March 12, 2005

Murder Attempt? No problem......Trade Secrets? Problem...

the thing about this is that with this ruling we are explicitly saying that it is okay to out a cia agent but not okay to screw up a marketing deadline. I can see it now...

Man, I suck with the photoshop, don't I?


tdailey said...

Hi Chris!

Actually, two of the people in the Plame case seem headed to jail.

Personally, I think the websites posting this info knew they were violating trade secrets and ndas. From here:

"The posting of Mr. O'Grady contained an exact copy of a detailed drawing of 'Asteroid' created by Apple. Apparently the drawing came from a set of slides marked "Apple Need-to-Know Confidential,"

This isn't speculation. This isn't rumor mongering. This is a case where these websites apparently all received a presentation marked "Apple Confidential" and decided to post the info. In the case of ThinkSecret, that site exists ONLY to post rumors about Apple, a service for which they make money off advertising. ThinkSecret in the past has also aggressively solicited insiders to give information to them, promising anonymity.

I think ThinkSecret and the other sites crossed the line. I'm sad to see the EFF make this such a political issue.

Chris DiBona said...

So here's a question for you: Did ThinkSecret actually sign an NDA and break it? If so, great, then you have a breech lawsuit. This trend of using trade secret law to repress speech is disturbing, but if they made an agreement and broke it, that's bad too.

We all know who should be sent to jail over Plame....the person who released her 'identity' to Novak.

Good seeing you yesterday!

tdailey said...

ThinkSecret didn't sign an NDA as far as I know, but I think saying that they are shielded because of that is dangerous too.

Look at it this way, what if someone started and encouraged people to anonymously submit google internal documents to the site, promising them anonymity. Heck, maybe even promising them an anonymous cash reward. What if the site also made money off selling advertisements on the site. What if they documents posted were stolen?

I don't think California trade secret law protects someone from publishing information that they know is confidential just because they aren't under an NDA, and I think that's a good thing for Intel, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and any other tech company.

Chris DiBona said...

I'm actually surprised that there isn't such a site already.

Robert Gormley said...

With the usual IANAL caveats, there is a concept I heard of in a movie called The Insider - that if party A (say ThinkSecret) induces party B (say an Apple insider) to break a contract with party C (say Apple), then party A can be liable for damages from party C due to 'tortious interference'.