For those of us who have been lucky enough to make a career out of writing about this wacky world of technology, we know (generally) what the limits are and how far we can go before a company will find fault in what we did or come at us for something we wrote.
Most times, those boundaries will be crossed when a writer makes intentionally loaded remarks about the company or she leaks material that shouldn't have been leaked, thus creating an issue where "trade secrets" are made available to the public at large. And while neither may seem too egregious, the latter has sent Think Secret -- a popular Apple rumors site -- into oblivion.
In case you haven't been following the case, Apple sued Think Secret and its owner Nick Ciarelli in 2005 for posting Apple trade secrets on the website. In a statement to CNET back in 2005, Apple said that the company's "DNA is innovation, and the protection of our trade secrets is crucial to our success."
"Apple has filed a civil complaint against the owner of ThinkSecret.com and unnamed individuals who we believe stole Apple's trade secrets," Apple said in its statement. "We believe that Think Secret solicited information about unreleased Apple products from these individuals, who violated their confidentiality agreements with Apple by providing details that were later posted on the Internet."
Amazingly, after two years of legal jockeying between the organizations, Ciarelli has announced that he will close shop due to a settlement reached between the companies.
"I'm pleased to have reached this amicable settlement," Ciarelli said in a statement. "And will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits."
And while this creates a dangerous precedent for all future Mac rumor sites, what really happened here? Obviously both companies have very little to say about the matter and neither will divulge the true terms of the settlement, so we're all left guessing. But if you ask me, it could have gone down in two ways.… Read more