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Did Apple call the cops on Gizmodo?

Discussion in 'Wireless News' started by JasonLAllerdings, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. JasonLAllerdings

    JasonLAllerdings Junior Member
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    Hopefully I did this right:

    Did Apple call the cops on Gizmodo? - Apple 2.0 - Fortune Brainstorm Tech

    Judging from reader comments, it's clear that a lot of people following the story of the lost iPhone prototype assume that the California police task force launched their investigation — and raided the home of Jason Chen, the Gizmodo editor who ended up with the device — because Apple (AAPL) asked them to.

    In a piece posted Monday, Yahoo News' John Cook comes close to accusing Apple — and indeed, Steve Jobs himself — of orchestrating the probe based on the fact that Apple is one of 25 companies that sit on the steering committee of the police task force.

    "Which raises the question," he writes, "as to whether Apple, which was outraged enough about Gizmodo’s $5,000 purchase of the lost iPhone for CEO Steve Jobs to reportedly call Gawker Media owner Nick Denton to demand its return, sicked its high-tech cops on Chen."

    Cook, who wrote for Gawker before he joined Yahoo, may be in a position to know whether Jobs called his former boss. But he can only speculate about Apple's role in the investigation.


    "My inbox is chockablock with messages from those who think Apple initiated this," writes Daring Fireball's John Gruber, who has been one of Apple's biggest defenders throughout the affair. He maintains that Cook — and the readers who think like him — have it all wrong.

    "This is a criminal investigation, not a civil lawsuit," he writes. "Apple gets to decide whether to file civil litigation. The San Mateo district attorney gets to decide whether to launch a criminal investigation. We don’t know yet whether Apple has been in contact with the DA, but, why wouldn’t they? They can tell the DA what happened. They can’t order the DA what to do."

    Which leaves open the question of whether Apple ever asked the authorities to look into the matter. We put that question to Apple public relations four days ago. We have yet to receive a reply.

    UPDATE: A sharp-eyed reader points out that the Wall Street Journal Monday quoted a deputy district attorney saying that Apple contacted authorities and "advised [them] there had been a theft," which, according to the Journal, led to the search warrant and the investigation.

    UPDATE 2: San Mateo County chief deputy DA Steve Wagstaffe offered more detail about Apple's role in an interview Tuesday with the San Jose Business Journal:

    "Wagstaffe said that an outside counsel for Apple, along with Apple engineer [Gray] Powell, called the District Attorney’s office on Wednesday or Thursday of last week to report a theft had occurred and they wanted it investigated. The District Attorney’s office then referred them to the Rapid Enforcement and Allied Computer Team, or REACT, a multi-jurisdictional, high-tech crime task force that operates under the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office."
     
  2. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    I'm kind of suprised the police have been involved in this at all. Calling the cops just doesn't seem like Steve Jobs style to me. I thought by now Mr.Chen would have had an unfortunate "accident" and been found face-down in a plate of apple pie :browani:
     
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  3. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Yes, you certainly did. :)

    It appears that it was reported as "theft". Is it really theft or "lost". Some Apple employee left the device at a bar, not like it was stolen or taken from from him.

    I agree that the proper procedure would have been to turn it in to the authorities but in my mind there is a difference between reporting it as "theft" vs "lost".

    Just my two cents. :)
     
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  4. JasonLAllerdings

    JasonLAllerdings Junior Member
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    It just seems that Apple is becoming the new Mircosoft bully.
     
  5. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    Lets sum it up :)

    1. Person X is carrying something that belongs to the corporation B
    2. Person X leaves this something at a bar — "lost"
    3. Person Y picks this something up — "find"
    4. Person Y realizes this something can only belong to the corporation B, but decides to keep it anyway — "hmm..."
    5. Person Y turns around and sells this something belonging to the corporation B to a company C — what do we call peddling something that doesn't belong to you? :)
     
  6. JasonLAllerdings

    JasonLAllerdings Junior Member
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    So - I'm assuming that Gizmodo is company C: so how does Apple (corporation B) get to tell the cops that company C stole this "something" or is it now guilty until proven innocent in corporation B's eyes?
     
  7. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    I guess because it's something unique that Apple can identify as belonging only to them.

    ex: you leave your laptop in a bar, and the next day you look at the news and see Gizmodo took it apart and posted pics of it on the internet, including all your private photos and all your other personal info that you had on it. Would you call the cops? (I wouldn't, I'd send out my boys in the black van to take care of it, but that's just me :browani:)

    ...but still, I think the whole thing is kinda fuzzy/messy so I'm not taking any sides here, just offering a different perspective ;)

    Hmm...a stockbroker, a pimp, a real-estate agent...:p
     
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  8. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Hmm interesting! How is it established that person y knows that it can only belong to the corporation B? If I leave my BB on a bar stool, it belongs to me not RIM. According to reports, Apple was contacted and they denied knowing anything about until the story got publishe. :)

    BlackBerry9700/5.0.0.405 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102
     
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    #8 charlyee, Apr 28, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  9. JasonLAllerdings

    JasonLAllerdings Junior Member
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    Okay - you've confused Gizmodo with TMZ now :lmao:. The thing is Gizmodo purchased it from the guy that found it in the bar - they didn't do the actual lifting of the phone from the bar. Also, Apple denied it was their new phone when first asked about it to begin with, so they just fanned the flames.
     
  10. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    Your BB is your BB unless you're somehow carrying a prototype model that you've been passing for the production one :D. I do not know the internal workings of Apple on the subject but I'm pretty sure they retain the ownership of all of their prototype phones.

    Apple may've cried foul way too late — certainly if they'd admitted right away it was their phone they'd have a better position in my book.

    All right, all kidding aside and taking this seriously now. After thinking about it a bit I started to feel that even the guy who found the phone has actually stolen it.

    Riddle me this (all of this hypothetically speaking, of course — you probably wouldn't get wasted in a bar and I most definitely wouldn't drive an automatic): you leave your SLK on the street with the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition, get wasted in a nearby bar and decide to take a cab home. I walk by, notice the SLK on the side on the road, nobody in the bar knows whose car it is, so after asking around I decide "finders keepers" and drive off with it. You wake up in the morning and have no recollection of where you left your car last night. So... did I steal it or did you lose it and I found it? If I stole it, then I'm pretty sure the same applies to the lost phone...
     
  11. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    It most definitely is hypothetical, I most certainly would not leave my SLK with the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition. :p

    I am impressed that in my wasted condition I was smart enough to call a cab. :D

    Back on topic, yes in this case it's theft and I would report it as such.

    I don't believe the phone situation is that clear cut. I do agree that the person who found it is guilty, for one thing he was knowledgeable enough to recognize it as a prototype disguised in an existing case, he also called Gizomodo and sold it to them.



    I also agree that Apple should have owned up sooner. For all we know it was the person with the prototype who sold it.

    BlackBerry9700/5.0.0.405 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102
     
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  12. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    Forget the car. Suppose instead of the phone the item left at the bar was a diamond necklace or bracelet or some other thing like that... theft or not?
     
  13. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Forget the diamond jewellary, let's talk about the iPhone. :p

    The way I see it the Apple employee/Apple *lost* the device. The person who picked up and didn't try to return it *stole* the device. The device was stolen but not from the Apple employee.:)

    BlackBerry9700/5.0.0.405 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102
     
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    #13 charlyee, Apr 29, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  14. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    No, of course it was not stolen from Apple employee — it was stolen from Apple, because it belonged to Apple. It never belonged to the employee :p
     
  15. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    I agree with dmapr.

    Also, this kid could have saved himself a bunch of trouble if he just took one reasonable and normal step: left a note with a phone number with the bar management for anyone showing up looking for the lost phone.

    The information came out earlier that the Apple employee returned to the bar more than several times to see if anyone turned in his phone. He also called the bar several more times inquiring on the same.

    Claiming any found item as 'yours' to use or 'sell' requires that a reasonable attempt has been made to find the owner. The kid now admits that he should have done a better job at that.

    The iphone 'finder' didn't do what most people would have done. He didn't have to leave the phone with the bar, just a note saying if you can identify the phone, it is yours. Even if you find a wallet full of cash and give it to the police, if after some time frame (30days?) the unclaimed money becomes yours.

    Heck, it would not be hard to iD, and, to keep the kid quiet, he may have gotten a free iPad, iPhone or iMoney as a reward!

    This mistake is the source of his legal troubles at the moment.

    IMO
     
  16. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 28 Years Plus
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    I'll say one thing, this whole "lost iPhone" drama has certainly grown some legs. It's gotten a lot bigger than it probably should, and in the long run, it keeps Apple's name at the forefront of mobility news.

    The more aware the brand, the better it is for the company involved. Apple's name is out there quite frequently lately...Should make for a fun (and anticipated) announcement day in June for them.
     
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