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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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Interesting read
By othercents on 8/23/2006 10:37:35 AM , Rating: 2
I think I would have taken a different approach if I was Apple. This is why:

1) Firing them doesn't stop the ability to download the OS.
2) Firing them doesn't keep other employees from downloading.
3) Firing does make it clear to other employees not to get caught.

Granted a few employees might think twice about downloading the software, but most of them will do it anyways and just hide the fact they did it. When the employees where talking about the new OS was when they broke the NDA, so if they never talked about it then they would have only broken one rule.

I would rather have an employee that admits they where wrong than one that doesn't.


RE: Interesting read
By rushfan2006 on 8/24/2006 12:37:24 PM , Rating: 2
No...firing for theft of company property, PARTICULARLY the very cmpany property (IP) that is a major revenue earner for the company....AND breaking contract -- is well justification for termination. Despite what you think firing under such conditions is actually quite the normal SOP.

Your reasons are noble because your reasons basically state you want to believe in your people more and you believe everyone deserves another chance and such. Unfortunately, after you are in business for a few years you'll learn that such ideologies only get you in trouble and hurt the bottomline in the long run.

Finally if you don't enforce the "rules" of your company specifically when severe offenses like this'll lose faith from your shareholders and fellow management staff, and most certainly look weak in the public spotlight. In our personal lives we can say "we don't care how we look" --- in business....if you don't care about your won't be in business long.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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