I'm guessing its a newer one, unlike the US constitution which took a few upgrades to get it there. I don't see the need for calling it out like it is somehow different then many other countries. I'm also sure like any other countries, its implementation doesn't always work as well as what is stated.

Secondly, and this is in no way a dis on the Netherlands, just wanting to explain something. What may sound like big news or well known in the Netherlands, will probably be a completely unknown thing to much of the world. Your country is very small and no news within it travels very far. So its very hard for people to follow your story since they have zero idea of what you are talking about. I would guess only those from the Netherlands and those regions right around it have any idea what you were talking about. It has to be a really really big event with some global consequences to go far. I have zero idea of what you were talking about for events in the Netherlands. I would guess the bulk of people here are in the same boat.

Anyways. To the later part. Yes, people do give apple to much slack on stuff. When they do something its fine, but if MS was to do it, MS is evil. That does bother me and needs to stop. And as a mac user it bothers me more to see the insane mac users go off like that how Apple is so great.

But on the subject of NDAs, its simple. Companies have them, probably most all tech companies do, I don't want to think about how many I have to obey. If you don't want to sign one, you just don't work for that company. Very simple. If someone does break one, a company has every right to take action. What you see as minor may have huge implications for the company. Also all their suppliers and so forth that are involved. It does effect stock prices and so forth. Also there is zero reason for this to be leaked.

The whole reason apple has succeeded so much in the last few years is they run a tight ship. They don't produce vapor ware, or leave people hanging. Thats how it should be, say nothing till your shipping. Also means you don't let people down. (as in people rumor that such and such device is coming, interest gets driven up, then it doesn't happen and people are for some reason mad at apple).

You not liking NDAs is not a reason for complaining a company in-forces them. Without them and the trust between people and companies created by them, industries such as the tech industry would move very slow.

Furthermore, sites like apple insiders and other rumor sites, aren't news sites. They have no right to publish stuff that was obtained through improper channels. If you are going to post something about a forth coming product to the level of a rumor, it better becoming from a press release or approved interview. Yes, we all like to read a rumor, but we have no right to know that info. But a company like apple definitely has a right to find out where it came from so they can take action. If a site was called "defenseinsider" and got leaked rumors on military hardware from people who broke NDAs, do you think the Government and contractors have no right to track down that person?

Furthermore, if you had a company, would you want your employees leaking info, especially if it could cause the competition to react early and thus torpedo your product before launch and maybe destroy your company? That may sound extreme, but companies put a ton of money into some products, and if someone is able to react before it, they could loose everything.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I think you have lost it
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:50 UTC in reply to "I think you have lost it"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I have zero idea of what you were talking about for events in the Netherlands. I would guess the bulk of people here are in the same boat.

I know, but both events were headline news around the world, in both newspapers as well as on TV.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: I think you have lost it
by grrr on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE: I think you have lost it"
grrr Member since:
2005-09-03

Hey I am from the netherlands and I do not understand what you are talking about.Are you saing you know why they killed those people. Because of freedom of speech? was that there motivation? I am not so sure as you.But as you say the Dutch know everything.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I think you have lost it
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:58 UTC in reply to "I think you have lost it"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You not liking NDAs is not a reason for complaining a company in-forces them

It's not about me not liking NDAs. Not at all. It's about me not liking how Apple is trying to stymie free speech by forcing journalists to disclose sources. That is very dangerous, for the reasons explained in my above post.

If Apple can force journalists to disclose their sources, what is stopping Nixon II from forcing the Washington Post to disclose who Deep Throat II is? You see how dangerous thi s is?

Furthermore, sites like apple insiders and other rumor sites, aren't news sites.

Decides who? Why is AppleInsider not a newssite, but CNet is? On what grounds do you make the difference?

They have no right to publish stuff that was obtained through improper channels.

So, Washington Post should have ignored Deep Throat?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: I think you have lost it
by PowerMacX on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:59 UTC in reply to "RE: I think you have lost it"
PowerMacX Member since:
2005-11-06

Furthermore, sites like apple insiders and other rumor sites, aren't news sites.

Decides who? Why is AppleInsider not a newssite, but CNet is? On what grounds do you make the difference?


Decide for yourself:
http://daringfireball.net/2006/03/annals_of_journalism

Reply Score: 1

RE: I think you have lost it
by rayiner on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:10 UTC in reply to "I think you have lost it"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

They have no right to publish stuff that was obtained through improper channels.

Just like how news sites have no right to publish information about NSA wiretapping in the United States, which was leaked improperly?

If you are going to post something about a forth coming product to the level of a rumor, it better becoming from a press release or approved interview.

Yes, I'd like to get all my news from press releases and approved interviews.

Yes, we all like to read a rumor, but we have no right to know that info. But a company like apple definitely has a right to find out where it came from so they can take action.

Apple's rights end at the journalist's nose. They have all the rights in the world to pursue people who break their NDAs, but not up to the point on when they are infringing on someone else's right to free speech.

If a site was called "defenseinsider" and got leaked rumors on military hardware from people who broke NDAs, do you think the Government and contractors have no right to track down that person?

People leak info on military hardware all the time. The Pentagon generally doesn't go and sue media establishments because of it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: I think you have lost it
by meianoite on Mon 10th Apr 2006 00:08 UTC in reply to "RE: I think you have lost it"
meianoite Member since:
2006-04-05

Apple's rights end at the journalist's nose. They have all the rights in the world to pursue people who break their NDAs, but not up to the point on when they are infringing on someone else's right to free speech.

This is up to the courts to decide whether it's a case of freedom of speech or intermediating/facilitating the leakage of trade secrets.

The fact that you are a journalist doesn't make you immune to the laws. You can't publish trade secrets, weapon schematics or drug recipes and expect not to be prosecuted.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I think you have lost it
by DanPhilpott on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:33 UTC in reply to "I think you have lost it"
DanPhilpott Member since:
2006-02-27

First, the part of the Netherlands constitution is no different then what the constitutions of most democratic countries have.

Except it's the law in Netherlands and not in other countries. And that it's an expression of the beliefs of the people of that nation. And that that nations beliefs hold that level of equality and democracy as a given. So other than being different in most real ways it is exactly the same. Like orange juice is the same as water, only different.

Secondly, and this is in no way a dis on the Netherlands, just wanting to explain something. What may sound like big news or well known in the Netherlands, will probably be a completely unknown thing to much of the world.

Except I knew what he was talking about. I do not live in Netherlands. I have never been to Netherlands. I live in the US. I simply pay attention to the news.

Furthermore, if you had a company, would you want your employees leaking info, especially if it could cause the competition to react early and thus torpedo your product before launch and maybe destroy your company?

He has a company. You are visiting it right now.

If a site was called "defenseinsider" and got leaked rumors on military hardware from people who broke NDAs, do you think the Government and contractors have no right to track down that person?

They have the right to track that person down. That they have that right is not in question. The question is do they have the right to compel a reporter to provide them that information? Having an NDA does not confer special rights beyond the two people who enter into that contract.

Would you want to live in a country where every company that has the money to pay lots of lawyers can be sure they can silence their detractors? Do I have the right to expect newspapers to be able to publish information that is not contained in carefully worded press releases? Should all information only come from the official sources? Do you trust the official sources to always tell you everything you need to know?

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Except it's the law in Netherlands and not in other countries.

Exactly, it might be the same as the similar paragraph in the US constitution, but it is completely different at the same time. The US constitution says:

"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."

The American paragraph speaks for the government; while the Dutch variant speaks of the whole society; not only the government, but also individuals.

They seem the same, but are completely different at the same time.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: I think you have lost it
by intangible on Mon 10th Apr 2006 07:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I think you have lost it"
intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

Kindof on a tangent, but if the US government stayed what it was supposed to be: "Of the people, by the people, and for the people", then it would be saying the same thing...

Things have gotten bad when people can say "the government" as if it was someone other than a group that we were all supposed to be a part of.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I think you have lost it
by rcsteiner on Mon 10th Apr 2006 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I think you have lost it"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Kepe in mind, however, that the US government was created in such a way as to keep it somewhat separate from the people, mainly to prevent the kind of "tyranny of the majority" that could so easily occur in a true democracy.

That's also one of the reasons why there are so many checks and balances in place in Washington. The fact that so much inertia exists is a royal pain at times, but it also prevents kneejerk reactions on the part of the government in most cases.

Obviously Iraq is an exception. :-(

Reply Score: 1

RE: I think you have lost it
by Soulbender on Mon 10th Apr 2006 10:14 UTC in reply to "I think you have lost it"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Secondly, and this is in no way a dis on the Netherlands, just wanting to explain something. What may sound like big news or well known in the Netherlands, will probably be a completely unknown thing to much of the world."

It's a quite well-known event actually, at least in Europe.

Edited 2006-04-10 10:14

Reply Score: 1

RE: I think you have lost it
by welborn on Thu 13th Apr 2006 17:12 UTC in reply to "I think you have lost it"
welborn Member since:
2006-04-13

He may have lost it, but you never had it.

1. That part of their constitution IS unique. There is no such antidiscrimination language in the US Constitution. Attempts at getting such language passed (such as the Equal Rights Amendment) have failed. If it were spelled out that clearly in the US Constitution, women and blacks wouldn't have had to fight for voting rights nearly as hard, and the whole debate over gay marriage would be over.

2. Just because you're a sheltered American who's never heard of the assassinations in the Netherlands, don't assume it's not world news. I'm an American, and I saw reports of these on CNN and heard updates on NPR and the BBC.

3. I don't think the guy said he doesn't like NDAs. The issue is that journalists haven't signed one. Apple needs to enforce its own NDAs and not persecute those who are just reporting information.

Apple has the right to track down the people who leaked the info, but journalists have the ethical right to protect their sources.

Reply Score: 1

Am I missing something?
by patrickweber on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:21 UTC
patrickweber
Member since:
2006-04-01

"A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also called a confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), confidentiality agreement or secrecy agreement, is a legal contract between at least two parties which outlines confidentiality materials the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but wish to restrict from generalized use."
In other words, it's a legally binding contract in which both parties agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement to the public.

If someone in the company is leaking information, Apple wants to know about it. Unfortunately, no one in the company is going to 'fess up'. This means that they have to go to the place that got the information so they can take appropriate action on the individual or individuals that participated in the leaking of said confidential information.

I don't believe that they are fighting free speech because when you sign an NDA you are waiving free speech rights. Even if you aren't waiving your free speech rights (I'm no lawyer) you are never free from responsibility.

If I call someone a bad word, there is no law stating that since I have free speech they can't try to harm me. I am not free from responsibility of my actions.

Apple can go after like, the wall street journal if the wall street journal were to report rumors about upcoming apple products. I don't remember any big corporations reporting articles that say like "From SOMEONE INSIDE APPLE, We have information stating that they will come out with a new PDA!" (No, I don't have any information). Please, if the wall street journal or the NY Times, or Fox news, or ABC, or CNN reported rumors that apple was going to do something, please forward me a link because I don't really remember any.

Did I miss something?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Am I missing something?
by rayiner on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:59 UTC in reply to "Am I missing something?"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't believe that they are fighting free speech because when you sign an NDA you are waiving free speech rights. Even if you aren't waiving your free speech rights (I'm no lawyer) you are never free from responsibility.

The person signing the NDA waives free speech rights. The reporter who gains the information most assuredly does not. The fact that this makes it more complicated for Apple to protect its NDA means nothing. If you can't protect your company secrets within the framework of your society's principles, then please do everyone a favor and drop dead.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Am I missing something?
by TezKAh on Mon 10th Apr 2006 01:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Am I missing something?"
TezKAh Member since:
2005-07-06

The person signing the NDA waives free speech rights.

no they are not, they are waiving their right to disclose confidential information. Sure they can disclose it, but they signed a contract and can be sued for doing so.

If an Apple employee was passing on information to the New York Times, do you think that Apple would not take action to find out who was leaking company information?

They may sue the NYT to find out WHO their source is on this information, sure they didn't sign it, but that doesn't absolve the person who broke their NDA.

Oh! But we have free speech! Except when you've signed an agreement saying you wont release information and then you do. You're free to do it, but you'll get sued. Yes... that is in the context of our society's "principles". Its called a legally binding contract. If you break that then you are not following your society's principles of law and order.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Am I missing something?
by Morgan on Tue 11th Apr 2006 07:14 UTC in reply to "Am I missing something?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

"Did I miss something?"

You most certainly did. If you live in a country like the US or the Netherlands where free speech is guaranteed by the constitution of that country, you CANNOT "give up" that right, nor can it be taken from you. At any time that you decide to open your mouth and talk, you are most certainly free to do so. The problem is, when you signed that NDA you opened yourself up to the liability of what you said. An analogy would be that while you are free to curse and swear in public according to the constitution, there are decency laws in most cities and communities that will fine you for doing so. You have the right to say it, but you better be ready to face the consequences of what you say.

The real issue is that Apple seems to be interested in finding out who broke the NDAs so they can take the appropriate action. In trying to acheive this goal (which is Apple's right) they are trampling on the journalists' free speech (which is NOT Apple's right). In short, they are going about it the wrong way. Also, to my knowledge NDAs are not protected by any criminal law. As such, they legally can only go after the leakers and the journalists in civil court; no law has been broken here. Please note that I am not a lawyer so if I am wrong about that please correct me.

Reply Score: 1

Legitimacy
by mini-me on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:22 UTC
mini-me
Member since:
2005-07-06

Legitimacy is a tricky issue this day and age.
A lot of people require a degree in order to backup your claims of legitimacy - be it a journalism degree, a library, business, computer science, biology - whatever degree. This I think is fundamentally wrong. There are many people who I know who study on their own, they like to learn new things and apply them - they know as much or sometimes more as the people who got their degrees!

Now the question of websites - there are in my opinion journalism (or tabloid depending on how you see it) websites that report legitimate news. I think that Apple (and other companies or individuals) have EVERY right to go after people who break those NDAs, and they should utilize any means necessary. This of course is flexible rule.

1. If Apple (or any company) has leaked info that shows evidence of ENRON or WorldCom type implications (i.e. ILLEGAL activities) - then of course the company cannot go after those NDA breakers UNLESS it is proven that no harm was committed by the people indited for illegal activities - in which case the NDA breakers are now law0abiding citizens but they are in actuality people who commit lible.

2. Apple (or any company) SHOULD be able to after anyone that signs an NDA and divulges company secrets that impeed their ability to compete. This sort of action should be equivalent to industrial espionage and punished accordingly.

Just my 2c in the issue

Reply Score: 2

RE: Legitimacy
by Tyr. on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:31 UTC in reply to "Legitimacy"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

2. Apple (or any company) SHOULD be able to after anyone that signs an NDA and divulges company secrets that impeed their ability to compete. This sort of action should be equivalent to industrial espionage and punished accordingly.

I agree, but should they be able to force a website to reveal their source because they suspect it's someone who broke an NDA ? In my opinion that's a bridge too far. You go after the guy you had a contract with NOT the publisher of information.

Company secrets seems to have become too broad a term too, meaning whatever info is convenient for a company to withhold at a certain time, which is another thing I dislike about this case.

I really like Apple, but this one appeal I wouldn't mind them loosing.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Legitimacy
by stubear on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Legitimacy"
stubear Member since:
2006-04-09

See, there's little investigative process which must occur prior to discovering who leaked the information at Apple. No one at Apple is going to confess for fear of losing their job (and rightfully so - to losing their job, and being fearful I guess) so you go to the most obvious source of the leak - the website which reported the leaked information. Free speech is not without its limits. Reporters do not have the right to protect sources who, for instance, confess to committing a crime. The journalst can promise all they want to the source but the courts will compel them to reveal the source without violating anyone's First Amendment rights (in the U.S. at least). These websites go further than simply reporting leaked information though. They entice employees and partners to break their NDAs with the promise of anonymity, something they can't promise, and which makes the reporting even more illegal and harder to defend from a moral standpoint.

Edited 2006-04-09 20:07

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Legitimacy - Slippery Slopes vs Grillz
by pg--az on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Legitimacy"
pg--az Member since:
2006-03-15

Googling on << grillz jamar Feds >> finds another recent "slippery slope" issue. If you say rob a bank, convert the cash into gold, and stick the gold bar in your pocket, it seems rightful to return the gold back to the bank, eh ? But if you bond the gold to your TEETH, it's "homesteaded", to then seize the gold allows folks to cry "Nazi", which of course is end-of-subject due to this fountainhead of emotional knee-jerk. Slippery slopes, hmm !

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Legitimacy
by meianoite on Sun 9th Apr 2006 23:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Legitimacy"
meianoite Member since:
2006-04-05

I agree, but should they be able to force a website to reveal their source because they suspect it's someone who broke an NDA ? In my opinion that's a bridge too far. You go after the guy you had a contract with NOT the publisher of information.

HEY, Apple ain't pulling a Mafia there and coercing anyone to reveal their sources. Apple can't do that. Courts can. If courts understand that those websites are hurting Apple's business and that they must reveal their sources so Apple can enforce a contract (the NDA), than it's the legal system working, not Apple, forcing anyone to do anything.

And I'm pretty sure the 1st amendment won't cover this kind of thing, which is the very reason why traditional media did not publish that kind of rumour, and they usually investigate whether their sources would be able to obtain information without broking NDAs.

The only exception to this rule is when the company in question is harming those who use their products; if that's the case one can blow the whistles 'till the cows go home.

If it weren't so trade secrets would be no more and way too many tech companies would go belly-up.

Reply Score: 2

ziggamon
Member since:
2005-07-06

In the Netherlands, those guys were killed by fanatics because of what they say.
In the US, Apple is trying to stop certain web sites that report their secrets?

Is this the same thing?
No.
Why?

a) Apple is not _killing_ the authors of said web sites.
b) The web sites are not expressing opinions about Apple, just revealing secret stuff.
c) Apple is trying to do this legally (although the legality can in deed be questioned)

Basically - what I think you meant to write is: "Web sites should be considered as press, and have all of the same rights (and obligations?)".

On that point, I'd be willing to agree with you.

Reply Score: 5

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

"Web sites should be considered as press, and have all of the same rights (and obligations?)."

That's ridiculous. Seriously. That is ridiculous.

Not everyone IS created equal. I am a software engineer and I do not believe myself to be a journalist. I haven't the skill nor the common sense to remain 100% unbiased (not that journalists do these days). But why should BLOGs be considered journalism? They cannot even be considered private because the author has thrown them out onto the WWW for EVERYONE to see and read? They could write ANYTHING. People act oddly on the internet, they feel invulnerable or something, I don't know what it is...

On the issue of equality, there is also a law in the Netherlands that you cannot spank your potentially badly misbehaving child because (and this used to be on the actual, official website for the Netherlands - haven't checked lately - I found it while at an Oracle Portal class, they use Oracle's products) they are EQUAL TO ADULTS. Well, wrong. Physiologically speaking they are not "complete"... the brain CONTINUES TO GROW (ridges continue to form) until the late teens and in some cases the early 20's actually. Emotionally they are in turmoil as their bodies deal with constant growth and hormonal changes, and they haven't nearly the same knowledge and sense and established "id" (completely formed mental process of self and the realization of its relationship to the rest of the world around it).

So I have a hard time with any hyper-liberalized beliefs (whether born out of honest desire to "do right by everyone" or not) whether they be about human relationships, psychology or the definition of and application of law of said hyper-liberal source.

I am not an uncompassionate person, honestly, but there also has to be lines in civilization. Not everyone will always be pleased with the lines, they will always suck for someone, but we are not ready for "utopian society." We just cannot handle it. We need regulation, we need control, we NEED order.

Reply Score: 3

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Not everyone IS created equal.

Unfortunately, most of the libral democratic constitutions in the world do not hold this view. If you don't like it, you're welcome to move to China, or Iran, Vietnam, or North Korea. There are lots of places that don't have such troublesome clauses in their fundemental documents...

Reply Score: 2

Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

It seems like the point just whooshed you right by.

He wasn't talking about fundamental human freedoms. He was talking about what you are and aren't allowed to do. Software engineers aren't allowed to perform surgery, taxi drivers aren't allowed to fly planes, and journalists aren't allowed to spill the beans on internal, classified corporate information.

Get it now? Not everyone is equal in terms of what they're allowed to do. It has nothing to do with human rights.

Reply Score: 0

Lettherebemorelight Member since:
2005-07-11

News is news wether it comes from mother Teresa or Hitler.

Software engineers aren't allowed to perform surgery

Sure they can, as long as it is on themselves.

taxi drivers aren't allowed to fly planes

Can you fly a taxi into the world trade center?

Reply Score: 1

Celerate Member since:
2005-06-29

"Unfortunately, most of the libral democratic constitutions in the world do not hold this view."

Unfortunately?

Picture this: You and some world recognized celebrity you absolutely hate (one you know is a phoney, perhaps a convicted law breaker who buy's the public's affection with money and has nothing of value to contribute to the world) are both waiting in line for a heart transplant which you both need within the next 24 hours to live. Imagine you got their first, you're waiting for your surgery when that celebrity comes in and demands to have your place. (S)He gets your place, and you die; all because you weren't equal in the eyes of a biased and shallow public.

I for one would rather be equal than considered less than anyone who by luck manages to exploit society into giving them a high position they may or (more likely) may not deserve.

Reply Score: 1

Strange article
by mikal on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:29 UTC
mikal
Member since:
2006-04-09

Huge, pompous intro leading to a 15-line attack on Apple's enforcing of NDAs? The comparison is way off, and almost offending.

Oh, and the Dutch are also known to exclaim statements like "What? FIVE EUROS? That's almost TWELVE GUILDERS!" whenever shopping.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Strange article
by maxx_730 on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:34 UTC in reply to "Strange article"
maxx_730 Member since:
2005-12-14

Well, that's because our prices went up seriously after the introduction of the euro. Most of the things got like 100-150% more expensive after the euro. Also i personally experienced lots of cases are known where the guilder sign (fl) was just replaced with the euro sign. OT though.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Strange article
by junior on Mon 10th Apr 2006 12:16 UTC in reply to "Strange article"
junior Member since:
2005-07-07

"Oh, and the Dutch are also known to exclaim statements like "What? FIVE EUROS? That's almost TWELVE GUILDERS!" whenever shopping"

LOL. One mod point for you. Although it's actually not really funny at all - personally I find it hugely annoying whenever I hear people say that. It's mostly some of my collegues that keep whining about it. On bad days I roll my eyes so much that it makes my head spin.

Reply Score: 1

The misisng step
by porcel on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:32 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

I suggest those of you who really claim to care for free speech stop buying any Apple products. Let them know that you don't support the strong arming of journalists and bloggers, assuming that you believe that is what their doing.

In fact, since this editorial was so outspoken, I am surprised not to see Thom asking for an oughright boycott of Apple's products.

Take the final step: companies only listen when their pocketbook gets hit.

Reply Score: 2

This isn't about NDA
by rattaro on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:40 UTC
rattaro
Member since:
2005-08-22

This has NOTHING to do with NDA's. The topic discussed has one main premise. The "press" has a right to protect their sources. Then the question follows, what constitutes the "press?" No one here is arguing that violating contracts, including NDA's is wrong. The issue is, should reporters be REQUIRED to reveal their sources? If so, under what circumstances? If not, why not? Freedom of speech here is a non issue as well.

Edited 2006-04-09 19:41

Reply Score: 5

RE: Various
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:45 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

to go after people who break those NDAs

Of course! They should! But read my article carefully-- I'm not trying to defend those breaking NDAs. I'm talking about the press. Apple is sueing the press to force them to disclose information-- this should not be allowed in any case, because it limits the press's ability to investigate: if the press can be forced to disclose sources-- who in their right mind would ever talk to the press concerning sensitive information about injustices, knowing their identity is no longer safe?

And the day insiders stop leaking information about possible injustice, is the day the press is DEAD, because they lost their ability to encourage discussion or reveal nasty things.

In the Netherlands, those guys were killed by fanatics because of what they say.
In the US, Apple is trying to stop certain web sites that report their secrets?


Like I said, BREAK IT DOWN TO THE CORE. At its cores, the things are EXACTLY the same. Apple is trying to silence people, while the killers tried to silence people as well.

I CLEARLY said the acts commited by the killers are NOT comparable to Apple's-- but their goals ARE.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Various
by rattaro on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Various"
rattaro Member since:
2005-08-22

>this should not be allowed in any case, because it limits the press's ability to investigate

This is, at very best, a controversial opinion, and this is the heart of the issue. If you are just going to state it like a fact, you will never understand the other side's point.

>And the day insiders stop leaking information about possible injustice, is the day the press is DEAD, because they lost their ability to encourage discussion or reveal nasty things.

That depends upon what you mean "nasty things." Remember, NDA's don't protect illegal behavior. So if you signed a NDA to not reveal that Apple is slaughtering people by the thousands, the NDA is invalid, If you signed a NDA that Nick was a real jerk to Jessica, that may be a "nasty thing," but I don't think that means the press is dead if it's not revealed.

>Like I said, BREAK IT DOWN TO THE CORE. At its cores, the things are EXACTLY the same.

Not even close. NOT EVEN CLOSE. Killing people versus challenging the idea that the press should be able to protect their sources is NOT even the same underlying concept. IANAL.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Various
by rayiner on Mon 10th Apr 2006 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Various"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Killing people versus challenging the idea that the press should be able to protect their sources is NOT even the same underlying concept.

Killing people is usually a means to an end, not an end in itself. Why were those Dutch figures killed? It was not just for the heck of it --- they were killed because some people didn't like what they had to say. The motive behind the killing was to silence them, just as Apple's motive behind the lawsuit is to silence the press.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Various
by meianoite on Mon 10th Apr 2006 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Various"
meianoite Member since:
2006-04-05

And the day insiders stop leaking information about possible injustice, is the day the press is DEAD, because they lost their ability to encourage discussion or reveal nasty things.

How in Hades can disclosing information about future products ahead of their release dates be considered injustice? Unless you're talking about the manufacturer of such products, because by doing so you're putting such products in jeopardy because of fierce competition.

Your claims that anyone should be able to disclose trade secrets to the press amount to legalising industrial espionage and making the gathered information widely available to anyone, but particularly to the competition who might have not ever dreamed about some products but happen to be able to clone and market some product much faster than the inventors.

For example, Apple is not specialized in the audio hardware business, and the rumour was about a audio interface. M-Audio and MOTU are in the audio hardware business and have uncomparably more expertise than Apple in this area. What if they decided to clone Apple's product before it was even announced, and release it early to the market?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Various
by David on Mon 10th Apr 2006 03:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Various"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Thom, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this point: Apple should be allowed to sue these websites. However, the judge should take one look at the suit and throw it out.

It's important that people (or companies) be free to bring suit over whatever their grievance may be. But the courts should be zealous in protecting the small guy from bigger, richer entities that will try to use the courts to push them around or intimidate them.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Various
by Shane on Mon 10th Apr 2006 09:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Various"
Shane Member since:
2005-07-06

Thom, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this point: Apple should be allowed to sue these websites. However, the judge should take one look at the suit and throw it out.

It's important that people (or companies) be free to bring suit over whatever their grievance may be. But the courts should be zealous in protecting the small guy from bigger, richer entities that will try to use the courts to push them around or intimidate them.


Well said. I would vote your comment up if I could. The murder analogy falls down when you consider that Apple has to go to court in order to silence the websites. They can't take matters into their own hands and unplug the webservers.

Thom, unfortunately, you have chosen a highly sensationalist analogy that could be considered to be on the higher end of the troll chart. While I understand where you are coming from, your article, sorry, opinion column, would have had more impact had you actually debated the matter (why is it wrong for Apple to do what it's doing) instead of describing it (you did spend most of the word count on building up the analogy).

Edited 2006-04-10 09:38

Reply Score: 1

This issue needs to be debated seriously.
by pcbsdusr on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:52 UTC
pcbsdusr
Member since:
2006-01-23

Because I do agree with the press freedom, i dont think noone should release articles with NDA'ed stuff unless the information is very, very disturbing and can badly affect the public.

In these cases, the "legitimate press" can usually deny disclosing it's sources (and if the matter is serious the judge will accept it even if it's NDA'ed).

Of course i disagree with making every blog a legitimate info source. Legitimate press must be led by professional journalists.

Giving blogs this status would be way over the top. Any company wanting to harm a competitor could use a blog to post sensitive info and the offencer couldn't ever be tracked down.

Of course even a blog should be allowed not to disclose a source IF the subject is serious.

Reply Score: 2

This comparison is inappropriate
by barcode on Sun 9th Apr 2006 19:56 UTC
barcode
Member since:
2005-08-02

It is not right to compare the murders of two people with a lawsuit over NDA and trade secrets. It is as if you are making light of their deaths or trying to make the lawsuit as serious as murder.

The only comparison I can think of between these two situations is this. If only the people who murdered in your country had attempted to air their differences in public (either in court or the media) instead of committing such a horrible crime then they would all be better off, the murdered would be better off, and perhaps your country would be a little bit more knowledgeable of what these people think and feel.

It is good to argue pro and con in these debates. It is good that people from both sides air their disagreements publicly. Apple believes a crime has been committed and is pursuing their legal right to seek justice. This is fair. Is this not how things should be done in the Netherlands? Or is vengeance the solution only?

I believe the courts should handle this issue, and I know they will. If you feel that the outcome was wrong, then if you are a US citizen you should write to your congressmen and ask for them to propose a change in the laws to prevent it from happening again. Again, wouldn't you do the same if this were happening in the Netherlands?

Edited 2006-04-09 19:57

Reply Score: 1

pg--az
Member since:
2006-03-15

Googling on << equalization canada >> confirms that the principle of equalization, that everyone is to be equalized to everyone else so that they count exactly the same to 9 decimal places, is indeed also enshrined in the Canadian constitution. A lot follows from the premise of equalization - does Democracy imply Equalization, are they indeed synonymous ?

Of course your costitution-pdf is in Dutch, I can't read it. I was not able to find an English translation online, is there one ?

Reply Score: 1

People, it's called an analogy
by rayiner on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:06 UTC
rayiner
Member since:
2005-07-06

a) Apple is not _killing_ the authors of said web sites.

It is not right to compare the murders of two people with a lawsuit over NDA and trade secrets. It is as if you are making light of their deaths or trying to make the lawsuit as serious as murder.

Yikes! I bet you all thought Jonathan Swift showed bad taste for making light of the practice of cannibalism!

People, please look up "analogy" in the dictionary!

Reply Score: 4

RE: People, it's called an analogy
by barcode on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:17 UTC in reply to "People, it's called an analogy"
barcode Member since:
2005-08-02

I know. But it is a terrible one in my opinion. As I said, if only the murderers would have aired their difference in public instead of committing murder, then everyone would be better off. Apple is doing the appropriate thing by going to the court to air their differences. The court will judge whither or not it was just. I fail to see any similarities between the two situations other than the deepest wish that the tragedy in the Netherlands could have been avoided if only the murderers would have acted on their grievances by going public instead of taking law into their own hands.

And on a more important note, it is extremely bad taste to bring out the deaths of two innocent people which has brought on so much misery to so many and then to compare it in whatever way you want to such a trite thing as a computer company in a lawsuit with a web site over trade secrets.

Reply Score: 1

tsss
by jeroenclcl on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:11 UTC
jeroenclcl
Member since:
2006-04-09

[dutch] Wat een slecht artikel. [/dutch]

The comparision between politicians and the NDA/Journalism freedom is far fetched. Secondly, an NDA is an NDA. Sign it, accept it, don't break it. It's a contract. I think signing a contract has absolutely nothing to do with the freedom of journalistics.

Reply Score: 2

Good God!
by bubbayank on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:16 UTC
bubbayank
Member since:
2005-07-15

ThinkSecret = Theo Van Gogh?

Yes, not everyone with a webpage is a journalist. ;)

Theo was outspoken about the horrid mistreatment of women in Islamic culture. ThinkSecret leaks NDA info. No matter how elastic your analogy is, it's deeply flawed and insulting.

Edited 2006-04-09 20:16

Reply Score: 4

RE: Good God!
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:19 UTC in reply to "Good God!"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

ThinkSecret leaks NDA info.

They do not! Their sources leak information. Not TS itself.

Theo was outspoken about the horrid mistreatment of women in Islamic culture. ThinkSecret leaks NDA info. No matter how elastic your analogy is, it's deeply flawed and insulting.

You're not getting it. Apple's GOALS are the same as the killers' goals. NOT the means by which it hopes to achieve those goals.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Good God!
by barcode on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Good God!"
barcode Member since:
2005-08-02

Apple's "GOALS" are to find the people who violated their NDA. These do not match the goals of the murderers in the Netherlands.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Good God!
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good God!"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Apple's "GOALS" are to find the people who violated their NDA. These do not match the goals of the murderers in the Netherlands.

Apple's goals are to prevent journalists from revealing information about future Apple products. In other words, they are trying to stop journalists from using their right to free speech.

And yes, this is what the murderers wanted too. They wanted to stop people from using their rights to free speech.

As I said, the MEANS are different, but the GOALS are the same.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Good God!
by barcode on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good God!"
barcode Member since:
2005-08-02

This is not a punishment for the "journalists". They are being dragged into court because they failed to release their sources, but in the end they are not the ones that will be punished. Those who supposedly violated their NDA will be punished if found guilty.

The big question is if the "journalists" have the right to withhold their sources even though they violated the law as their information was not for the "public good".

Again, Apple probably does not like bad press, or for people to figure out their secrets before they announce them. Some press figure out what apple will release through patent submissions and other legal filings. But Apple does not sue them. Apple would not have sued these web sites if they had done the same research. Instead they asked for people to willingly violate their NDA. In the end, it's not the web sites that you and everyone should be concerned about. It is the people who ignorantly violated the law when they passed information to them.

I'd be ashamed to be running those web sites. Apple has an interest to keep these things secret. Those web sites had an interest in getting those secrets out to the public not because of some idealism that "information wants to be free" but instead because they make money off of people coming to their sites and the advertising revenue it generates. I am sure they know the repercussions of their actions. Yes, they will from time to time get dragged into court, but in the end it is not they who are punished but the people who violated their NDA. And yet they continue to ask people to do so. This is a very shady thing to do.

This information is not of the magnitude of "Deep Throat" or the "Downing Street Memo" or the various leaks from whistle-blowers on environmental or health issues. This information they leaked was about iPods and iMacs, do-dads, and widgets. Again that comparison does not match up.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Good God!
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good God!"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

This information is not of the magnitude of "Deep Throat" or the "Downing Street Memo" or the various leaks from whistle-blowers on environmental or health issues. This information they leaked was about iPods and iMacs, do-dads, and widgets. Again that comparison does not match up.

I repeat my previous argument: if Apple can force journalists to disclose their sources, what is stopping Nixon II from forcing the Washington Post to disclose who Deep Throat II is?

Of course the Apple case is of a lesser magnitude-- but if Apple will win, then in the future, this case will be used as jurisprudence for more serious matters-- like a possible Deep Throat II.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Good God!
by Peragrin on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good God!"
Peragrin Member since:
2006-01-05

I repeat my previous argument: if Apple can force journalists to disclose their sources, what is stopping Nixon II from forcing the Washington Post to disclose who Deep Throat II is?

there is a thing called lives being on the line. if Deep throat had been found out he would of been killed.

All Apple is doing is protecting it's product line. These people signed an NDA. They then disclosed the contents of that NDA to third parties. What if instead of disclosing what a new product is to thinksecret, they sent the source code of leopard to MSFT? Should that be protected? Or the specs of Apple's new hardware to Dell? What happens when a website claims to have the source code to windows. That someone violated the NDA and since it wasn't them they used freedom of the press to put windows Source code out for everyone.

Those people broke the law by talking to Thinksecret. It wasn't over money or power or political greed, but over a stupid product. They weren't risking their lives for freedom but risking their jobs for a friggin Headline.

And with this Article I am not coming here anymore. Your a nutcase. You are no better than Rob Enderele, or Paul Thurrot. You don't care about facts or the truth. You don't care about justice or even freedom of the press. Just snap remarks and headlines. You will probably sue OSnews when they finally replace your arse. Saying your killing me and you can't stop freedom of the press.

Well you can publish whatever you want. I know I won't read it anymore. That's freedom.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: Good God!
by alcibiades on Mon 10th Apr 2006 06:01 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Good God!"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

"Those people broke the law by talking to Thinksecret."

Also earlier:

"All Apple is doing is protecting its product line".

Wrong, wrong, wrong. They broke no law by talking to Think Secret. Even Apple has not proposed that the District Attorney get involved and prosecute. They did breach a contract of confidentiality. However, breach of contract is not a criminal offence, not against the law, is not prosecutable.

If you really think it is against the law, tell us all which law is being broken? Give the number of the statute and the jurisdiction.

If you get sued (which is different, different, guys) from being prosecuted, and ignore the judgment, THAT is against the law.

The same idiots who keep saying this sort of thing keep saying that it is against the law to violate your Apple Eula by installing OSX on a non-Apple branded machine. It is not. Or installing Word on a non-Windows OS. It is not.

Copyright violation on the other hand, not involved in any of the above, is against the law.

Please, please people, if you do not know the difference between civil contracts and the criminal code, just look it up somewhere, and stop shouting idiocies at us!

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Good God!
by barcode on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:12 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good God!"
barcode Member since:
2005-08-02

I don't have a copy of the law in front of me, but from what I can remember about the legal precedence is that in cases where the information being leaked is of a 'public good' then the leaker or 'whistle-blower' is not punished. In this case because the information is not going to be deemed as for the 'public good' (at least as the court sees it) then leaking the information can be deemed as an illegal action.

While if this case was about some web site leaking information about a company doing illegal activity such as bribing a politician or illegally dumping hazardous waste then that has been deemed in the past as for the 'public good' and the leaker was not punished.

At least that is what I vaguely know. I am not a lawyer, and am not licensed to practice law, so I can only say my knowledge of this subject is not by any means perfect or complete. I would welcome someone to correct me if I said anything in ignorance.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Good God!
by rayiner on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:57 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good God!"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

This information is not of the magnitude of "Deep Throat" or the "Downing Street Memo" or the various leaks from whistle-blowers on environmental or health issues. This information they leaked was about iPods and iMacs, do-dads, and widgets.

It's a matter of principle. You can't arbitrarily draw a line saying where free speech ends and where corporate protectionism begins. There cannot be any limitations on the expression of what is true. Certain countries allow people to voluntarily give up their rights of expression, via NDAs and whatnot, but a country which allows some people to stifle the free speech of others cannot call itself free.

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: Good God!
by barcode on Mon 10th Apr 2006 03:13 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Good God!"
barcode Member since:
2005-08-02

Again. This has *NOTHING* to do with free speech of journalists. In many cases real journalists have actually researched company filings and company business connections to figure out what they were up to. In those cases they were not sued, because that information was public knowledge. But when these rumor web sites baited people to break their agreement with Apple and supply them with information that they had agreed not to, then Apple has the right to go after those people.

Now it is up to the court to decide if Apple can force them to release their sources. Maybe the court will say that they cannot. And that is fine. But Apple has every right to pursue this matter.

Again, it is not these so called "journalist" rumor web sites that are the victims in this case. They have made their money off of all this. It will be the people they asked to break their agreements that will be the ones punished. That's the real shame. Perhaps many of these people knew that what they were doing was wrong, but also maybe many did not. If they are released they will be out of a job. I can see how many employees can get wrapped up in what they are doing and thus make the mistake of leaking something that they should not have. And these "rumor" sites are there to take advantage of it. It's a real shame.

Apple wants to protect it's intellectual property. These rumor web sites want to get this information so they can attract hits and thus get more advertising revenue. Apple asked it's employees to keep a secret. The rumor sites asked them to break it, maybe even told them it was ok that they would be protected. They now hide behind the very weak and non-legally holding position that they are journalists and are entitled to privilege to withhold information in regards to someone who broke an agreement. Real journalists know the difference and would never have run those reports. These guys did not.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Good God!
by meianoite on Mon 10th Apr 2006 00:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Good God!"
meianoite Member since:
2006-04-05

Apple's goals are to prevent journalists from revealing information about future Apple products. In other words, they are trying to stop journalists from using their right to free speech.

And yes, this is what the murderers wanted too. They wanted to stop people from using their rights to free speech.

As I said, the MEANS are different, but the GOALS are the same.


You have *absolutely no clue* about the copyright laws, do you? Apple MUST go after people who disclose their trade secrets else they LOSE their rights to such secrets.

The fairness of such issue is up to the courts to decide. Fearless wistleblowing regarding unreleased products and trade secrets amounts to legalising industrial espionage and comercialization of illegaly obtained trade secrets information.

Which is not what the freedom of speech laws aims to protect, for Christ sake!!

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Good God!
by rayiner on Mon 10th Apr 2006 00:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Good God!"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

You have *absolutely no clue* about the copyright laws, do you? Apple MUST go after people who disclose their trade secrets else they LOSE their rights to such secrets.

Wow. That's impressive. You managed to confuse copyright, trademark, and trade secret laws all in one sentence! And information about upcoming products isn't a "trade secret".

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Good God!
by meianoite on Mon 10th Apr 2006 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Good God!"
meianoite Member since:
2006-04-05

Wow. That's impressive. You managed to confuse copyright, trademark, and trade secret laws all in one sentence! And information about upcoming products isn't a "trade secret".

In a way you're right because I threw copyright law in when I actually wanted to refer to patents. So if you allow me, let me expand my comment a little further:

Company X wants to release a product. Company Y gets insider info about such product, clones it, applies for a patent (implementation of a hardware device, mind you: vary patenteable), and releases it to market. Company X is hurt and must go to the troubles of proving it had been working on such product before, and that company Y obtained such information illegaly, to dispute the patent.

That's what happened to Apple. They had to protect their invention and had to do it before the public eye, because now they can at least use the prior art argument.

The patent office won't take the "I had this same idea a couple years ago" argument unless you can prove it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Good God!
by rattaro on Mon 10th Apr 2006 01:19 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Good God!"
rattaro Member since:
2005-08-22

>That's what happened to Apple.

You're kind of all over the place with IP laws. Not your fault though. Most proprietary companies like to keep it that way, so they can spread more FUD. In any case, I think they were more worried about having their thunder stolen because of the leak. I don't think this has anything to do with patents either.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good God!
by bubbayank on Tue 11th Apr 2006 06:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Good God!"
bubbayank Member since:
2005-07-15

You're not getting it. Apple's GOALS are the same as the killers' goals. NOT the means by which it hopes to achieve those goals.

Trust me, I get it. I just think it's in poor taste and somewhat shortsighted to put them together.

Reply Score: 1

moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Corporations go after the small guy because they know they can. The small guy lacks the only two things corporations respect: power and money. It really is that simple. Everything else is just specious justification, often for the benefit of a computer-illiterate judge.

But the internet is changing everything. This is well summed up in the article by Charles Cooper of CNETNews.com who points out that blogging and the web mean that every man is his own newspaper. Blogging and the web also mean that corporations cannot stop consumers comparing prices, reviewing products and publicizing trickery and faults. Corporations that cannot adapt to this new way of doing things will fail. The world in which corporations told us what to do, and we had to listen in silence, are over. As pointed out in today's UK Observer newspaper, just read or reread the Cluetrain manifesto. See http://observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,,1749762,00.html
by John Naughton, one of the best IT journalists around.

Just my 2 cents, but I don't think this has much at all to do with the Netherlands per se, let alone with murder which is in another category entirely. Quite why so many folks have bought into the Apple California Cool gig baffles me anyway. Apple are a $20-billion turnover US corporation, with all that implies about steel fists in velvet gloves. If you think Apple are backward-looking bullies, then don't use their products and don't work for them.

Reply Score: 1

nonsequiter
by sandifop on Sun 9th Apr 2006 20:41 UTC
sandifop
Member since:
2006-01-26

Thom, you HAVE drawn an analogy between murder to silence and submitting a challenge to the lawful judicial body for arbitration, deliberate or not. I maintain that addressing a grievance to court is a FAR cry from murder. If the court agrees with the plaintiff, Apple, then crying foul in such a public forum has lost its legal basis and becomes an opinion.

Apple is not asking for you to hold your opinion, though could be seen as an assault; if they were what you claim then there would be a knock on you door before morning. Instead, they went to the court and asked (maintained) that the receivers of stolen information are not protected and ask the courts to decide. The accused has done the correct thing by asking the courts for appeal.

Please stop persecuting the case in a sophomoric manner from another shore. Let our laws decide our actions in our nation.

Reply Score: 2

*sigh*
by sandifop on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:02 UTC
sandifop
Member since:
2006-01-26

Thom, what would stop the Courts is that Nixon II would, by vertue of being put in the same category with Nixon I, would have violated the law: Nixon II would be trying to attack a "Whistleblower" using information obtained through the courts.

Apple is trying to STOP, what it maintains, is an illegal activity. In this case Apple is not accused of acting illegally, as did Nixon. Geez, Nixon trying to stop discovery of Nixon's illegal activities and Apple's trying to stem the flow of theft are NOT analogous.

Reply Score: 3

Civil and criminal, if only!!
by alcibiades on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:13 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

If only you would understand the difference between what is illegal, and what is in violation of contract.

A NDA is a contract between two parties, and there is nothing illegal about breaking a contract. Get that firmly in mind. It is not illegal to break a contract. There is no law saying you should not do it. You cannot be arrested for doing it. It has no automatic penalties.

You can be sued for NDA breaking. Now the general question is, if you are alleged to have broken a contract, can third parties be obliged to disclose relevant data? Probably not, for very good reasons to do with the chilling effect on press freedom.

So, see the above post, Apple is not trying to stop what it maintains is an illegal activity. It knows perfectly well it is not illegal.

By the way, the notion that there is such a thing as the legitimate press is idiotic. Is Mish Shedlocks economics blog less legitimate than the National Inquirer? Do you any of you remember the effect of getting expelled from the Writer's Union in the former Soviet Union? Completely crazy, or wicked.

Edit. And we must all regret Theo Van Gogh.

Edited 2006-04-09 21:14

Reply Score: 3

We Will
by sandifop on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:20 UTC
sandifop
Member since:
2006-01-26

We will see if the courts agree with you, Alciblades. I see both breaking civil law or criminal law as illegal.

Reply Score: 1

RE: We Will
by alcibiades on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:29 UTC in reply to "We Will"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

There is no such thing as breaking civil law. This is the key difference. The criminal law forbids certain acts, and attaches penalties to their commission. Civil law enforces contracts. But there is nothing illegal about breaking a contract. There is something illegal about speeding. Break a contract, you may be sued, the court may issue an order. Break the order, you are committing contempt of court. That's illegal. But violating the contract was not.

This is the key difference between criminal and civil or contract law, and it is why, among other things, it is not illegal to violate the terms of a Eula. It may be breach of contract. But breach of contract is not illegal.

Reply Score: 2

Free Speech and fanatics
by AndyZ on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:25 UTC
AndyZ
Member since:
2005-07-05

Thom, as you stated:
"All who are in The Netherlands, will in equal cases be treated as equals. Discrimination on the grounds of religion, way of life, political orientation, race, sex, or any other ground, is prohibited."

Both Fortuyn and van Gogh where neofascist dicriminating people because of thier race and religion. Isnt that prohibited? Nobody deserves to be murder for their option but as the saying goes: "Fascism is no opinion, its a crime". That would fit well to your 1st Article.

And as this is a tech site: Comparing fanatical murderes with a company trying to proteced ther trade secret is inadequate and far-fetched so that your - perhaps good intentions(free speech and websites) - to your muttering about fanatics killing fascist.

This site is called OSNews, please remember that.

AndyZ

Reply Score: 1

RE: Free Speech and fanatics
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:30 UTC in reply to "Free Speech and fanatics"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Both Fortuyn and van Gogh where neofascist dicriminating people because of thier race and religion.

Wowow, be careful there. Fascists? Look up that word to see what it means, before you use it. Rascism? Maybe, but is pointing out mere statistical facts (namely, that Islam women are more prone to abuse by their husbands (Van Gogh) or that relatively speaking foreigners commit more crimes (Fortuyn) racism?

Remember, for instance, that Fortuyn was a homosexual, and that he actually wanted to pardon the 26000 illegal immigrants currently in the Netherlands-- contrary to our current government, who wants to throw them all out.

Look, I wasn't fan of the two either-- but you should really know what you are talking about before incorrectly using terms such as 'fascist' or 'racist'.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: Free Speech and fanatics
by ronaldst on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Free Speech and fanatics"
RE[2]: Free Speech and fanatics
by AndyZ on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Free Speech and fanatics"
AndyZ Member since:
2005-07-05

Yes, but english may not be my first language so perhaps I had some trouble expressing what I wanted to say. But coming form Germany I have a very clear understanding what both racism and fascims means.

Statistics! Dont make me laugh! Fearmongering and promting intolerance more like it. Dont trust satistical data that you didnt make up yourself.

As I said before: This is a tech site and so dubiously argumentation should not be used.

AndyZ

Reply Score: 1

v RE[2]: Free Speech and fanatics
by Budd on Mon 10th Apr 2006 12:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Free Speech and fanatics"
BrickCaster
Member since:
2006-03-20

Certainly it has because i am Dutch.

Reply Score: 1

sooo....
by helf on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:34 UTC
helf
Member since:
2005-07-06

oh, nevermind..

Edited 2006-04-09 21:48

Reply Score: 1

Ya Know, It Works!
by sandifop on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:34 UTC
sandifop
Member since:
2006-01-26

I think the purpose of this Sunday exercise is to keep us underemployed geeks amused; to give use something to do. Here is a nice red wine and some cheese...thanks for the entertainment!

Reply Score: 1

NDA Alternative
by Celerate on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:47 UTC
Celerate
Member since:
2005-06-29

I remember being told that people who volunteer for drug testing get free housing, free food and free internet, more or less everything they need for the duration is provided to them along with a few perks to keep them happy. Apple could try something like this in place of their NDA, get people to volunteer to stay in a secure living facility for the duration of their NDA period. It does sound like something out of fiction, perhaps some might even think it oppressive, but it seems like a workable idea nonetheless.

Reply Score: 1

*hic*
by sandifop on Sun 9th Apr 2006 21:47 UTC
sandifop
Member since:
2006-01-26

Alciblades; hmm, I seem to remember enough of my 8th grade civics to know you are right. However, I am still in favor of letting the courts decide if obtaining information through someone violating an NDA can be protected by "Freedom of the Press" over Thom's hyperbolae or my sophomoric legal musings. (here, have another glass my friend) It is not for geeks on Sunday to decide in incomplete briefs but for the judges with robes hiding their briefs.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I think you have lost it
by archiesteel on Sun 9th Apr 2006 23:47 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Your country is very small and no news within it travels very far. So its very hard for people to follow your story since they have zero idea of what you are talking about. I would guess only those from the Netherlands and those regions right around it have any idea what you were talking about.

No offense, but I'm in Canada and I've heard about both Fortuyn and Van Gogh. In fact, you'll find that lots of people have hear of these two cases, at least outside of the U.S.

I think you're approaching this with an americano-centric view. I've got nothing against americans, I admire quite a few and count many as my friends, but unfortunately they're often oblivious to what goes on in the rest of the world, and then express surprise when they realize that this irritates the rest of humanity...

Granted, these events took place a few years ago, but still, assuming that no one has heard of them because you haven't is a bit, well, close-minded.

Furthermore, sites like apple insiders and other rumor sites, aren't news sites. They have no right to publish stuff that was obtained through improper channels. If you are going to post something about a forth coming product to the level of a rumor, it better becoming from a press release or approved interview.

All news are rumors, in a sense. Would you only believe the U.S. Army's press releases about the war in Iraq? Of course not, because press releases are quite often used to mask the truth instead of communicating it. Similarly, rumors on such sites can be truer than press releases - and in fact, if Apple is going after them, that's a pretty good indication that the rumors are true!

Look, I like Apple as much as the next guy, and I like their products, but this intimidation is unacceptable. Free speech is free speech, if someone leaks the information then that's a problem between Apple and the employees responsible for the leak, end of story.

Reply Score: 1

My Conservative Side
by sandifop on Sun 9th Apr 2006 23:49 UTC
sandifop
Member since:
2006-01-26

Rayiner; I'd love to say "hear here" but I just can't. Freedom of speech does not reach into the movie theater, (FIRE!) or cover hate statements, ((BLANKS MUST DIE) nor does it protect those that steal. What you call protectionism Apple believes is their commercial information. The information given by those signing the NDA might have been true but it (likely) still was property that belonged to Apple.

I too have stood on your soapbox but I think that, in this case, the soap box is in the wrong forum. You see it as a principle of free speech while Apple sees it as theft of property. It is in this type of conflict we reach for the law and not the opinion of demagogues (like us).

Now, where is that bottle...

Reply Score: 1

RE: My Conservative Side
by rayiner on Mon 10th Apr 2006 00:34 UTC in reply to "My Conservative Side"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Information, in general, is not property. Information like the kind Apple tried to prevent sites from disclosing has no special protection under the law. Its not copyrightable work, its not a trade mark, its not a trade secret, its not something patentable. That's why the NDA is there in the first place --- its the only contractual obligation the recipient of the information has to not reveal it to anyone else. If the person breaches that NDA, well, tough for them --- Apple has legal recourse against that person, but not against anybody who might propagate that information further.

Moreover, your analogy about fire and crowded theaters is not acurate. There is precedent that free speech must be controlled when it presents a "clear and present" danger. Its a rationalization of the overall principle --- your right to free speech ends when it places other people at immediate risk, ie, it interferes with their right to life. However, that isn't applicable here. Apple doesn't have a right to a splashy intro for a new product.

PS: As far as I know, hate speech is still protected under the law in the United States. Some less civilized countries across the pond have laws against it, but its still protected here.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I think you have lost it
by Terracotta on Mon 10th Apr 2006 00:19 UTC
Terracotta
Member since:
2005-08-15

I must say that I have to agree with Brad for varous reason.

first of all: the dutch laws are often quite hypocrit and not always as liberal as they claim to be (for example dutch people are allowed to download music which they didn't pay for, but they are forbidden to load it up to the net again, there drugs law is quite similar), another thing is there's no need to brag about the law of your own country, maybe I suffer from the 'Belgian disease' (meaning: not proud enough of its own country, and its accomplishments) but it also implies not liking it when people think how their country is far superior to the rest of the world.

Second, I know about this but really, how many people have heard from it, maybe some french people, some english and some german people but that's got to be it. one headline doesn't make it to men's mind.

Third, a company is not the same as a politician, they have to follow the laws, yes, but as long as they are following these laws they can do as they see fit, meaning that if they don't want their specs to be open, they don't have to. If you don't want anybody putting the inside of your house on the net would you like it? Apple may not be my company of choice for various reasons, but if there's one thing I've come to appreciate about this company, it is that they follow the rules and are quite open about their strategy. For example: they used gpl-ed stuff, they give back to the community (and no the problem between apple and KDE was not because apple didn't give enought, some USERS complaint to the KDE-devs they wanted some features ...). They used BSD-stuff following the license as well. I don't like that they have so much control over the hard and software part, but it is their strenght, it is a combination that for a lot of people does work. On the other hand a politician is someone who SERVES the people and someone who should be controlled by the people, and hence doens't follow the same laws as a company does.

Reply Score: 1

what a nonsense
by Bully on Mon 10th Apr 2006 01:53 UTC
Bully
Member since:
2006-04-07

"Pim Fortuyn got murdered because of what he said."

WRONG!
He got murdered because he was a dangerous man.
It was clear he had dangerous ideas. And the people were about to give him the power to realise them. Not very different from how Hitler came to power.
The murderer felt he had to do something to prevent that.
(Not that it helped much, the current goverment is making a simular mess. But who knows, things might have been worse if he was still alive)

I don't think you can compare the destruction of a country to a computer company related problem.

Edited 2006-04-10 01:55

Reply Score: 1

RE: what a nonsense
by ronaldst on Mon 10th Apr 2006 02:41 UTC in reply to "what a nonsense"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

@Bully

I don't think you can compare the destruction of a country to a computer company related problem.

And your comparison of Fortuyn to Hitler makes more sense?

Reply Score: 1

THANK YOU
by samad on Mon 10th Apr 2006 02:15 UTC
samad
Member since:
2006-03-31

Thanks Thom for finally telling the truth about Apple.

Reply Score: 1

What a waste of OS News space...
by NeoX on Mon 10th Apr 2006 05:16 UTC
NeoX
Member since:
2006-02-19

I come to OS News for the latest news on all my favorite OS technologies, not to read some editorial nonsense that has nothing to do with OS tech. OK Apple is a company that makes an OS but that's not good enough.

This type of political soap box article should have no place on this type of a news site.

It's just bad form and perhaps should have been a post on a personal blog somewhere...

Reply Score: 4

alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

Underneath all this, there is a serious point which is directly relevant to our industry.

Apple has always had a closed model. The video cables were different right up to ADC, the peripherals (ADB) were different. The file structure, resource and data forks, made file transfer difficult. the one-buttton mouse which persisted until a year or so ago! You had e-world, the Mac only online service. In all cases they have only opened their systems when obliged to do so by commercial reality, and often after many years resistance.

You can get an idea of how life in our industry would have been had Apple won, if you look at iTunes/iPod. We would have bought Apple hardware. Only Apple peripherals and parts would have worked with it or been allowed into it. We would have run an Apple OS, on an Apple online service, we would have bought our music at the Apple store, and listened to it on Apple players. And the trade press would have limited itself to publishing Apple press releases and fanzine articles.

And it would all have been GOOD. It would have been good because too much choice is bad for people, it confuses them. Too much choice is bad because it leads to a less controlled environment, and a less integrated experience. Too much choice stops us all having the right GUI, written according to Apple usability guidelines which have been frozen for 20 years. And demand for cheaper parts or cheaper hardware is BAD, because it inevitably degrades the whole experience we would be enjoying so much. As for the press: why should they mislead The People? That is outrageous and must be stopped.

The thing about Apple, and this is what Thom's piece touches on, is that it is at some fundamental level more of a threat to our freedom than Microsoft, because its ambition and mindset is total control of hardware and software. This is why the apparently wild comparison to the Dutch political murders is not completely inappropriate. One can understand why people have the same feeling, that something malign and threatening is at work.

And you can see this with the locked in model of iTunes. Microsoft has at least left the hardware free. The only reason why Apple have not realised this threat in the computing sphere, is that the world and the market voted against the closed model.

May they long continue to do so.

It is also why the real alternative to Microsoft is Linux/Unix, and will never be Apple.

Reply Score: 1

Tomovich Member since:
2006-04-10

I would like to know why you think the only real alternative to MS is Linux and will never be Apple...

You're talking about Linux/Unix but OSX is Unix!


P.S.: I'm no Apple fanboy but I just want to know why you think this.

Reply Score: 1

Press
by netpython on Mon 10th Apr 2006 06:25 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

In my opinion true journalism is seeking for the absolute undeniable facts (truth).It has to be somehow veryfiable!

Just protecting all sources of information regardless of where they come from is a danger in itself.People might be tempted to launch slander and info only intented to destroy individuals and or buisinesses.

Sometimes car manufacturers deliberately create a situation for the partly camouflaged prototype car to be spotted and fotographed.This gives them hopefully the intended free publicity in the numerous car magazines.

Ofcourse free speech is important.But by signing an NDA you have given up (partly) such right where relevant.Sites like "think"_secret rely on their sources to get hits from their target audience.

What if someone would create a blog with very personal info,fiction?,without permission? Wouldn't you sue that person his ass off or would you say:"Hey it's free press let it be"?

There's a moral right of free speech.Resources can and should sometimes be protected when it serves the community as such,(eg:Iran contra gate,Watergate,etc ).On the same time you have the responsibility to respect other peoples believes,culture and religeon.There's a big difference between making a very offending movie soaked with your political believes or making a documentary with undeniable facts and pictures that are horrible too but as i said facts.

What is it?
Partly amusement?
Documentary?
Journalism?
Who made it?

Allthough the movie in question that deals with misbehavings every society has it's not solely related to religeon!You judge a majority on the atrocities of a minor group of fundamentalists and giving them ammo at the same time.

Reply Score: 1

What about money?
by Tomovich on Mon 10th Apr 2006 09:24 UTC
Tomovich
Member since:
2006-04-10

This article doesn't agree with the things that happened in the Netherlands because of various elements. The most important one: money!

If someone like appleinsider is publicing rumors which can affect a company negatively or positively then it's normal that this company wants to know how they know this. This because they loose money.

How would you act if someone stole from you? Indeed, just the same.

The dutch cases do not compair to this since "money" is a fundamental element in the "apple case".

I'm not saying apple is right to do this but it's normal to do this. And the whole "free speech thing" is just a balloon which explodes too often and too easy. Such thing will never exist

Reply Score: 1

Extremes
by mike_a on Mon 10th Apr 2006 18:11 UTC
mike_a
Member since:
2005-07-06

Thom, as always in your articles you're stressing a story to it's extremes. I like that people in Apple are leaking information, it's cool to know stuff before it's officialy out, but the insiders realise it could cost them their job. If not more. Apple isn't the guilty one here. Alright, they maybe mistreating Weblogs in saying they're not proper news sites or real journalists, but when the secret info would appear in the "legitimate press" Apple would have responded in the same way.

Now to get back to my earlier statement, this comparison is way off and out of proportions. As has been said by a lot more readers before me. The events here in The Netherlands are horrifying and had an impact on the whole community. Comparing Apple's acts with them is beyond insulting. Apple maybe trying to shut up journalists but with their employees just breaking their contracts, what other option do they have? Information leaks all the time. Take for example the lost USB sticks, laptops and other stuff containing secret information from the AIVD and other Dutch governmental bureaus, what if that information would have reached the "legitimate press"? Apple handles this situation very well, and you have nothing to be worried about. Freedom of speech is a false reality anyway.

Reply Score: 1

More evidence Thom is an idiot
by Snooks on Mon 10th Apr 2006 20:20 UTC
Snooks
Member since:
2006-01-10

All you do is slam Apple all day but this is too much even for you. First of all Apple did not sue these sites they issued a subpoena. Totally different thing. You have been told this many times before but you persist in your delusions. To compare this to a murder or even Watergate is insane.

Reply Score: 1

Blame the law, not apple
by siraf72 on Wed 12th Apr 2006 14:50 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

Surely it makes more sense to attack the law's the govern this than to attack apple. They are just working well within the law to protect thier trade secrets.

I'm not sure as to how wise it is for apple to go after sites that are run by fans of the company but's a different matter.

Reply Score: 1