February 22, 2005 | By Donna Wentworth

Apple Bites Students; the Woz Bites Back

People in the Apple community are upset about the company's legal action against three Canadian students who allegedly posted a developer build of MacOS 10.4 via BitTorrent. Now the publisher of DrunkenBlog has posted responses from 25 members of the Mac community -- including one from none other than Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak:

I was shocked reading [DrunkenBlog's interview with the targeted students]. Everything fits into place that this is an unintentional oversight and the interviewed student appears to be one of the most honest people on this planet. I have to question who is most right in this case.

I wish that Apple could find some way to drop the matter. In my opinion, more than appropriate punishment has already been dealt out. In this age of professional spammers and telemarketers making fortunes, we're misusing our energies to pursue these types of small time wrongdoers. I will personally donate $1,000 to the Canadian student's defense.

Apple has been on a litigious streak lately. In an unrelated case, Apple v. Does, EFF is defending online journalists against subpoenas aimed at uncovering the identities of confidential sources who allegedly leaked information about upcoming Apple products. The facts in these cases are quite distinct, but we do agree with the sentiment expressed at DrunkenBlog by Brent Simmons of Ranchero Software: "I suspect that it's possible to pull back on the legal front and still accomplish the goal of stopping leaks. The company that I know and love is a humane company." Suing students and subpoenaing journalists to identify leaks should be Apple's last resort, not its first.

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