Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Jan 2010 23:08 UTC
Legal A few days ago, technology blog Valleywag's launched its Apple Tablet Scavenger Hunt, a sort-of contest in which people with evidence of the existence of Apple's much-rumoured tablet could win large sums of money. Apple apparently wasn't amused, as the company resorted to its usual tactic whenever it doesn't like something in the press: litigation, litigation, litigation.
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Brilliant viral marketing
by Tony Swash on Thu 14th Jan 2010 23:43 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Glad to see you are supporting Apple's latest step in their almost flawless and brilliant viral marketing of the tablet.

Sending a letter from their lawyers costs nothing and pushes so many buttons in sites like this that it generates yet more countless clicks and eyeballs.

Let's hope that the actual tablet/slate is as good as their marketing - I personally think it will be way better and way more of a big deal than most people are expecting but hopefully we will find out for sure very soon

Reply Score: 4

RE: Brilliant viral marketing
by Laurence on Fri 15th Jan 2010 00:08 UTC in reply to "Brilliant viral marketing"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Glad to see you are supporting Apple's latest step in their almost flawless and brilliant viral marketing of the tablet.

Sending a letter from their lawyers costs nothing and pushes so many buttons in sites like this that it generates yet more countless clicks and eyeballs.

Let's hope that the actual tablet/slate is as good as their marketing - I personally think it will be way better and way more of a big deal than most people are expecting but hopefully we will find out for sure very soon


Seems an odd marketing strategy if it is one as you're essentially creating a negative public image just for the sake of gaining a couple more sites to chat about your product than there already was.

Personally I think it's more likely that Apple want all the speculation to die down as it's harder to have an epic rock-and-roll style launch if everyone is already familiar with the product.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Brilliant viral marketing
by poundsmack on Fri 15th Jan 2010 00:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Brilliant viral marketing"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

I wouldnt be suprised if apple teamed up with them to have the letter put out just to go in this big loop. letter, controversy, reaction from apple, etc...

If you want to see the most ingenious marketing ever though, talk to MS. Brilliant at marketing (not including the recent thing with china; wait till google and yahoo say they wont put up with it and then say "oh, well we will stay ;) ")

if you want the perfect example of this kind of marketing follow this link and read my post here: http://www.techspot.com/news/31153-windows-xp-still-outselling-vist...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Brilliant viral marketing
by darknexus on Fri 15th Jan 2010 00:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Brilliant viral marketing"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Not sure if this is a viral marketing strategy or not, but I got to thinking about Apple and their so-called negative PR. The thing is, Apple only really have negative PR in the tech community which, imho, is well-deserved. However, most people outside of the tech community never hear about these stunts, or the problems with the app store for example. And further, they don't really seem to care. When it comes down to the larger market outside of the tech world, Apple actually have a very good image. I think sometimes we forget that those of us who read this site are geeks, and pay more attention to what's going on from a tech point of view. As such, sometimes our idea of who has good or bad PR is a bit skewed.

Reply Score: 7

umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

The thing is, Apple only really have negative PR in the tech community which, imho, is well-deserved. However, most people outside of the tech community never hear about these stunts, or the problems with the app store for example. And further, they don't really seem to care.


Well, they might start caring if the *software developers* in the tech community stop writing software for Apple products...

Or maybe not, who knows - maybe Apple's plan all along was to be the exclusive software developer for their own products, and that's what Apple users want as well?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Brilliant viral marketing
by sukru on Fri 15th Jan 2010 00:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Brilliant viral marketing"
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

As long as they have enough "apps" coming to iPhone, they don't need (proper) software developers.

(Yes there should be decent apps, but I believe 99% are shovel-ware).

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Brilliant viral marketing
by Laurence on Fri 15th Jan 2010 10:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Brilliant viral marketing"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

As long as they have enough "apps" coming to iPhone, they don't need (proper) software developers.

(Yes there should be decent apps, but I believe 99% are shovel-ware).


Curious to read that as I've heard people equally speculate that Apple are /more/ interested in "proper" software houses (like games developers) using the iPhone platform than smaller "one man band" types that just build front ends to websites and what not.
(fewer apps but more re-saleable products and less strain on their store and app approvers)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Brilliant viral marketing
by darknexus on Fri 15th Jan 2010 00:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Brilliant viral marketing"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Yes, they might start caring then, but it's a little like the way most people seem to treat their Antivirus software. They don't care until they get a virus. By then, of course, it's usually too late to get rid of the problem easily.

Reply Score: 2

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Yes, they might start caring then


If that happens, then Apple fanboys will just do what they've always done when the object of their worship falls on hard times: they crank up the "oppressed minority" posturing.

Remember back in 90s when Apple was circling the drain (AKA the good old days)? There were Apple fanboys who literally tried to equate mockery of Mac users with the Holocaust.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

You sound like the shady guy with the trench coat down at the corner. He too keep saying "Come on, go ahead you know you want to. All the cool kids are doing it".

Reply Score: 2

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

"If that happens, then Apple fanboys will just do what they've always done when the object of their worship falls on hard times: they crank up the "oppressed minority" posturing.

Remember back in 90s when Apple was circling the drain (AKA the good old days)? There were Apple fanboys who literally tried to equate mockery of Mac users with the Holocaust.


You sound just like those virulent homophobes who are usually just closet queens. Admit it - you crave to run your hands over some brushed aluminium, you desperately want to play your fingers across the smooth, smooth surface of an iPhone - be true to yourself, give in, go to the Apple store.
"

Unless you're being ironic, thank you for proving my point.

You will be so much happier. There is much contentment and brotherhood on planet Apple.


Awesome! When do I get my E-meter and glassy-eyed thousand yard stare?

Edited 2010-01-17 02:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

thavith_osn Member since:
2005-07-11

Well, they might start caring if the *software developers* in the tech community stop writing software for Apple products...


The thing is, developers (in general) don't care too much about the politics, if they did, there would be a lot less software on Windows, that's for sure...

If there is money to be made, then the iPhone, iTouch and iSlate will all get a swag of software written for it. When it comes to commercial software, it's the mighty $ (which can be equated to market share) that shines the way. Apple, MS and others all know this, so they can have as much negative press as they like.

The Linux world is a different place, one for the tech-hippies, but those days will end soon enough as the market share goes up...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Brilliant viral marketing
by Luminair on Fri 15th Jan 2010 02:21 UTC in reply to "Brilliant viral marketing"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

that is a completely ridiculous comment.

Reply Score: 3

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Sending a letter from their lawyers costs nothing and pushes so many buttons in sites like this that it generates yet more countless clicks and eyeballs.


Translation: "How can I make those big internet meanies stop making fun of poor little Apple? I know! I can make a smarmy post telling them that's what Apple WANTS them to do, that'll show them! By God, I'm the greatest reverse psychologist EVER!"

The funny thing is that it's much, MUCH more likely that ValleyWag are the ones who have pulled off a brilliant bit of reverse psychology. How many people heard of them before this week, do you think? And do you think that number has increased at all, now that every tech news site in existence has mentioned them?

Reply Score: 2

Control and power
by SlackerJack on Fri 15th Jan 2010 00:46 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

"if you let Valleywag plat with it for an hour"

Don't you mean 'play'? ;)

Anyway. I don't like how Apple control hardware and this is just a prime example of what's to come if they gain big market share.

I don't care what great products Apple produce, I'd rather buy from a company with a bit more sensitivity and openness.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Control and power
by RawMustard on Fri 15th Jan 2010 05:30 UTC in reply to "Control and power"
RawMustard Member since:
2005-10-10

"I don't care what great products Apple produce, I'd rather buy from a company with a bit more sensitivity and openness."

I'd rather have toothpicks shoved under my fingernails than buy anything from those filthy wretches!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Control and power
by Chicken Blood on Fri 15th Jan 2010 06:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Control and power"
Chicken Blood Member since:
2005-12-21

"I don't care what great products Apple produce, I'd rather buy from a company with a bit more sensitivity and openness."

I'd rather have toothpicks shoved under my fingernails than buy anything from those filthy wretches!


That can be arranged ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Control and power
by mrhasbean on Sat 16th Jan 2010 02:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Control and power"
mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

"I don't care what great products Apple produce, I'd rather buy from a company with a bit more sensitivity and openness."

I'd rather have toothpicks shoved under my fingernails than buy anything from those filthy wretches!


Surely such a negative attitude could only be the result of an extremely bad personal experience. Tell us more...

Reply Score: 2

v Read the letter, stupid
by mlankton on Fri 15th Jan 2010 03:30 UTC
RE: Read the letter, stupid
by Gone fishing on Fri 15th Jan 2010 05:26 UTC in reply to "Read the letter, stupid"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

You have odd idea of a friendly letter. It isn't rude but nothing is friendly from the "illegal nature" "Apple demands" "You immediately inform" to the "Apple reserves the right to seek any and all remedies against you"

I think the thing that pisses me off most about Apple is the hypocrisy I fed up of seeing Steve Wozniak on the tube glorying in the hacker / cracker origins of Apple and taking the piss out of MS and IBM for being so uncool and anti hacker.

Then Apple becoming the most litigious, pole up the arse, protect our IP bull shit company on planet earth.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Read the letter, stupid
by shotsman on Fri 15th Jan 2010 08:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Read the letter, stupid"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

I'm sure there are a few patent troll companies who have files suit in East Texas who will disagree with you about the protect all IP statement you made.
I agree that Apple is overly protective but on the other hand they do contribute to quite a few FOSS projects in some of which they have opened up their precious IP to the FOSS world.

If there is no iTablet then the site that has been 'giving prizes etc' is probably breaking one or more laws of a far serious nature than the DMCA.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Read the letter, stupid
by memson on Fri 15th Jan 2010 10:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Read the letter, stupid"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

You have odd idea of a friendly letter. It isn't rude but nothing is friendly from the "illegal nature" "Apple demands" "You immediately inform" to the "Apple reserves the right to seek any and all remedies against you"


Are you reading the same letter? They are exactly as the OP stated - reasonable, but protecting their lawful rights. It's a frakkin' cease and desist letter. What did you expect? Doilies, cream cakes and fluffy kittens?

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I heard a crack pusher recently moved into an apartment you moved out of several years ago; naturally, that must mean your evil and mixed up in illegal drugs right?

I think if you take a moment to look at Apple's current staffing, you'll find that Mr Wozniak has not worked there in quite some time. Your slamming him because of what the company has done since he left? Seriously?

By all means, take issue with how Apple does business but take a few minute to see what Mr Wozniak has been doing since. One has to respect The Woz for still being a hacker (in the truest meaning) and what he's done since then. (I don't see Mr Jobs teaching computing to kids.)

Reply Score: 4

Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

[rant] I don't have a problem with Wozniak - I'm pleased that early Apple recognized the GUI and its potential when Xerox didn't. However, early Apple triumphed by being an on the edge, sail close to the wind company. It now wishes to close the door on others and pretends what it did then was ethical but if someone does the same now it is unethical.

it is transformed itself into the model of respectability but under the surface is an unethical, hypocritical, spiteful company. Give me Google or even Microsoft any-day [/rant]

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Non of your issues have anything to do with Mr Wazniak and how Apple was though. This is all how Apple is now and with it being a very separate entity from it's original hardware designer.

"Steve Wozniak on the tube glorying in the hacker / cracker origins of Apple"

This came across as criticizing Wozniak for what Apple has developed into simply because he remembers the history and original atmosphere. I see Mr Wazniak (who frequently talked to strange geeks appearing at his webcam and chat forum) as very separate from the current incarnation of the company he happened to help start. It's not like when he left, he could hand down commandments to continue guiding the company in his absense.

I'm not not getting a connection between him in interviews remembering how the company was and how that relates to how the company is now.

Apple truly was the company that started the consumer affordable desktop. They where the company that demonstrated what a GUI interface could do outside of PARC labs. In the same way, I have to respect Adobe for being the company that first took printing beyond typewriter output and into the graphic output we have now. I don't see remembering and respecting that history as a personal endorsement that they are still making that level of evolutionary contribution to computing. Similarly, Micro-soft was the company that free'd most people from IBM's monopoly and that should be recognized but don't think that stops me from also recognizing that it simply turned around and reinvented IBM's monopoly in it's own image.

Edited 2010-01-15 18:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Can't think of anything you said that I disagree with.

It would - naively perhaps - be nice if Apple now, could remember its roots and have a little more patience with geeks and be a lot less inclined to bully and intimidate.

It seems a shame that a company with its origins should be a less positive force than Microsoft or IBM. This letter http://www.microsoft.com/about/companyinformation/timeline/timeline... from Bill Gates is a lot "friendlier" than the ones Apple now uses.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Actually re-watching the old documentaries on securitytube a month ago reminded me of many details I'd lost over the years.

MS was headed towards it's current incarnation even before Mr Gates open letter to the computer club. Apple still had it's geek cred at that time. It is a shame that it's become so closed with such a hell bent need to demonize the very subculture it was spawned from.

Actually, it's interesting to see just how many of the early computer folk where computer club alumni.

But still, it is the hackers who invent and create and the companies who pilfer and profit. Thankfully free software has managed to survive and is now growing again. It was the original development model after all. This retail model championed by Microsoft and similar companies has been the anomaly in the timeline though a very lucrative anomaly.

At least The Woz hasn't lost his sense of humor, hacker ethic or curiosity. He's as much a geek as he ever was, and baud bless him for it.

Reply Score: 2

Woodwork squeaks...
by Soulbender on Fri 15th Jan 2010 09:51 UTC in reply to "Read the letter, stupid"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

...and out comes the apple apologists.

They're right? about what? that people aren't allowed to speculate on coming products?
it's the law? Seriously? The law says I can't speculate about apples product or ask for proof of their existance? hmmm..lI could almost swear there's another real law in effect here and you might have heard of it. it's called freedom of speech and it's quite well known.
just because a laywer sends you an email it doesn't mean what he wants is legal or even have anything to do with the law.

Edited 2010-01-15 09:51 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: Woodwork squeaks...
by REM2000 on Fri 15th Jan 2010 13:57 UTC in reply to "Woodwork squeaks..."
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

this also gets tired, that no one is allowed to put out their own opinion of apple as if it's positive in anyway then they are an apologist.

No one is saying they can't speculate what apple might be coming out with, what they are saying is that it's wrong to offer cash prizes to people who break a signed contract with apple (NDA).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Woodwork squeaks...
by Soulbender on Fri 15th Jan 2010 15:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Woodwork squeaks..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Wrong != against the law.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Woodwork squeaks...
by SReilly on Fri 15th Jan 2010 19:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Woodwork squeaks..."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Wrong != against the law.

Although that is very true, it is against contract law to offer an incentive to one party of a contract with the specific intend of getting them to break that contract. Obviously that kind of outcome can only ever be tried as a civil case, unless we are talking about government secrets in wish case it become espionage and/or treason.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Woodwork squeaks...
by Soulbender on Sat 16th Jan 2010 05:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Woodwork squeaks..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Although that is very true, it is against contract law to offer an incentive to one party of a contract with the specific intend of getting them to break that contract.


No one is asked to violate any contracts though. What is asked for is proof that a certain product exist. If someone chose to violate an NDA to provide this proof that's an issue between that person and the company and does not involve the party asking for proof.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by frood
by frood on Fri 15th Jan 2010 11:51 UTC
frood
Member since:
2005-07-06

The irony of all this of course, is that if I did have any of these kinds of pictures, I could sell them to any tech news provider for that kind of money. With or without a competition.

Reply Score: 1

v Comment by Smeagol
by Smeagol on Fri 15th Jan 2010 15:30 UTC
letter makes a few assumptions
by TechGeek on Fri 15th Jan 2010 16:50 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I am not sure how legal that letter really is. While the statutes is states are true, it makes a few assumptions. First, just because I might have evidence of a trade secret, doesn't automatically make it protected. Thats the gotcha for using trade secrets. The only protections on it are the secrecy. What if someone took a picture of an Apple tablet in public? That picture wouldn't be protected. Further, not everyone who may have evidence may have signed an NDA. As such they are not bound by law from talking about what they know. They have to be making these things somewhere don't they? Then there are free speech issues here, which could go either way.

Reply Score: 4

You understood wrongly, guys...
by namakemono on Fri 15th Jan 2010 18:14 UTC
namakemono
Member since:
2009-07-01

All that Apple is trying is to avoid having another device stoled and further suicide ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: You understood - stollen?
by jabbotts on Fri 15th Jan 2010 19:58 UTC in reply to "You understood wrongly, guys..."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If the device is to the point where a unit could be taken from the development team then it would still hit market before the offendor could duplicate it and bring it to market. If such a competitor was able to duplicate the device, I'd think it would be pretty obvious and one heck of a settlement paid back to Apple.

This is more likely Apple wanting to stop the more accurate rumors and leaked shots from hitting the web before they can give it the Steve Jobs "oh.. one other thing.." <cue fanfare music and next powerpoint slide>

I can understand the company not wanting to be beaten to the announcement if such a device is coming. The issue shouldn't be with a reporter with no NDA obligations to the company though. It should be with any such staffer who signed an NDA and then leaked the information to that or any other reporter.

Reply Score: 4

remedy for press hostile compagnies
by Janvl on Sat 16th Jan 2010 13:20 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

Do not buy there products, do not refer to them in the press, ignore them until they start respecting their customers an respecting freedom for the press.

Reply Score: 1

Smeagol Member since:
2006-01-16

Huh? In what way do you think Apple is "hostile" and disrespects their customers?

Reply Score: 1

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Do not buy there products, do not refer to them in the press, ignore them until they start respecting their customers an respecting freedom for the press.


Your right - all those millions of unhappy customers flocking to the Apple Stores, the millions of unhappy iPhone users, the unhappy people who bought 3 billion apps - oh wait a minute - err?

Pretending that Apple products are unpopular or that Apple customers are disgruntled won't make the reality go away. People buy Apple products because they want to, because they like the products, because the products are what they want. You may not like Apple's products but tens of millions of other people do.

Reply Score: 1