Visitors to ThinkSecret.com, a well-known site which publishes rumours and gossip about forthcoming Apple products, found an intriguing notice on the front page last Thursday.
'Apple and ThinkSecret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a positive solution for both sides,' it announced. 'As part of the confidential settlement, no sources were revealed and ThinkSecret will no longer be published. Nick Ciarelli, ThinkSecret's publisher, said: "I'm pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits."'
AppleInsider and O'Grady's PowerPage fought back - with legal assistance from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) - arguing that the first amendment to the US Constitution protected them from being compelled to disclose their sources, a provision originally designed to protect journalists. Apple won at the first hurdle, but lost on appeal.
'The motion,' says Kurt Opsahl of the EFF, 'stopped Apple's lawsuit in its tracks and raised the prospect that Apple would have had to pay ThinkSecret substantial sums for its legal fees... While the court has never ruled, we believe the motion was meritorious, and Apple was looking at an embarrassing and expensive loss.'