Gizmodo could pay a steep price for exposing
a prototype of Apple's iPhone.
Its parent company, Gawker Media, paid $5,000 for the handset from
someone who found it at a bar in California. Now a number of bloggers
are building the case that Apple could sue Gawker for purchasing an
allegedly stolen item. Does Gawker deserve it?
- Looks Like
Possession of Stolen Goods to Me, writes Charles Arthur at The Guardian:
"If you come into possession of something, you're meant to tell the
owner and give it back. You can ask for some payment for your trouble
(but only the trouble). If you then sell it - ooh, things get
complicated. That would be, in effect, theft: depriving the rightful
owner of their property... Which also makes Gizmodo's buyer both an
accessory to theft (possibly even having performed incitement to theft)
and a receiver of stolen goods."
- Yes, This Was Outrageous, writes
Jeff Bercovici at Daily Finance:
"I am somewhat scandalized, even outraged. Put simply, Gawker Media
brazenly, publicly flouted the law. It subsidized a crime: the selling
of stolen merchandise. Then it published a misleading, whitewashed
account of the seller's actions meant to make it look as though he was
not acting with criminal intent. It published this account in order to
disguise its own culpability in the matter."
- In the End—Not
Worth It, writes Doc Searls, a Harvard fellow and widely
published technology writer: "Was malice absent in Gizmodo’s case? And,
even if it was, is the story worth what it cost to everybody else
involved — including whatever dollar amount Gizmodo paid to its source? I
submit that it wasn’t... I’m not saying that one must not sometimes
make those compromises. We all often do, regardless of our professions.
What makes journalism a special case is its own moral calling. How high a
calling is it to expose the innards of an iPhone prototype?"
Is Baloney, writes John Cox at Network World. He has beef with Gawker
founder Nick Denton. "The first obligation for new as for old media is
the truth. Denton, and his reporters, from the outset accepted only one
account, that of the 'finder,' and showed toward him the same kind of
credulity and toward their readers the same kind of self-serving cant
for which they lambast and lampoon the old media."
- Are You
Kidding Me? Gizmodo's Rivals Are Just Jealous, writes The Inquirer Friction blog: "People who moan about
that sort of thing are usually the types of people who can dismiss an
accurate news story because of a typo or a split infinitive in the 24th
paragraph. In tabloid journalism it is common practice to 'do a spoiler'
on an article that is written by a rival, but some of these comments in
the US press go beyond simple jealousy."
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