Police investigating Gizmodo's iPhone prototype story

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The computer crime task force of the Santa Clara County district attorney's office is investigating the Gizmodo purchase of an Apple prototype iPhone to determine if criminal charges will be filed.



A report by Greg Sandoval of CNET stated that police are investigating the circumstances of the event to determine if there is enough evidence to support criminal prosecution.



Gizmodo announced paying $5,000 for what it believed to be a prototype of Apple's forthcoming new iPhone model, after finding a seller who had claimed to possess the device after finding it in a bar.



CNET said it "has not been able to confirm whether the investigation is targeting Gizmodo.com, its source who reportedly found the iPhone in a bar, or both."



Gawker Media, Gizmodo's owner, has previously floated offers to pay sources for access to unreleased Apple products in order to publish the company's trade secrets on its Valleywag tech gossip site. After Apple objected to the offer, Gawker taunted the company by saying it would keep its leaks anonymous.



The report noted that California law states that anyone who finds lost property and knows who the likely owner is, but "appropriates such property to his own use" is guilty of theft. Taking property valued at more than $400 can result in more serious charges of grand theft.



Additionally, Californian law also states that any person who knowingly receives property that has been obtained illegally can be imprisoned for up to one year.



While First Amendment rights granting freedom of the press have supported Supreme Court rulings to allow members of the media to broadcast confidential information, the buying and selling stolen property are separate criminal law issues. California also has trade secret laws that would enable Apple to seek civil damages related to the incident.



In previous legal arguments, Apple argued that it suffers significant damages from leaks related to its unreleased products. "If these trade secrets are revealed, competitors can anticipate and counter Apple's business strategy, and Apple loses control over the timing and publicity for its product launches," the company wrote.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 402
    satcomersatcomer Posts: 130member
    The problem is Gizmodo people are not journalists. They are part of a blog.



    IMHO they are scum that don't deserve page hits.
  • Reply 2 of 402
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    This is a job for Dragnet's Joe Friday!...



    Dum, Da, Dum, Dum.



    Dum, Da, Dum, Dum, Daaaa.





  • Reply 3 of 402
    You get what you pay for, and they purchased a whole lotta hurt!.



    DSL
  • Reply 4 of 402
    echosonicechosonic Posts: 447member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by satcomer View Post


    The problem is Gizmodo people are not journalists. They are part of a blog.



    IMHO they are scum that don't deserve page hits.



    DITTO THAT. Gizmodo can suck it. I hope they get pinched hard. Lam should be fired. They're a bunch of arrogant imbeciles who pulled this stunt and then tried to make the devleoper who lost (or had stolen from him) that phone look like an idiot.



    It will be a sweet moment when this comes full circle.
  • Reply 5 of 402
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by satcomer View Post


    The problem is Gizmodo people are not journalists. They are part of a blog.



    Fortunately, crime is crime, and whether a journalist or a blogger, after being investigated, if they broke the law, they will get their upcommence!
  • Reply 6 of 402
    dr.nodr.no Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post


    Fortunately, crime is crime, and whether a journalist or a blogger, after being investigated, if they broke the law, they will get their upcommence!



    They (perhaps) broke a California law. Gawker (owners of Gizmodo) is based in NYC. So what.







    Hey - I got an idea - medical pot is legal in California - light up a joint in front of a policeman in New York City. Or a DEA office in Washington DC. Let me know how that works out for you, and don't forget to forward me the mug-shots.



  • Reply 7 of 402
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Recent Gizmodo purchases:



  • Reply 8 of 402
    Busted, disgusted, can not be trusted! Jizzmodo is going down!
  • Reply 9 of 402
    It's not Californian law...it's California law.



    And Upcommence is not a word. It's comeuppance.



    And Gizmodo - willfully took part in a crime by accepting obviously stolen property.



    -Blurp
  • Reply 10 of 402
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member
    Seems to me that Apple needs to be careful here. They might just end up creating an incentive to sell a future iDevice prototype to somebody who isn't based in the US and who won't be so cooperative as to give the device back.
  • Reply 11 of 402
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,398member
    I think there may also be a law against enticing criminal acts with a promise of payment. I do not know the specifics but I remember hearing something along this line at a point in time.
  • Reply 12 of 402
    jdavyjdavy Posts: 66member
    I care a great deal. Apple success is part about keeping its secrets. Gizmodo crossed the line when they knew they had the real thing and posted a tear down. They should be sued for liable. I hope Apple puts them out of business. I will be very surprised if they get an invitation to the next media event.
  • Reply 13 of 402
    dr.nodr.no Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blurpbleepbloop View Post


    It's not Californian law...it's California law.



    And Upcommence is not a word. It's comeuppance.



    And Gizmodo - willfully took part in a crime by accepting obviously stolen property.



    -Blurp



    And Gizmodo isn't in California. Oh ... yeah ... you knew that right?

  • Reply 14 of 402
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    Seems to me that Apple needs to be careful here. They might just end up creating an incentive to sell a future iDevice prototype to somebody who isn't based in the US and who won't be so cooperative as to give the device back.



    Nonsense. They need to press hard on this case to discourage future illegal actions.
  • Reply 15 of 402
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr.No View Post


    They (perhaps) broke a California law. They're based in NYC. So what.



    Did they take the phone to NYC? Taking stolen property across state lines. If so, the Feds could be involved soon.



    I've stopped clicking on any link that would lead me to Gizmodo. Hope they suck it.



    And altho Engadget may not be much better, at least they did make note of this statute early on. Nilay Patel, a blogger-lawyer, who writes on patent stuff for them, wrote that Engadget believed buying the phone could violate the law.
  • Reply 16 of 402
    dr.nodr.no Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Recent Gizmodo purchases:







    Fixed that for you.

  • Reply 17 of 402
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr.No View Post


    And Gizmodo isn't in California. Oh ... yeah ... you knew that right?





    Therefore, they may have been in receipt of stolen goods across state lines, which would make this a federal crime.
  • Reply 18 of 402
    dr.nodr.no Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post


    Did they take the phone to NYC? Taking stolen property across state lines. If so, the Feds could be involved soon.



    Wrong. That only works if it's illegal in both states. It's not. Represent yourself in court, it'll be hilarious.

  • Reply 19 of 402
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr.No View Post


    They (perhaps) broke a California law. Gawker (owners of Gizmodo) is based in NYC. So what.







    Hey - I got an idea - medical pot is legal in California - light up a joint in front of a policeman in New York City. Or a DEA office in Washington DC. Let me know how that works out for you, and don't forget to forward me the mug-shots.







    I'm pretty sure you'll find that the laws regarding theft aren't that different anywhere else, and the California law would apply anyway since that is where the phone was found/stolen.
  • Reply 20 of 402
    dr.nodr.no Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Therefore, they may have been in receipt of stolen goods across state lines, which would make this a federal crime.



    If it was illegal in both states.



    Bzzt try again.

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