Apple's lawyers threaten fake Steve Jobs
The Fake Steve Jobs blog is always entertaining. And never more so than now. According to recent posts on the blog, site owner Daniel Lyons has been approached by Apple to accept money in return for closing down the site. After initially announcing the offer on the blog, Lyons was then contacted by Apple’s lawyers threatening legal action and telling him the deal was not meant to be public knowledge. The ensuing debate is fascinating as Apple’s lawyers get increasingly heavy-handed. (Updated)
After Lyons makes public the offer of cash to shut down the blog, Apple’s lawyers return with a letter in which they tell Lyons that there are at least three posts on his site that they “deem to be actionable”, a lawyer-speak way of threatening legal action. The three posts are listed in a later blog post and involve predictions made on the Fake Steve Jobs blog about upcoming product announcements by the company.
The action by Apple is reminiscent of its attitude towards the Think Secret blog which Apple took legal action against in January 2005 and won in March 2005. Think Secret was one of three sites that were ordered by the courts to reveal their sources for predictions they made on their blogs.
Think Secret published a prediction that Apple would release the Mac Mini two weeks before the official release. Despite being ordered to reveal sources, Think Secret publisher Nick Ciarelli refused to do so and just this week Ciarelli and Apple announced they had reached a settlement in terms of which the Think Secret blog would cease publishing. Ciarelli said he was “pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and [I] will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits”. Ciarelli says the terms of the agreement do not include revealing sources for the prediction.
Update: Of course Fake Steve Jobs has confirmed that the buy out was just as fake as his blog. The Think Secret part is, however, is true.