Print 44 comment(s) - last by blwest.. on Aug 24 at 2:08 PM

Pirate our software, lose your job

Think Secret reports Apple retail store employees have been axed for illegally acquiring developer builds of Apple’s unreleased Mac OS X Leopard operating system. Mac OS X Leopard was given out to developers at Apple’s WWDC event earlier this month and leaked out to the public.

previously reported on leaked screen shots of Mac OS X Leopard earlier today too. The Apple retail store employers obtained a leaked copy and were overhead discussing the matter with other employees. The discussion was overheard and Apple corporate investigated the matter after word had reached Apple’s office in Cupertino, CA.

The employees were immediately fired after admitting to obtaining the illegal software. Obtaining illegal copies of Apple software is a clear violation of Apple’s terms of service, or TOS, for retail store employees. Furthermore, the Apple employees had also signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) about upcoming software, which resulted in a second infraction.

The dismissed employees, when questioned, responded with "All of us know that we violated our NDA and ethics policy. Therefore, because we had the character to tell the truth and to face the consequences of our actions, we were terminated," said one of the fired employees, who spoke with Think Secret on condition of anonymity. "My only question is, if we all lied and denied it would we still be working at Apple today? Even more so, is that the kind of person that Apple wants working for them?"

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Flawed logic
By AppaYipYip on 8/22/2006 8:24:24 PM , Rating: 1
Funny how the fired employee tries to justify his actions. No, Apple obviously does not want you working for them since you STOLE from the company and violated their policies.

I am happy to see Apple has the guts to take out the garbage.

RE: Flawed logic
By xsilver on 8/22/2006 9:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
These were retail employee's, its not like they had anything to do with the creation of the software.... they were probably just curious onlookers like the rest of us.

One point of view could be that they downloaded it to verify its authenticity, so they could report it to apple and shut the source down.
wishful thinking?

RE: Flawed logic
By plonk420 on 8/23/2006 6:17:57 AM , Rating: 2
i'm thinking Apple cut some kind of deal that they wouldn't sue the crap out of the (ex)employees and/or ruin their futures if the they released a press statement giving a glowing image of the almighty company they worked for.

or maybe i'm just cynical :)

RE: Flawed logic
By RyanM on 8/22/2006 11:19:03 PM , Rating: 2
You are the one with the flawed logic. They could not have
"STOLE from the company" because Leopard is not available for sale yet, so they merely obtained something which they did not exist for sale. They also didn't prevent someone else from getting a legitimate copy, because as we all know, downloading something is not the equivilant of grabbing an item off the shelves or out of someone's home and taking it.

These were enthusiast employees who probably wanted to get a first look at what they were going to be selling and working on in the near future, and Apple punishes them for that enthusiasm?

What's sad is that these Appleheads are so devout that they don't even feel betrayed.

RE: Flawed logic
By Lonyo on 8/22/2006 11:24:34 PM , Rating: 1
Umm, whether it's for sale or not doesn't affect whether it was stolen or not...
It's copyright theft, just the same as downloading anything would be.
Theft: The act or an instance of stealing; larceny.

RE: Flawed logic
By RyanM on 8/23/2006 1:34:16 AM , Rating: 3
First of all, a copyright cannot be stolen. It can be infringed upon, but not stolen.

Look up "steal" in the dictionary.

"To take (the property of another) without right or permission."

Data itself is not property. It is 1's and 0's, and copying these 1's and 0's does not deprive the original owner of its 1's and 0's.

RE: Flawed logic
By hondaman on 8/23/06, Rating: 0
RE: Flawed logic
By RyanM on 8/23/2006 3:34:37 AM , Rating: 2
Unless the physical disk upon which the 1's and 0's reside is stolen, no. Copy is never stealing. It is an entirely separate term which would be considered "Intellectual property infringement."

My argument is that any IP infringment which is non-commercial in nature and does not directly threaten sales or cause harm to the IP owner is not ethically wrong.

Downloading an OS which is currently unavailable for sale for trial purposes is hunky dory in my book. They couldn't have bought the product, so it didn't effect sales, and having sales reps who are knowledgeable about the upcoming product could only AID Apple.

RE: Flawed logic
By rushfan2006 on 8/23/06, Rating: 0
RE: Flawed logic
By ProfJohn on 8/22/2006 11:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
They did "steal" from the company by taking an item that they have no right to have.
The only people who have the right to have the software are the people Apple gave it too. Every other copy is an illegal copy.

Sad to lose a job over something stupid like this.

RE: Flawed logic
By Souka on 8/23/2006 12:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
How about punish the developers who let it be "stolen"...aka, they put it on a FTP site prob....

Oh wait...developers are gods.... can't punish them.


RE: Flawed logic
By melgross on 8/23/2006 1:28:00 AM , Rating: 2
You must live in a different world from real people.

RE: Flawed logic
By RyanM on 8/23/2006 3:35:59 AM , Rating: 3
Yep. In my world, copyrights last 15 years, fair use is in the Constitution, and only creators and artists, not their employers, can own the rights to any created work.

It's a far cry from the one we live in, but it's a much happier place.

RE: Flawed logic
By slunkius on 8/23/2006 7:06:37 AM , Rating: 2
so if you as an employer paid to bunch of artists to create some work, it is they who own it?...nice

RE: Flawed logic
By KashGarinn on 8/23/2006 11:38:27 AM , Rating: 2
Do you know how much sense you just made?

If you want someone to create something you can't do on your own, of course it should be they who in the end own the thing they created... they created it, not you. What they do with the creation is up to them, and the legitimacy in how you bought their work..

R2OP, I think I like you world better.. can I join?


RE: Flawed logic
By deeznuts on 8/23/2006 1:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know how much sense you didn't make? If your proposal of how the IP system should work were really true, it would stunt innovation and development big time. First of all, the system doesn't work one way or another.

It is by contract that employers get to keep IP. The IP system doesn't dictate that employers get to keep and employees (or contractors) have to divest their rights. It is a contract that the employee or contractor agreed to. If they didn't want to agree to this, they could keep walking. or use their own resources to create whatever it is. So right there your argument is shot.

But I'll keep going to show how absurd this idea is. Let's assume the system mandated the creator always gets the rights to the creation. Nobody will invest resources with an inventor/creator because they cannot get rights to the product. Why the hell should they invest then? They get no property rights, so there is no upside to the investment. How is the inventor going to get funding for his project? Loans? Secured by what? A product that the law says only he can own? See how ridiculous that is?

Some of you guys need to think this stuff through before giving your opinion.

RE: Flawed logic
By INeedCache on 8/23/2006 9:45:43 AM , Rating: 2
That's in your opinion. I think there would be more chaos in this than you think. It's always easier to speak when the proverbial shoe is not on your foot. I'm sick and tired of semantics here, if you download software illegally or break a licensing agreement, like pirating Windows, you are, for all intent and purpose, a thief. Whether you have taken physical or intellectual property doesn't matter, because either way, it was something that didn't belong to you. But I'm sure you'd have no problem if it was done to you. Right.

RE: Flawed logic
By blwest on 8/24/2006 2:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
The current system doesn't work either. It's not stealing it's copying. Does apple still have all the source code and master discs to the IP, yes. Nothing was stolen, it was copied. PERIOD. you all are idiots...good day.

RE: Flawed logic
By 1983myfirstmac on 8/23/2006 9:34:58 AM , Rating: 2
FACE It, the real CRIME would have been if the Apple Employee aided in giving a person not covered by an Apple Non Discloser Agreement.

Funny Apple NOW gets so TIGHT.

In the late 80's and Early 90's I was General Manager of an Apple Dealer in the Chicago Area. They were opening some new big Box Retailers, such as COMP USA and others. There was a Midwest Dealer Meeting in Chicago where Apple met with dealers to try to exlain thier Business Plan.

Well the Dealers gave tons of questions in the QA time. I was finally Recongnized by one of the presenters, an Apple VP of Sales.

I said, I am fully behind you doing whatever you wish. That is your business. But I do have concerns on how you administrate your policies. We were forbidden to sell to Mail order companies, or to other computer companies for Resale, yet there was a thriving Mail order business. I personally had the opportunity to sell Millions and Millions of Dollars worh of Mac, into the Russian market. I was constantly turning down opportunities, and complying to the rules.

I said Sir, I have a problem how you administrate your policy. I said a part time High School Student with a Credit card, and one Apple Lawyer, could easily adiministate these poliies of yours. I was given some mombo jumbo answer and he moved on. But later in the Socal eating and drinking part of the night, the Apple VP caught up with me and was very upset, saying I was undermining the meeting and bringing up issues that were not my concern.

I said that I am constantly loosing business to Mail Order Companies, and the these companies are driving my Price Point DOWN.

Well... ..... the NEXT day all the shit hit the fan, as a number of high level Apple people called both me and OUR Owner, asking if we still wished to remain an Apple Dealer.

Needless to say, Apple continued with such policies, and lack of inforcment, and Most of the Many Apple Dealerships are just HISTROY. Worse... over the next 10 - 15 years they lost tens of thousands of Highly Trained Sales, support, and technical people who were responcible for putting Apple in the position they were in, only to be replaced by Apple Stores loosely spotted in the Big Cities.

So.... I guess my point is.... Apple is QUICK to act TOOO Quickly, and not get down to the root problem or issue.

Had these employees distributed the software to non Apple people, or outside the Apple Developers Community, then there would have been a BIG DEAL. For personal use, slap the hand and say please dont...

Lets face it. Computer software, is a lot of smoke and mirrors , and programmers stealing ideas and code from one another. Mac came from the Xerox Star. I have worked both with and for Developers, and have known many many high level programmers. They love to reverse engineer each others code to see how things are don, and how they could take something put their own twist on it and make it better.

We in the Mac Community are in DIRE NEED of Mac Evangelist... and people pushing the MAC. With todays technical ability, Apple has a dozen ways to keep the Unreleased product out of the hands of the Non Apple Developers or those who dont belong using it.

APPLE>>>....... FIXXX YOUR OWN PROBLEM OF LEAKS FIRST.... before you pick on some poor working man... for being eager to see whats new,

Start using Dongles, or the Internet to secure usage of products.

>.... and yes my first mac was under non disclosure, in October of 1983...... so I know and respect NON Disclosures....

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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