It seems everyone in the blogsphere wants to attack Apple nowadays. First it was my good buddy from up in Vermont Jeff Soyer complaining about Apple defending its intellectual property.
Now, it turns out the Blogfather himself, an actual law professor, doesn't seem to get it either.
I just don't get it. Why don't people understand basic concepts of property ownership?
Let me give you a hypothetical. Say someone stole one of your guns, turned around and sold it, and then one day you saw the guy with it using it at the range. Wouldn't you be pissed? Shouldn't you have a right to stop him from using it? Should you be able to have him tell you who he purchased it from?
That is what's going on here.
Trade Secret information that is vital to Apple's future competitiveness (lots of people want a heads up on new Apple technologies - to either incorporate into PCs or to incorporate into MP3 players) was leaked.
In order to retain the protections afford by the law to its trade secret information, Apple must restrict its distribution to a very small number of people and vigorously protect against any breachs of its protections. One of those persons with access, who had Apple's trust and signed a non disclosure agreement, has been leaking this stuff and giving Apple's competitors a heads up as to new developments.
Apple simply wants to stop it. I don't think Steve Jobs or Apple's lawyers are dumb enough to think they can resolve the harm that happened in this case, but they want to stop it from occurring in the future and in order to claim trade secret protection in a prosecution of the leaker (or an action against someone who has stolen this idea or for a future product) Apple must vigorously defend its rights when information is leaked. If they don't take this action the courts will not provide them the protections for future products.
So, Apple essentially had no choice but to do what it did. And what it did is no different than any one else would do in Apple's situation.
For me, the fact that this web page knew what they were doing was wrong all along (based upon the facts as I have read them) makes them all the more culpable.
I'm sorry folks, but get off of Apples back on this.