Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 20th Dec 2007 10:22 UTC
Legal As we say in Dutch, de kogel is door de kerk: Think Secret will cease all activities after reaching a settlement with Apple in a lawsuit Apple had filed against the website. In exchange for closing down Think Secret, Nick DePlume, its owner, will not have to reveal its sources to Apple. The press release on the Think Secret website reads: "Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides. As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and Think Secret will no longer be published." My take: I have respect for the way DePlume protected his sources; very commendable. I have, however, little respect for Apple in this case (I have written, rather controversially, about it before), and it just scares the living daylights out of me that a company can exert this much power over independent websites.
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Another perspective
by Mark Williamson on Thu 20th Dec 2007 14:05 UTC
Mark Williamson
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I've often thought that quite apart from the questions of public interest, or the moral considerations of spreading the secrets of others around, there are some good reasons why this sort of thing should be protected.

Obviously we want to read about the future Apple products because they're awesome and it's cool to know what's coming down the pipe. But there's a procedural issue here: Apple clearly have issues keeping their future stuff secret - there are leaks and they're consistently failing to plug them, instead they're just shooting the messenger. But keeping future products secret seems to be part of their business model, so they're persuing this fairly aggressively.

If keeping products secret is part of their business model then they either need to keep them properly secret, or change their business model. Punishing people who are not beholden to Apple is irrelevant.

And this is all relevant to a certain class of readers of sites like Think Secret: actual and prospective Apple shareholders. If Apple are failing to implement their business strategy properly then purchasers of their shares ought to know about it - the only way they can do this is if the press is able to report it.

Obviously, none of us were ever cheering Think Secret for providing share tips - we just liked the juicy gossip. But I would suggest that providing information like this to the market about Apple's procedures and their success in implementing them is an appropriate thing for journalists to do and one that they should be protected in doing.

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