An opinion piece by Charles Cooper for CNet also discusses Apple’s trampling of the First Amendment:
The real subtext is this: Apple is directed by a collection of control freaks who would have found themselves quite at home in the Nixon White House. The big difference being that reporters had the constitutional freedom to report on the Nixon White House.
Apple has been an infuriating company for me to cover over the last two decades or so. I adore its technology but can’t stomach its overreaching sense of entitlement. Other tech companies deal with leaks all the time. Nobody’s happy when their discussions wind up as fodder for the rumor mill. But that’s part of the give-and-take that’s defined the technology business for decades.
An article in today’s Mercury News by Mike Langberg is worth a read.
An open letter to Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer:
I urge you to Think Different in your attitude toward Web sites that publish leaked information on Apple’s upcoming products.
I’m not going to repeat at length the now-familiar argument that Apple’s legal action against three sites — Apple Insider, PowerPage and ThinkSecret — to pay damages and reveal confidential sources is wrong from a free-speech perspective.
I strongly believe online journalists, including bloggers, deserve the same First Amendment protections as print and broadcast journalists, but you would hardly expect me to feel any other way.
Instead, I want to make a dollars-and-cents argument for backing down.
Read the rest of Mike’s letter at MercuryNews.com.
Former San Jose Mercury News technology columnist Dan Gillmor has posted an opinion piece (“The Gathering Storms Over Speech“) on Apple’s attack of the independent online media:
Apple Computer’s disgusting attack on three online journalism sites, in a witch hunt to find out who (if anyone) inside the company leaked information about allegedly upcoming products, has taken a nasty turn. Too bad it’s not surprising — and journalists of all kinds should be paying attention.
If Apple is right – many of you are reading this staring at a beautiful flat screen (over 40% of them portable) and probably running a version of OS X with most of your room now doused in the ubiquitous silver and white.
We all cheer when Apple gets it right, we love when they steal the show – as they have done with iPod. But remember the dark old days? The starting point for this Web site was when Apple released the infamous PowerBook 5300c with a colossal price and colossal design faults to match. So, are we riding high into the sun with Apple these days? Yes on many counts, but…
It looks to me like the US$349 30GB iPod Photo is a much better deal than the remaining 20GB monochrome iPod at US$299. You have to love U2 or the color black to get the US$349 20GB U2 edition. It looks like Apple will simplify the iPod line shortly to just three players: the Shuffle with no screen, mini with monochrome screen and full size with color screen. Or maybe they’ll add a color display to the mini (as has been rumored recently) and ditch the monochrome displays altogher?
City-run wireless broadband networks, which appear to be gaining popularity in a number of major metropolitan areas, haven’t been fully studied and are being touted with dubious claims about their benefits, according to the New Millennium Research Council. Read more at ComputerWorld.com.
The price of personal computers has dropped to the point where the actual box is a small part of the equation. The cost of software, broadband, accessories, movies, cameras, printers, music , music players and general consumables make the cost of the actual computer less relevant than ever, especially if it can be used for three or more years.
The EFF’s Bloggers As Journalists: Why We Fight Apple?s Subpoenas is worth a read:
James Madison understood that “a popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy or perhaps both.” Legal protections for media sources and unpublished information are critical means for journalists of all stripes to acquire information and communicate it to the public. Imagine if “Deep Throat,” the informant critical to Woodward and Bernstein’s investigation of the 1972 Watergate burglary, knew that his identity could be obtained through legal process. His career, and perhaps his life, would have been in serious jeopardy, and a cautious individual would have kept silent.
Read more at EFF.org.
In related news, the EFF announced a new project that highlights the way misguided laws and lawsuits can pollute the environment for technological innovation. “Endangered Gizmos” is a natural history of technologies from the Betamax VCR to filesharing software that have been threatened or extinguished through ruthless litigation. The “Endangered Gizmos” List gives readers the vital statistics on a host of gadgets, along with steps they can take to save those that haven’t yet been killed off. Read more about it in the Press Release.