Charges filed in lost iPhone 4 case; Gizmodo editors cleared

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22 Responses to “Charges filed in lost iPhone 4 case; Gizmodo editors cleared”

  1. hassenpfeffer says:

    Pfft, that is SO early-2010. Can we please get a non-scandal involving the iPhone 5 prototype? or someone sneaking the Nokia N9 into the US?

  2. Andy O'Brien says:

    …and ever since, that “Redwood City beer garden” (*cough* http://www.gourmethausstaudt.com/ *cough*) has been a mecca for geeks and beer afficinados everywhere. Long live tech! Long live beer!

  3. Sagodjur says:

    I wish I could go into the past and use this news to save myself all that time I spent trying to read comments on Gizmodo articles that had nothing to do with the iPhone that were flooded with angry fanboys screaming about Gizmodo editors being petty criminals and thieves.

    • BarBarSeven says:

      But Gizmodo editors (and Gawker Media) were clearly enablers in this fiasco. Which is a legally gray area, thus they are “off the hook” but they deserve the level of distrust and disdain they have received. Gawker Media’s reputation is well deserved, but not too sure who would be proud of that.

      • Sagodjur says:

        They purchased a phone and took pictures of it. Big deal.

        I’m more concerned about Apple’s anti-competitive business practices that drive up the cost and the FUD of competing platforms to the detriment of the free market.

        Where’s the investigation into that?

        • BarBarSeven says:

          No pun intended, but you’re talking about apples and oranges. Leaking an iPhone prototype to a tech gossip blog does nothing to further a more competitive environment; if anything it drove up Apple demand. Maybe you’re real complaint is the prototype was not sold to Samsung, Palm or Google instead?

        • Scott Frazer says:

          They purchased a stolen device. Note that the charges that _were_ filed include misdemeanor theft.

        • morcheeba says:

          what anti-competitive business practice do you allege, and which law does it violate? Also what do you mean by “the FUD of competing platforms”?

          • BarBarSeven says:

            The way Apple is behaving in the mobile market is fairly questionable when it comes to slapping lawyers on anyone who dares make anything that looks remotely like an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. Market bullying is a fair assessment in that case.

            “FUD” clearly refers to the classic “Far Side” cartoon by that witty rapscallion Gary Larson. Look out cat!

          • morcheeba says:

            That’s called trade dress and it’s protected by design patents. “market bullying” isn’t a law; “trademark infringement” (which apple alleges in the samsung case) is a law, and apple is allowed to protect the uniqueness of their designs. Now if a large number of these cases are thrown out by the courts, I’d be upset, but until then, it looks like they’ve got some decent claims. 
            http://www.schwimmerlegal.com/2011/04/4820.html

            haha … love that cartoon! But I still don’t understand what Sagodjur was trying to say.

  4. arikol says:

    This is GREAT news. Willfully buying stolen property (property which you KNOW that the seller does not rightfully own and/or know the seller has received it through questionable means) is apparently legal!
    I have to go now, this guy is selling computer equipment out of his boot at insanely low prices….brand new, except for some other guy’s name on it. That’s allowed, right?

  5. michaelk42 says:

    People get charged with a crime but a corporation doesn’t.

    Not exactly news.

  6. Someone should inform the district attorney that the law is in fact a special computer that executes instructions listed in statute books without checking all the other statute books or case law, or indeed the willingness of victims and witnesses to cooperate, or anything else that may affect the likelihood of a successful prosecution.

    • michaelk42 says:

      Yet this does not change the fact that Gizmodo did something really stupid, and ran a real risk of not only being charged but convicted of criminal conversion.

      Not being surprised that the individuals did get charged/corporation didn’t doesn’t mean I necessarily think he *had* to charge the corporation, BTW.

  7. Dan says:

    How did Hogan get charged with theft? All the stories said that the phone was just left in the bar, ie forgotten. I found a phone in the park the other day and took it with me, charged it and called the most used contact to see if I could return the phone. Luckily they didn’t charge me with stealing.

    Besides, Hogan tried to call Apple to return the device and they told him he was a crazy person.

  8. waetherman says:

    In the grand scheme of things, and in light of the Murdoch scandal, this was a pretty minor offense. What bothered me most was the way that Gawker seemed to put the editor (Chen, I think) out as a sacrificial lamb. And that seemed particularly bad because with a little forethought, and the consultation of a good lawyer, they probably could have avoided all liability. Instead they committed a crime, and put Chen in a position to have his house raided and his belongings seized.

    As much of a fan of the first amendment as I am, I think it’s good to have a reminder every now and again that being a member of the press (whatever that means) doesn’t mean it’s okay to commit crimes. And for that, this case seems to have served as a good example.

  9. ackpht says:

    When my San Diego rental was burglarized, one of the items surfaced later at a pawn shop (flagged because the pawn shop reports serial numbers to the police). The police advised me that the simplest thing for me to do was go pay the shop for what they loaned on it, because a judge would get angry if I took up his time over a small amount like $20. I asked the detective how much of the stuff in pawn shops was stolen, and he said “most of it”. But as long as they don’t punish the pawn shops, the shops will report serial numbers like they’re supposed to, which is all the police care about.

    I decided to consider it a finder’s fee, and when I made the transaction at the pawn shop, the weasel behind the counter had the stones to say “I hate it when people have to pay to get their stuff back.”

  10. lecti says:

    Cleared, but real sleazy: THIS IS GIZMODO

    Seriously, the folks there actually consulted a lawyer about this – they knew they were in hot legal waters the minute they forked over 5 grand. It’s not like they were forced into theft.

    • BarBarSeven says:

      Slight correction: Gizmodo forked over 5 grand because they consciously knew that was the max legal amount they could pay to avoid significant criminal liability.

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