Originally Posted by freddych
1) The trade secret law doesn't apply to objects that aren't secret. Leaving stuff on a bar stool out in the public will destroy the "secret" nature of the trade secret. Thus, it doesn't apply.
2) Handing the phone over the police would have done nothing since the phone was never reported lost or stolen to the police.
3) Actually the fact that the phone could have been taken apart to determine the origin of the prototype and thus the owner (being the maker) is actually quite determinative. It's the next best option. The CIVIL law states that it should be returned to the police if the owner cannot be determined. Here, it was determined by taking apart the phone. Gizmodo then arranged for the phone to be returned to Apple (which they had every intention of doing as soon as it came into their possession).
Handing the phone to the police would have stopped this from happening and potentially could have returned the item to the owner. There is nothing stopping it from being reported now. The finder was not to know it had not been reported to the police, hindsight is a wonder thing!
It would have been easier for Giz just to call Apple, simple.
Even if they needed to pull it apart to find the owner - WHY PUBLISH THE PHOTOS?
They should have quietly retuned the photo to Apple - the decent and honest thing to do.
Instead they chose to profit from it. That is the issue we all have with this story.
Sure intend to return to the own, sure pull it apart to find who it belongs to, I will let you have all those points. But to them publish the photos and tell the whole story contradicts their so called 'honest' intentions.