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Apple engineer frantically searched for lost prototype iPhone - Page 2

post #41 of 267
i'm glad we got to see the leaked pics, but i hope gizmodo gets the pants sued off them. That'll certainly give the apple-haters something to cry about, lol.
post #42 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post

But resorting to criminal behavior to obtain what are obviously protected trade secrets, is another story. I do not want to read about it.

I will make it a priority to not visit Gizmoto, and hope many others will join in on a boycott of Gawker media sites. They really seem to be criminal scum.

Oh cry me a f**king river. It's incredible how so many people like you have rushed to climb onto your moral high horse just because this affects Apple. If the Washington Post had paid $5k to get hold of some senator's laptop that subsequently was found to contain information exposing a huge corruption scandal in the Whitehouse you'd be saying they should get a Pulitzer.

I'm a huge Apple fan, but Gizmodo were just doing their job as journalists.
post #43 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

yes the story seems odd. But nothing indicates it was 'lifted' or stolen from the employee. Sometimes, drunk people are careless. As simple as that.

Your right of course, drunk people are careless, but my question is, who was buying the free drinks?
post #44 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

It was. But in many cases, turning something into a lost and found simply means someone else takes it home.

Ok, but as the rest of your post stuck to the story as reported, it's an unusual point.
post #45 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Thousands of people must be stupid, because even after Giz released the first set of pics there were a lot of people that did not believe it was a real Apple device. Did you consider it could have been a chinese knockoff? There are a few of those around. If you look on this thing we like to call the 'internet' you might even be able to see some examples for yourself. there was no way to know it was an Apple device until it was opened. In fact with all the fakes out there, which is more likely, you find a phone and think "this MUST be a top secret Apple prototype!" or "This looks like a knock off..even the UI is different"?

use some common sense.

Regardless of if it was a knock off or a real Apple device, there was no real attempt to return the persons property. The 'finder' sold the device to Giz, who know it was not his. It makes not difference real or not real. It is still stolen goods.
post #46 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by stompy View Post

Being businessmen?, they'd likely been given enough evidence to take the next step. It seems logical that they would arrange a payment schedule before receiving the phone, based on receipt of the phone, and what they eventually discovered and published.

So they knew it was real iPhone prototype before they paid that guy. If they paid one cent after they verified the authenticity of the iPhone, which is what you are saying, then they are buying something that they knew didn't belong to the seller and by doing so they are breaking the law. It is theft.
post #47 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post

He never said anything like that. He is saying that the Apple logo does not guarantee that it was made by Apple.

It makes not difference who makes the device, it is still stolen property!!!
The 'finder' did not hand it in to the bar or contact the local police, instead they decide to sell property that did not belong to them for $5k.
post #48 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonder View Post

Regardless of if it was a knock off or a real Apple device, there was no real attempt to return the persons property. The 'finder' sold the device to Giz, who know it was not his. It makes not difference real or not real. It is still stolen goods.

IMO, the phone was never reported lost or stolen to the police and that indicates that it was an intentional leak. If you ever lose company property, the first thing they will tell you to do is to file a police report. It helps as a CYA move and an insurance move.

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post #49 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

In my experience, if this thing goes to court it's going to come down to what a "reasonable" person would have thought.

This determination is usually made by the trial judge or the jury based on a lot of information that we don't have right now. For instance if the original "finder" was a retarded man aged 60 it would be a completely different story than if he was a computer technician or an Android programmer. The judge or jury will look at the person, listen to their story and make that determination. There is no way anyone can do it in this forum because we don't know the people involved well enough and only have third-hand information anyway.

That being said however, I can't see any way in which Gizmodo would not have reasonably known that this was an iPhone prototype. The idea that they had to crack it open to find out is a joke IMO. The guy who sold it to them told them it was running iPhone OS 4.0 before it was remotely bricked, he even knew the name of the Apple employee who apparently lost it.

Again, we don't know all the details, so it's possible that the person who "found" it didn't pass that along to the Giz guys until later. There are so many different indications that this was an iPhone prototype however that it would almost take a miracle for any judge or jury to believe that the Gizmodo folks (who are sharp computer users who are very familiar with Chinese knock-offs BTW), didn't know or couldn't make a very reasonable assumption that this was not a Chinese knock-of and was instead an iPhone prototype.

But the OS wouldn't by itself indicate it was a prototype. It could have been JB or it could have had a dev build of OS4. The device was physically camouflaged to look like a 3GS. With the thousands of Blackberries in here in Waterloo, if I found one in a bar, I would in no way leap to the conclusion that it was a prototype, especially if it looked as good as a production unit. I am more than familiar with BB, but that doesn't mean I know enough to tell their production units from unreleased models, especially if I was drunk. For all we know, the finder was some janitor or car salesmen or factory worker and he was drunk. No reason to think he would be as familiar, as even an Apple fan would be, with the iPhone and the OS or cell phones in general. if I showed you an new Android based device from some random manufacturer, would you be able to tell immediately if the OS was stock, custom or beta? Would you be able to tell the device itself was an unreleased model or a knockoff?

You are right. We don't have all the details and 'reasonable', in many aspects, is in question. Some of what we do know sounds dodgy at best, illegal at worst. But most of what we have is speculation and interpretation.

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post #50 of 267
As far as I am aware, Gizmodo took possession of an object that they knew to be stolen.

Furthermore, they know who was the owner as they were told by the person supplying the device that he had managed to use it before it was locked down.

After this, instead of returning it to the owner, they proceeded to vandalise the object. They also, realising it was a new product, decided to release a whole bunch of trade secret images all over the internet.

The simplest explanation is that someone stole the iPhone (not that it was left behind, as per the story), realised that it was something new and special, and then arranged to make even more money off of it. So Gizmodo sponsored criminal activity, after the fact.

The only thing on their side is that nobody called the police about the loss of the device. Often, however, the police wouldn't do anything anyway, so there wouldn't have been a point.
post #51 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelab View Post

Oh cry me a f**king river. It's incredible how so many people like you have rushed to climb onto your moral high horse just because this affects Apple. If the Washington Post had paid $5k to get hold of some senator's laptop that subsequently was found to contain information exposing a huge corruption scandal in the Whitehouse you'd be saying they should get a Pulitzer.

I'm a huge Apple fan, but Gizmodo were just doing their job as journalists.

Clearly you are very misguided.
To try to compare the two scenarios is ludicrous.

While the Apple info was interesting to the public, it was not 'of public interest', i.e. it did not warrant exposing as it did not reveal or expose any wrong doing, corruption, etc, etc, etc.

REAL journalism can be helpful, was Giz did was childish and underhand. If not illegal, morally wrong.
post #52 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonder View Post

Regardless of if it was a knock off or a real Apple device, there was no real attempt to return the persons property. The 'finder' sold the device to Giz, who know it was not his. It makes not difference real or not real. It is still stolen goods.

No, there was some attempt. His documented and ignored calls to Apple informing them of the issue would count as an attempt. The question is whether this would count as a 'reasonable' attempt. I have an opinion on that, but that isn't important. What is important is how the law would interpret 'reasonable'.

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post #53 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

As far as I am aware, Gizmodo took possession of an object that they knew to be stolen.

Furthermore, they know who was the owner as they were told by the person supplying the device that he had managed to use it before it was locked down.

After this, instead of returning it to the owner, they proceeded to vandalise the object. They also, realising it was a new product, decided to release a whole bunch of trade secret images all over the internet.

The simplest explanation is that someone stole the iPhone (not that it was left behind, as per the story), realised that it was something new and special, and then arranged to make even more money off of it. So Gizmodo sponsored criminal activity, after the fact.

The only thing on their side is that nobody called the police about the loss of the device. Often, however, the police wouldn't do anything anyway, so there wouldn't have been a point.

Stolen? They knew it was lost and found, not stolen. Completely different law here.

Opening the device verified who the owner was. Gizmodo had no way of knowing whether it was property of Gray Powell (and thus should have been returned directly to him) or property of Apple (in which a request for a letter claiming ownership and demanding return was justified).

I'm sure Gawker's lawyers are familiar with the facts and did the right analysis before the deal went down. Lawyers are protected by lawyer-client confidentiality which helps to ensure that they know the whole truth. There's no incentive to lie to your lawyer.

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post #54 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

So they knew it was real iPhone prototype before they paid that guy. If they paid one cent after they verified the authenticity of the iPhone, which is what you are saying, then they are buying something that they knew didn't belong to the seller and by doing so they are breaking the law. It is theft.

Regardless of if it was an Apple prototype or not, they knew it did not belong to the seller.
It makes no difference who made the device or if it was a prototype. It could have been a box of chocolates for all I care. Giz know that the item was lost by someone, it did not belong to the person selling it, therefore it was not his to sell or their to buy. It is theft / buying stolen goods pure and simple. Apple device or not.
post #55 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

No, there was some attempt. His documented and ignored calls to Apple informing them of the issue would count as an attempt. The question is whether this would count as a 'reasonable' attempt. I have an opinion on that, but that isn't important. What is important is how the law would interpret 'reasonable'.

Right. Normally the standard is what the reasonable prudent person would do. NOT what an apple fanboi would do.

As of the time that it arrived in their hands, the ownership was questionable. It could have been the drunk guy at the bar's fake iphone, or it could have been an Apple prototype. Opening up the device helped them figure out who the true owner was and eventually it got into the right hands.

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post #56 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

As far as I am aware, Gizmodo took possession of an object that they knew to be stolen.

Furthermore, they know who was the owner as they were told by the person supplying the device that he had managed to use it before it was locked down.

After this, instead of returning it to the owner, they proceeded to vandalise the object. They also, realising it was a new product, decided to release a whole bunch of trade secret images all over the internet.

The simplest explanation is that someone stole the iPhone (not that it was left behind, as per the story), realised that it was something new and special, and then arranged to make even more money off of it. So Gizmodo sponsored criminal activity, after the fact.

The only thing on their side is that nobody called the police about the loss of the device. Often, however, the police wouldn't do anything anyway, so there wouldn't have been a point.

Where did you read, and so become aware, that it was stolen?

Also, about your opinion that it being stolen is the simplest explanation...theft is a simpler explanation than loss? Maybe the reason it wasn't reported as stolen is that Apple would have to file a false police report of theft, when it was in fact lost. That seems simpler.

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post #57 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelab View Post

Oh cry me a f**king river. It's incredible how so many people like you have rushed to climb onto your moral high horse just because this affects Apple. If the Washington Post had paid $5k to get hold of some senator's laptop that subsequently was found to contain information exposing a huge corruption scandal in the Whitehouse you'd be saying they should get a Pulitzer.

I'm a huge Apple fan, but Gizmodo were just doing their job as journalists.

In France, Giz wouldn't be liable to everything. Editors cannot be charged if they enter in possession of stolen documents or data, especially if nobody has notify it. Their good faith is assumed, and it is part of their job.

Yet, as editor myself, I am very skeptical about the whole affair. As someone said, it seems fishy. Maybe a hoax from Apple, since that supposed new Iphone does not fit into what I would call an Apple design.
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post #58 of 267
The whole thing about not calling the police is bs. I mean who calls the police over a f@#%% phone???? was anyone expecting him to do that???? I do think that the logical thing to do is to give it to the bar as it is obvious that the owner will come back to inquire about it. I believe that the biggest issue is how the phone got to GIZ. Did he just say "hey i can get money for this!"? was he familiar with rumor sites enough to know he could cause a buzz?

Anyone that says that Giz didnt know it was an apple product is full of it. I mean like previous posters said there have been many knock offs out there and they didn't just give them 5k so that they could tear it down. But they did offer this guy 5k to PROVE that the unit belonged to Apple.

I almost hope that the design ends up with some differences so that we can still get a little bit of a surprise.
post #59 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonder View Post

Regardless of if it was an Apple prototype or not, they knew it did not belong to the seller.
It makes no difference who made the device or if it was a prototype. It could have been a box of chocolates for all I care. Giz know that the item was lost by someone, it did not belong to the person selling it, therefore it was not his to sell or their to buy. It is theft / buying stolen goods pure and simple. Apple device or not.

Sorry. There's no law preventing you from paying for custody of lost goods. The fact is that as soon as Gizmodo purchased the phone, they intended to return it to Apple. That shows clear intent not to convert the iPhone. Your analysis is wrong on both the facts and the law.

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post #60 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by freddych View Post

Stolen? They knew it was lost and found, not stolen. Completely different law here.

Opening the device verified who the owner was. Gizmodo had no way of knowing whether it was property of Gray Powell (and thus should have been returned directly to him) or property of Apple (in which a request for a letter claiming ownership and demanding return was justified).

"Lost and Found"

Says who?

The person who sold the device to Gizmodo. The person who gained $5,000. The person who didn't hand it in at the bar, or even make an attempt to return it themselves to the rightful owner.
post #61 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

"Lost and Found"

Says who?

The person who sold the device to Gizmodo. The person who gained $5,000. The person who didn't hand it in at the bar, or even make an attempt to return it themselves to the rightful owner.

Says the fact pattern. Now if you have information that the "finder" actually lifted the phone from Gray Powell, thats another situation that we don't have the facts for.

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post #62 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

But the OS wouldn't by itself indicate it was a prototype. It could have been JB or it could have had a dev build of OS4. The device was physically camouflaged to look like a 3GS. With the thousands of Blackberries in here in Waterloo, if I found one in a bar, I would in no way leap to the conclusion that it was a prototype, especially if it looked as good as a production unit. I am more than familiar with BB, but that doesn't mean I know enough to tell their production units from unreleased models, especially if I was drunk. For all we know, the finder was some janitor or car salesmen or factory worker and he was drunk. No reason to think he would be as familiar, as even an Apple fan would be, with the iPhone and the OS or cell phones in general. if I showed you an new Android based device from some random manufacturer, would you be able to tell immediately if the OS was stock, custom or beta? Would you be able to tell the device itself was an unreleased model or a knockoff?

You are right. We don't have all the details and 'reasonable', in many aspects, is in question. Some of what we do know sounds dodgy at best, illegal at worst. But most of what we have is speculation and interpretation.

I agree that this is something that we can never be definitive about, I'm just saying in my judgement and in the absence of detailed information about the personalities involved, you'd have to be an idiot not to know it was a prototype. The very fact that it was camouflaged and being carried by an Apple engineer is a giant clue. The 4.0 OS wasn't released at the time it was found even to devs, so it comes down to a guy finding a phone that looks like a 3Gs, but turns out to be camouflaged and running a more advanced version of the iPhone OS. Sure, technically, it's possible that it was an elaborate ruse by someone to make the guy *think* he had an iPhone prototype, but it isn't very likely. Again it's going to come down to that "reasonable person" clause, but I am far less optimistic than you are that anyone would consider it "reasonable" for the guy who found it to do what he did or even to believe it wasn't a prototype. My personal opinion is that you'd have to be an idiot not to know what this thing was and I expect a judge (if it ever comes to that) to decide similarly.

Sadly, I will be surprised if Apple actually takes them to court at all, but it would be a win for Apple if they did IMO.
post #63 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonder View Post

Regardless of if it was an Apple prototype or not, they knew it did not belong to the seller.
It makes no difference who made the device or if it was a prototype. It could have been a box of chocolates for all I care. Giz know that the item was lost by someone, it did not belong to the person selling it, therefore it was not his to sell or their to buy. It is theft / buying stolen goods pure and simple. Apple device or not.

Theft requires a act of theft. The phone was lost, not stolen. Saying it over and over doesn't make it true.

Selling found property is probably not legal, until certain conditions are met. And yes, with certain conditions it is absolutely legal to sell found goods. Just look at the airport lost and found sales. Where those conditions met? Some perhaps, but it would appear that some were not. Not a lawyer, so I don't know. I do know that Gawkers lawyers believed they were in the clear, but I guess internet forum posters know more about California law that Californian lawyers.

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post #64 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

No, there was some attempt. His documented and ignored calls to Apple informing them of the issue would count as an attempt. The question is whether this would count as a 'reasonable' attempt. I have an opinion on that, but that isn't important. What is important is how the law would interpret 'reasonable'.

I think reasonable would have been telling the bar owner that he had found the device.
The first thing you do if you lose something is go and ask where you think you lost it, which is just what the owner of the device did.

Reasonable (bearing in mind the importance of the device, which the finder seemed to know), would have been to report it to the local police.

What is NOT reasonable is after 1 month, selling the device for £5k to giz.
The finder knew what he had and what it was worth, I would like to see this evidence for attempting to return the phone. It is easy to have records for calling a number, that does not mean he said anything meaningful to the party at the other end. He might have simply said I have found an iPhone, would you expect Apple to do something about every iPhone reported lost to them (no that would be silly and impractical). Did he say I have found a very valuable iPhone prototype? Probably not!
post #65 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnexpectedBill View Post

Did you know? There are a lot of iPhone fakes out there. Many have Apple logos and the iPhone designation printed on them.

That's your fact for the day.


Are you telling Gizmodo paid $5000 for a device they thought it could be a fake one ?.
post #66 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I agree that this is something that we can never be definitive about, I'm just saying in my judgement and in the absence of detailed information about the personalities involved, you'd have to be an idiot not to know it was a prototype. The very fact that it was camouflaged and being carried by an Apple engineer is a giant clue. The 4.0 OS wasn't released at the time it was found even to devs, so it comes down to a guy finding a phone that looks like a 3Gs, but turns out to be camouflaged and running a more advanced version of the iPhone OS. Sure, technically, it's possible that it was an elaborate ruse by someone to make the guy *think* he had an iPhone prototype, but it isn't very likely. Again it's going to come down to that "reasonable person" clause, but I am far less optimistic than you are that anyone would consider it "reasonable" for the guy who found it to do what he did or even to believe it wasn't a prototype. My personal opinion is that you'd have to be an idiot not to know what this thing was and I expect a judge (if it ever comes to that) to decide similarly.

Sadly, I will be surprised if Apple actually takes them to court at all, but it would be a win for Apple if they did IMO.

You have to look at it from the standpoint of Gizmodo pre-all these stories. They have a guy coming to them with an item that he claims to have found on the ground in a bar. He claims that it is the next Apple prototype. Now, most of us dismissed this as a hoax as soon as it showed up on Engadget, even with the pictures. The didn't know for sure that it was a prototype until the actually took it apart. And I'm sure they didn't pay the guy until the confirmed.

IMO, Apple doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell in court. That's the reason they won't sue.

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post #67 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaeru View Post

Are you telling Gizmodo paid $5000 for a device they thought it could be a fake one ?.

You think they paid before they confirmed that it was real?

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post #68 of 267
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Originally Posted by michaelab View Post

Oh cry me a f**king river. It's incredible how so many people like you have rushed to climb onto your moral high horse just because this affects Apple. If the Washington Post had paid $5k to get hold of some senator's laptop that subsequently was found to contain information exposing a huge corruption scandal in the Whitehouse you'd be saying they should get a Pulitzer.

I'm a huge Apple fan, but Gizmodo were just doing their job as journalists.

Wait. You are honestly equating a scenario where the public has a RIGHT to know, to this scenario with Apple where everyone just WANTS to know?! The two are vastly different and any court or lawyer would tell you that. That is why we have privacy laws! And any SERIOUS journalist knows the difference as well. Gizmodo is putting readers simple curiosity over Apple's rights and the poor engineer's well being. Read Andy Ihnatko's take for how a REAL journalist would handle this.

I've seen wrong-headed posts full of bluster aplenty, but yours tops today's list.
post #69 of 267
The finder should have sold it to Google. Mush more money and they wouldn't have acknowledged that it existed and that they had it!
post #70 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Theft requires a act of theft. The phone was lost, not stolen. Saying it over and over doesn't make it true.

Selling found property is probably not legal, until certain conditions are met. And yes, with certain conditions it is absolutely legal to sell found goods. Just look at the airport lost and found sales. Where those conditions met? Some perhaps, but it would appear that some were not. Not a lawyer, so I don't know. I do know that Gawkers lawyers believed they were in the clear, but I guess internet forum posters know more about California law that Californian lawyers.

California law regulates what you can do when you find lost property in the state. Section 2080 of the Civil Code provides that any person who finds and takes charge of a lost item acts as "a depositary for the owner." If the true owner is known, the finder must notify him/her/it within a reasonable time and "make restitution without compensation, except a reasonable charge for saving and taking care of the property." Id. § 2080. If the true owner is not known and the item is worth more than $100, then the finder has a duty to turn it over to the local police department within a reasonable time. Id. § 2080.1. The owner then has 90 days to claim the property. Id. § 2080.2. If the true owner fails to do so and the property is worth more than $250, then the police publish a notice, and 7 days after that ownership of the property vests in the person who found it, with certain exceptions. Id. § 2080.3.
post #71 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonder View Post

I think reasonable would have been telling the bar owner that he had found the device.
The first thing you do if you lose something is go and ask where you think you lost it, which is just what the owner of the device did.

Reasonable (bearing in mind the importance of the device, which the finder seemed to know), would have been to report it to the local police.

What is NOT reasonable is after 1 month, selling the device for £5k to giz.
The finder knew what he had and what it was worth, I would like to see this evidence for attempting to return the phone. It is easy to have records for calling a number, that does not mean he said anything meaningful to the party at the other end. He might have simply said I have found an iPhone, would you expect Apple to do something about every iPhone reported lost to them (no that would be silly and impractical). Did he say I have found a very valuable iPhone prototype? Probably not!

First, if the finder had reported it to the police, he would have been in the same position as keeping it since the phone was NEVER reported lost to the police.

Well according to the reports, the finder did indicate over the phone to Apple that he had found what he thought to be a prototype. Apple probably treated him like we did when the first Engadget articles came out and assumed it was a Japanese/Chinese fake.

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post #72 of 267
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Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

California law regulates what you can do when you find lost property in the state. Section 2080 of the Civil Code provides that any person who finds and takes charge of a lost item acts as "a depositary for the owner." If the true owner is known, the finder must notify him/her/it within a reasonable time and "make restitution without compensation, except a reasonable charge for saving and taking care of the property." Id. § 2080. If the true owner is not known and the item is worth more than $100, then the finder has a duty to turn it over to the local police department within a reasonable time. Id. § 2080.1. The owner then has 90 days to claim the property. Id. § 2080.2. If the true owner fails to do so and the property is worth more than $250, then the police publish a notice, and 7 days after that ownership of the property vests in the person who found it, with certain exceptions. Id. § 2080.3.

Right. All this is Civil Code. Completely separate from the criminal code. This in no way means that our friends at Gawker committed any crime. The first law of criminal law is there must be a criminal law in order for there to be a crime.

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post #73 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by freddych View Post

Sorry. There's no law preventing you from paying for custody of lost goods. The fact is that as soon as Gizmodo purchased the phone, they intended to return it to Apple. That shows clear intent not to convert the iPhone. Your analysis is wrong on both the facts and the law.

They didn't "pay for custody of lost goods". They pay to make money out of lost goods, which is against the law. If they wanted to 'pay for custody of lost goods" then they would have returned the iPhone to Apple without publishing the story.

Hey, I've just bought a lost credit card from someone who found it on the sidewalk and I used it to pay for my groceries before returning it to the owner. So my ultimate goal was to "pay for custody of lost goods". I am sure someone used this in court before and didn't work.
post #74 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Theft requires a act of theft. The phone was lost, not stolen. Saying it over and over doesn't make it true.

Selling found property is probably not legal, until certain conditions are met. And yes, with certain conditions it is absolutely legal to sell found goods. Just look at the airport lost and found sales. Where those conditions met? Some perhaps, but it would appear that some were not. Not a lawyer, so I don't know. I do know that Gawkers lawyers believed they were in the clear, but I guess internet forum posters know more about California law that Californian lawyers.

This seems clear to me :-

California law regulates what you can do when you find lost property in the state. Section 2080 of the Civil Code provides that any person who finds and takes charge of a lost item acts as "a depositary for the owner." If the true owner is known, the finder must notify him/her/it within a reasonable time and "make restitution without compensation, except a reasonable charge for saving and taking care of the property." Id. § 2080. If the true owner is not known and the item is worth more than $100, then the finder has a duty to turn it over to the local police department within a reasonable time. Id. § 2080.1. The owner then has 90 days to claim the property. Id. § 2080.2. If the true owner fails to do so and the property is worth more than $250, then the police publish a notice, and 7 days after that ownership of the property vests in the person who found it, with certain exceptions. Id. § 2080.3.

It appear the 'finder' did not follow the laws of which you speak.
post #75 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I agree that this is something that we can never be definitive about, I'm just saying in my judgement and in the absence of detailed information about the personalities involved, you'd have to be an idiot not to know it was a prototype. The very fact that it was camouflaged and being carried by an Apple engineer is a giant clue. The 4.0 OS wasn't released at the time it was found even to devs, so it comes down to a guy finding a phone that looks like a 3Gs, but turns out to be camouflaged and running a more advanced version of the iPhone OS. Sure, technically, it's possible that it was an elaborate ruse by someone to make the guy *think* he had an iPhone prototype, but it isn't very likely. Again it's going to come down to that "reasonable person" clause, but I am far less optimistic than you are that anyone would consider it "reasonable" for the guy who found it to do what he did or even to believe it wasn't a prototype. My personal opinion is that you'd have to be an idiot not to know what this thing was and I expect a judge (if it ever comes to that) to decide similarly.

Sadly, I will be surprised if Apple actually takes them to court at all, but it would be a win for Apple if they did IMO.

But, would you think it was reasonable for some random, drunk bar patron to recognize the OS as an advanced version? I am surprised he even recognized it wasn't the current version. And he didn't know it was owned by an Apple employee until he turned it on and checked facebook. I can't recall the exact timeline, but I thought that was after he got home.

I don't think any ruse was required. People that work with technology forget that normal people don't think along the same lines. they don't think 'prototype' or 'advanced OS'. If I saw a new Honda drive by that I hadn't seen, I wouldn't think prototype. I would think, 'hey, a new Honda'. I see RIM folk walking around every day with their BBs. I saw one with a touch screen model a couple years ago at Tim's before the Storm was released. I knew it was the storm (probably) because I had read about it on tech sites. I pointed it out to my wife and said "hey the new touch screen BB". She replied "what makes you say that? It looks like your iPhone." She is no idiot, but she doesn't work with technology much.

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post #76 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

They didn't "pay for custody of lost goods". They pay to make money out of lost goods, which is against the law. If they wanted to 'pay for custody of lost goods" then they would have returned the iPhone to Apple without publishing the story.

Hey, I've just bought a lost credit card from someone who found it on the sidewalk and I used it to pay for my groceries before returning it to the owner. So my ultimate goal was to "pay for custody of lost goods". I am sure someone used this in court before and didn't work.

Using a credit card that is not yours is fraud itself. Completely different analogy. Show me a law where it is illegal to run a news piece about lost property.

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post #77 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by freddych View Post

Right. All this is Civil Code. Completely separate from the criminal code. This in no way means that our friends at Gawker committed any crime. The first law of criminal law is there must be a criminal law in order for there to be a crime.

They dismantled the phone! They had a duty of care.

They didn't know the owner. The code says they should hand it in to the police. Simple.
post #78 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonder View Post

This seems clear to me :-

California law regulates what you can do when you find lost property in the state. Section 2080 of the Civil Code provides that any person who finds and takes charge of a lost item acts as "a depositary for the owner." If the true owner is known, the finder must notify him/her/it within a reasonable time and "make restitution without compensation, except a reasonable charge for saving and taking care of the property." Id. § 2080. If the true owner is not known and the item is worth more than $100, then the finder has a duty to turn it over to the local police department within a reasonable time. Id. § 2080.1. The owner then has 90 days to claim the property. Id. § 2080.2. If the true owner fails to do so and the property is worth more than $250, then the police publish a notice, and 7 days after that ownership of the property vests in the person who found it, with certain exceptions. Id. § 2080.3.

It appear the 'finder' did not follow the laws of which you speak.

Civil Law. Meaning they can be sued for return of the property (which was already done). There still is no crime here.

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post #79 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonder View Post

I think reasonable would have been telling the bar owner that he had found the device.
The first thing you do if you lose something is go and ask where you think you lost it, which is just what the owner of the device did.

Reasonable (bearing in mind the importance of the device, which the finder seemed to know), would have been to report it to the local police.

What is NOT reasonable is after 1 month, selling the device for £5k to giz.
The finder knew what he had and what it was worth, I would like to see this evidence for attempting to return the phone. It is easy to have records for calling a number, that does not mean he said anything meaningful to the party at the other end. He might have simply said I have found an iPhone, would you expect Apple to do something about every iPhone reported lost to them (no that would be silly and impractical). Did he say I have found a very valuable iPhone prototype? Probably not!

Actually, an Apple call centre person has reported that yes he did. The person that answered assumed it was a hoax, gave a call ticket number and hung up.

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post #80 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by freddych View Post

You have to look at it from the standpoint of Gizmodo pre-all these stories. They have a guy coming to them with an item that he claims to have found on the ground in a bar. He claims that it is the next Apple prototype. Now, most of us dismissed this as a hoax as soon as it showed up on Engadget, even with the pictures. The didn't know for sure that it was a prototype until the actually took it apart. And I'm sure they didn't pay the guy until the confirmed.

IMO, Apple doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell in court. That's the reason they won't sue.

So in your scenario, once they took it apart and and confirmed that it was indeed Apple's property. They then paid the guy and published the information on their website. That means they knowingly PAID for STOLEN property (it wasn't theirs, and they are buying it from someone who doesn't own it), and then PROFITED from the wrongly appropriated information. And this doesn't seem at all illegal? You really think a jury would give an automatic pass to that kind of behavior?
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