Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Mar 2014 14:48 UTC

In early March, 2007, as Google was expanding fast and furiously, one of its recruiters from the " Engineering" group made a career-ending mistake: She cold-contacted an Apple engineer by email, violating the secret and illegal non-solicitation compact that her boss, Eric Schmidt, had agreed with Apple's Steve Jobs.

What happened next is just one of many specific examples of how people's lives were impacted by the Techtopus wage-theft cartel that was taken down by the Department of Justice antitrust division, and is currently being litigated in a landmark class action lawsuit.

This story sent shivers down my spine. What a bunch of horrible, unethical scumbags. Sadly, their criminal behaviour won't really have any meaningful consequences. These people reside above the law.

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Member since:

It's illegal to make such an agreement, it's not illegal to make it your policy if that's done without talking to other companies.

But the spine shivers and horrible unethical scumbags comments are just silly. Read the news for a day and you can come up with a bunch of stories that are way worse. And that's just the stuff we know.

In this case Apple was a very important partner for Google. Google didn't want to piss them off (just yet). Had the recruiter, who ignored company rules, remained at her job other people would have lost theirs.

It's sad, but it's reality: big companies and rich people didn't get where they are now because they always followed the rules.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:

Read the news for a day and you can come up with a bunch of stories that are way worse.

This is, and always will be, a complete non-argument.

"Fuck I just broke my leg it hurts and I feel like shit."

"Shut up and stop whining. People in Africa have aids, and hence, you have no right to complain."

It's sad, but it's reality

Another huge non-argument.

"Do not complain about people being scumbags because it's normal for these people to be scumbags."

Reply Parent Score: 17

MOS6510 Member since:

No, you're just to pretending it upsets you.

If this really upset you you should be dead after hearing all the stuff that goes on in this world.

Nothing happened here. Someone broke a company rule and got fired. It happens every day and even for reasons much worse or even silly than this. Nobody got tortured, wounded or killed. Even if this was the only person ever to get fired it's not that upsetting.

And it's old news. Well, the Jobs smiley was new to me and so was the awkward commentary between the events the site added.

Reply Parent Score: -1

mistersoft Member since:

Know the comment has already been very upvoted but still, Very well said!

It's the same with (should) 'not be doing' ALL the bad stuff...

as it is with (should) 'be doing' ALL the good stuff..!

You don't /shouldn't not build roads, or that new high speed rail link.. "coz you could build a new hospital for sick children" ((some people's silly brain keep aberrantly inserting the word INSTEAD all over the place!!)).

Reply Parent Score: 2

kristoph Member since:

On the one hand, there is no question that this 'policy' was illegal and appropriate legal action is being taken. No one will be held personally responsible but the companies in question will no doubt pay a monetary price and such policies will (for the most part) stop.

On the other hand, firing someone for violating a strict company policy is not uncommon in the United States and clearly this person didn't bother to read the policy and paid for it. ( Lucky for them, this person who was fired for violating an illegal policy and she will no doubt be rewarded handsomely. )

All is well. You might argue some software developers were 'hurt' in SV because of this policy but if you look at the salary sales growth in SV after this policy was stopped there does not appear to be any difference. ( And, you know, the average software developer in any major US technology hub earns 100k after 4 years, about 2.5x the average American, irrespective of experience, so it's not like anyone is suffering here. )

The reality of our society is that companies will do what they can get away with in the name of getting ahead. It's not just large companies, it's also small companies, including start-up's.

We sometimes violate patents ( because their broad and stupid ), we sometimes violate API usage policies ( because their absurdly restrictive ), we sometimes violate privacy policies ( because our software would be crap if we followed them all ). Are we all scumbags Thom?

If you read through the emails in this case no one was making any personal attacks, no one was calling anyone names, everyone was polite and efficient and 'playing the game' that everyone in SV plays.

In contrast ( purely as an example ) you have no problem calling people names, blasting companies, their founders and executives, for any infraction you can find, real or imagined, spouting conspiracy theories, denigrating your commenters and so on and so forth. Now as it happens, I don't think your a lunatic dick, I think you know that that's the sort of thing that drives traffic. Your 'playing the game'.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:

It's illegal to make such an agreement, it's not illegal to make it your policy if that's done without talking to other companies.

Ok, but the only reason it would ever happen in the first place is because the companies in question talked to each other.

Reply Parent Score: 4

MOS6510 Member since:

It could also be that Steve had a very well developed wink.

My guess is Steve and Eric spoke in person, as Eric was on Apple's board for a while and Apple and Google were close for a time anyway.

But it's not just Google and Apple, there are a number of big names all in agreement not to pouch each others employees. And that's just what we know.

Reply Parent Score: 2