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2005-01-06, 18:08
Think crush dissent and the first ammendment

Source - http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=internetNews&storyID=7250030&section=news&src=rss/uk/internetNews

Apple sues popular Mac Web site
Thu Jan 6, 2005 04:06 AM GMT
By Duncan Martell
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Computer has sued a popular Macintosh rumour Web site for allegedly distributing trade secrets, the latest in a string of lawsuits the company has filed to stop Internet leaks of details of upcoming products.

The latest suit also lends credibility to recent rumours about a Macintosh computer without a display and an office productivity software suite that surfaced in the run-up to Apple's annual trade show held here next week, where CEO Steve Jobs typically unveils new products.

Apple, in the complaint filed on Tuesday, sued Web site Think Secret and other unnamed individuals, claiming that Think Secret had induced these individuals to breach confidentiality agreements that they had signed with Apple.

Apple claimed that the information posted on Think Secret in November and December of this year, and earlier, could only have been obtained by someone who had signed a confidentiality agreement with Apple.

"Apple had maintained and protected the Future Product Information contained in these two articles as trade secrets, and the information could not have been acquired by the dePlume Defendants without a breach of an Apple confidentiality agreement," Apple said in its lawsuit.

Apple is suing Nick dePlume, who owns and runs Think Secret, and 20 other unnamed individuals, some of whom Apple believes gave the unreleased product information to the Web site. The company also said that it believes dePlume is an assumed name, and that it will amend its complaint with dePlume's real name and the names of the other defendants, once they were determined.

"Apple's DNA is innovation, and the protection of our trade secrets is crucial to our success," the Cupertino, California-based company said in a statement.

Apple also said that its efforts to squelch the publication of as-yet-unannounced products was not an attempt to stifle free speech.

"These constitutionally protected freedoms, however, do not extend to defendants' unlawful practice of misappropriating and disseminating trade secrets acquired through the deliberate violation of known duties of confidentiality," the company said in its complaint.

Apple said its lawyers had repeatedly sent Think Secret letters demanding that it withdraw details of the unannounced products, which Apple said it did not do, in most cases.

dePlume told Reuters in an email Think Secret was confident it was within its rights to publish the material.

"We're confident that Think Secret's reporting is consistent with the right and privileges granted by the First Amendment," dePlume wrote. "The complaint is being reviewed, and Think Secret defers further comment until it has been analyzed."

In recent weeks, Apple already sued three men for illegally distributing test copies of the next version of its Mac OS X operating system on a file-sharing Web site and anonymous people who leaked details about new products by posting details on the Internet.

This latest lawsuit was filed in California Superior Court for Santa Clara County and seeks unspecified damages.