Gizmodo-gate (or things not to do with your prototype iPhone)
Are a few million page views on your site worth threats of criminal prosecution and an acknowledgment that you have no qualms with the questionable practice of checkbook journalism? At Gizmodo's parent company, Gawker Media, the answer is, "Hell yes!"
Here's the story: So a young Apple engineer walks into a California bar with a nifty new phone and loses track of the darn thing. The phone, a prototype of the iPhone 4, ends up with a college student who recognizes the handset for what it is--not something you want to be losing track of in a bar. Now most folks would have handed the phone to the bartender. But what does our young student do? He allegedly sells the phone to Gizmodo, which, in turn, publishes lots of photos of it. Problem is, someone may have broken the law, said authorities in San Mateo County, where Apple reported the phone stolen. That was more than six months ago. The police even raided the home of one of Gizmodo's editors (who then wisely hired his own lawyer), while the student's laptop and other property was seized.
What happens next? That's a fine question. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said he doesn't want to let this slide. The DA's office in San Mateo County hasn't said much of anything. And Gawker czar Nick Denton continues to crow about his great scoop. We're still waiting for the other shoe to drop in this ugly tale.
November 24, 2010 12:48 PM PST
Photo by: Apple
| Caption by: CNET News staff
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