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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Apple Punished For Secrecy

An American judge told Apple that its cult of secrecy won’t dictate the workings of the American justice system.

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Indeed, it is clear that the company has two types of truth: one of them is marketed truth and the other one is secret truth. The first one is plugged into Apple reality distortion field and is able to convert gadgets into the real saviours of mankind. Meanwhile, the second one is never discussed outside the company offices.

According to media reports, Apple logically believed that the American justice system would work just as its briefs told Judge William Alsup during a court hearing in the case that the company needs to keep some information about its MacOS secret. Apple was a little shocked when the judge refused to accept its version of reality and wondered why the papers should be secret. The company replied that it was a trade secret, which could give its competitors an advantage in case of being made public. However, the judge pointed out that the documents were already public and could be downloaded from the web, while the company wasn’t claiming that the data had been misappropriated.

Apple kept insisting that since it wasn’t the source of the data located online, the papers were a trade secret and should be protected from a disclosure which had already happened. In other words, if anyone ever has a scoop on the company which hasn’t got the blessing from the press office, their story might also be a considered a trade secret and they can be arrested for corporate spying.

However, the judge didn’t buy that. He claimed that the company wasn’t allowed to have this court seal data just to avoid confirmation that the publicly available sources got it correct. He pointed out that the data about the OS is currently available on the site of a book about the software, while Apple’s decryption key haiku is also available to any user able to compile and run publicly available code on a MacBook Air laptop.

Two years ago, Psystar was barred by the same judge from selling copies of Apple's OS or any products circumventing the technologies controlling access to the software, including Psystar software letting the users run the Mac OS on non-Apple devices. Back in 2009, the companies reached a $2.67 million partial settlement. Later, an appeal court in San Francisco upheld the judge’s sales injunction and ordered some papers in the case unsealed. That’s where Apple tried to get the decision reviewed. 

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