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Gizmodo fiasco
#9716 04/29/10 04:16 PM
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Last edited by Hal Itosis; 04/29/10 04:19 PM.
Re: Gizmodo fiasco
Hal Itosis #9717 04/29/10 06:18 PM
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This whole thing has been a combination soap opera and train wreck since the get-go.

Unfortunately for Gizmondo, the saga plays out in California, which is one of only 18 states with "found property" laws on the books. Had it happened in most other states, the story would have ended with Gizmondo returning the phone to Apple.

But California makes it a crime to keep, buy, or sell found property, which means that when Gizmondo bragged about buying the phone for $5,000, they were confessing to a crime...and the money in question was enough to nudge it into felony territory. Brag about committing a felony on a blog that gets a million hits an hour and, yeah, the cops might eventually notice...

Now, what Chen should have done was pay the guy who found it $5,000 to let him take it apart and photograph it, without actually taking physical possession of the phone. Then Gizmondo would have been in the clear. It isn't a crime to talk about someone else finding property, or to take pictures of found property. smile


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Re: Gizmodo fiasco
tacit #9718 04/29/10 07:25 PM
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Indeed.

There's stupid, and then there's oblivious. Maybe even a combination of the two.
Even if one's a nerd or a geek, one should really have a clue about what goes on in the 'real' world. (But if the majority of bozos who don't have a clue how to protect themselves online [eg, on Facebook], they deserve exactly what they get.)

I guess this might be construed as an object lesson. {snort}


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Re: Gizmodo fiasco
grelber #9723 04/30/10 02:23 AM
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Re: Gizmodo fiasco
Hal Itosis #9726 04/30/10 07:28 PM
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… and other details around his identification.


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Re: Gizmodo fiasco
alternaut #9727 04/30/10 09:28 PM
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Re: Gizmodo fiasco
Hal Itosis #9728 04/30/10 09:47 PM
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I keep wondering what the finder’s reward might have been had he been able to convince someone at Apple that the phone was a prototype, and that he had shown it to no one.

There clearly needs to be an easier way for someone to convince Apple that they have a prototype in their possession.


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Re: Gizmodo fiasco
MicroMatTech3 #9736 05/02/10 10:49 PM
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I imagine it would actually be fairly easy, if one were to try seriously. Apparently, this guy didn't; he didn't even call Apple (a friend of his did).

I'm not sure if demanding a reward would put one afoul of California's found property law. That's the sort of thing one hires lawyers to hash out, I reckon.


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Re: Gizmodo fiasco
tacit #9737 05/02/10 11:55 PM
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I was not thinking of a coerced reward, but one freely given by a grateful Apple.


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Re: Gizmodo fiasco
MicroMatTech3 #9741 05/03/10 06:14 AM
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I was not thinking of a coerced reward, but one freely given by a grateful Apple.

My take on it is if he intended on trying to make a buck on it, he went about it in completely the wrong way, and there was plenty of money to be had, legally, if he'd have thought about what he was doing.

1) take extensive pictures of the phone, the interface, everything all the magazines want to see. Hours of video using it if you can. Go overboard. Make sure you do this as fast as possible and certainly before step 2. It may even get disabled before you get much from it.

2) call apple and tell them to send someone to pick it up. Be persistent. Don't stop until you find someone that understands what you have and how important it is for apple to come and get it. Someone WILL show up at your door eventually. Make NO indication you are expecting ANYTHING in exchange for the phone.

3) when the person picks it up, hand it over instantly. They WILL have an NDA with them that they are hoping you will just sign without question. NOW is the time to be specific about what information you have, who you're sure is interested in it, and discussing the terms of your signing that NDA.

I'm no lawyer, but this appears to be fairly bulletproof from a legal standpoint. Any attempt to sell it or even the vaguest suggestion that you are expecting a reward or finder's fee of any kind is setting you up for trouble. But all that information in your head and on your camera and VCR, that's entirely your property, obtained legally, and most certainly the exclusive rights for which are negotiable.

At the VERY LEAST he should have come away with a computer or two in exchange for handing over/destroying the materials and signing the NDA. And apple would have been quite satsfied with this arrangement I'm sure.

Some will say I'm advocating taking advantage of the situation. I am. Apple (via employee) screwed up big time. This is an incredibly small price to pay for such a mistake, and the finder is completely entitled to some compensation for doing the right thing. For the finder I'd call it a windfall, no different than seeing a $20 bill blow by you on the street.

It's also entirely possible if he managed to reach the correct person at apple, whoever showed up at his door would be bearing gifts, realizing the smoothest way to insure silence (and an NDA signature) is, well, bribery.


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