The New iPhone Prototype Debacle

John Gruber's thoughts on Gizmodo, the tech website that broke the story complete with photos, videos, and internal component breakdown. Click through and read the whole thing. Gruber nails it. On being dumb or playing dumb:

"I'm fascinated by their apparently cavalier attitude regarding the legal implications of their actions. I'm not offended by their decision to obtain this unit and publish everything they were able to ascertain regarding it. It simply boggles my mind the stakes they have effectively wagered that Apple will not pursue this legally.

Seriously. I'm not surprised they broke the story either, but what does surprise me is how stupidly they've behaved and how oblivious they seem to be about the likely consequences.

I was shocked to read some of Gizmodo's responses to it all. Editor Jason Chen on the possibility of Apple suing Gizmodo:

"Probably not [...] The only reason they would press charges is to deter people from doing this in the future. Besides, right now, the cat's out of the bag, so there's no point to sue us."

This seems like terrible logic to me. First of all, deterrence is a great reason to sue. Secondly, thanks to Gruber's analysis, I'm confident Apple would have little difficulty winning — it's obvious what Gizmodo and the "finder" have done here.

And more craziness: editorial director Brian Lam quipped about "warm, fuzzy, huggy feelings of legal compliance" after receiving a formal request from Apple's legal representation. How pissed would you be if you were Apple and you had to read this crap? I'd sue them just for spite.

So, am I the only one who thinks Gizmodo's people are acting like a bunch of children? This is what children do when they get caught — they giggle and play nice and claim they didn't know they weren't supposed to do that, and this after a week of analysis, documentation, and planning to break the story. Every image I've seen of the new iPhone has "GIZMODO EXCLUSIVE" plastered on it. These guys knew exactly what they were doing and now they're playing dumb.

If they're really as nonchalant about all of this as they seem, then I think they're very, very foolish.

via Daring Fireball