Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:11 UTC, submitted by UglyKidBill
Legal Well, this is unexpected. The iPhone 4G saga just got a whole lot crazier - dare I say it, a whole lot more ridiculous. Have you ever reported anything like a phone or something similarly small stolen to the police? What was their reaction? Did you ever get the device back? Did they send an army of officers to get your device back? No? Odd. They raided Jason Chen's house, and took four computers and two servers. Update: And thus our true colours reveal. "The raid that San Mateo area cops conducted last week on the house of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen came at the behest of a special multi-agency task force that was commissioned to work with the computer industry to tackle high-tech crimes. And Apple Inc. sits on the task force's steering committee." Update II: According to TechCrunch, the investigation has been put on hold while the DA ponders Gizmodo's shield defence. Update III: Some legal insight from a constitutional law and first amendment expert and a law professor. The gist? The DA has said no one has been charged with anything here, making this just an investigation - however, this makes the search and seizing of material worse. "If the police are literally just gathering information, with no suspect targeted yet, then a subpoena against a journalist would have probably been smarter than a search warranted that resulted in the front door of Chen's home being bashed in."
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RE[3]: A crime is a crime
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 26th Apr 2010 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: A crime is a crime"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

I've always found the concept of the trade secret retarded - as if companies don't have enough means to shield themselves as it is. If a company wants to keep something a secret, then good luck to them - they don't need the law for that.

Right now, they can basically claim whatever they want a trade secret and be done with it - which is idiotic.

Reply Parent Score: 13

RE[4]: A crime is a crime
by Morgan on Tue 27th Apr 2010 00:19 in reply to "RE[3]: A crime is a crime"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I've always found the concept of the trade secret retarded - as if companies don't have enough means to shield themselves as it is. If a company wants to keep something a secret, then good luck to them - they don't need the law for that.


Indeed, and this particular case is exceptionally retarded. They should never have let the device off campus in the hands of anyone who wasn't on the Board, or at worst the lead designer (i.e. someone who gives a shit about the bottom line). Letting some schmuck take it bar-hopping was utter stupidity. NDA or not, accidents happen.

Right now, they can basically claim whatever they want a trade secret and be done with it - which is idiotic.


Idiotic or not, unfortunately it is the way of the business world. As we become more of a capitalist technocracy here in the States, we're going to see a lot more massive police action for petty incidents like this. I just wonder how many legitimate thefts, assaults and burglaries were occurring right down the block the night they executed that search warrant?

And I can't wait to hear about the brand new POST training facility or whatever it is Apple will so graciously donate the funds for next year...

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[5]: A crime is a crime
by eighty4 on Wed 28th Apr 2010 00:12 in reply to "RE[4]: A crime is a crime"
eighty4 Member since:
2010-04-27

I believe the US is far more a Plutocracy than a Democracy. Our government is so addicted to the cashflow provided by mega-corps that they will pass any law necessary to appease them, less they move to another country and take their money with them. Combine the unconstitutional laws with the Fortune 500 buying out any promising startup before it can see the light of day and there is not much incentive or ability to innovate. Soon you end up like Warner Music filing suit to extract compensation for the "value" that isn't there. Unfortunately the majority are too blind and complacent to notice or care, just so long as they can check what everyone else is doing through Facebook 24-7 through their shiny 4G iPhone that they are willing to work increasingly long days, while inflation passes their salary increases, in order to purchase it. I think the ones who show outrage towards such practices as Apple has exhibited are by far the minority.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: A crime is a crime
by Karitku on Tue 27th Apr 2010 11:17 in reply to "RE[3]: A crime is a crime"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

I've always found the concept of the trade secret retarded - as if companies don't have enough means to shield themselves as it is. If a company wants to keep something a secret, then good luck to them - they don't need the law for that. Right now, they can basically claim whatever they want a trade secret and be done with it - which is idiotic.

Yes clearly it's stupid since no one gets hurt when chinese steal and reproduce something that company spend 2 bucks to research and design. Yeah clearly we don't need that tax money since we have heavy industry, wait we don't, oh well we still have IT support industry, wait we don't it was Abu in phone, oh well we still have coding industry, what some guys are coding stuff free, well we still have service industry, yes to serve poor people in food lines.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/197583-apple-s-research-and-develop...

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Maybe patents? Maybe copyright? Maybe a company that accepts responsability for keeping "company secrets" instead of assuming some arbitrary law can magically put the cat back in the bag.

If a secret is so important; keep it a secret. Don't rely on the government to do it for you.

(and seriously, let's not try and validate this with "eveel crazed chineses ninja monkey boogiemen". At least try to make it a greed sell with something like "companies want to keep there secrets" instead of a fear sell with "nebulous shadows are coming to steels our wares! Only the government can protect us!"

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: A crime is a crime
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 11:53 in reply to "RE[4]: A crime is a crime"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So, what do we have patents and copyrights for?

Trade secrets are covered enough by NDAs, which gives companies the legal handle to (rightfully so) seek compensation when an employee breaks said NDA. An NDA is particularly effective since it covers only the employer and employee, and doesn't extend towards journalists or other people who have had no part in signing said NDA.

Trade secrets are basically an NDA that extend to everyone, including you and I, even though we never signed any NDA or have ever agreed to not share any information. It gives companies yet another handle to blame their own failings (i.e., keeping stuff secret) on ordinary citizens who never had anything to do with the company in the first place.

Had we stuck to the concept of the NDA, then we would've never had to create countless dubious and shady legal provisions protecting "journalists", provisions which can be bent and broken depending on who has the most money (hint: it's not us).

It is a corporation-infused concept that has no bearing in a modern democracy. If you as a company are unable to keep the mouths of your employees shut, then that's YOUR failing, and your failing alone - not mine, not the media's.

Edited 2010-04-27 11:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2