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Last post Author Topic: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G  (Read 31708 times)

Deozaan

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #25 on: April 28, 2010, 02:44:13 PM »
... the argument I understand is being made against Gizmodo, that the search and seizure wasn't disallowed by journalistic protection laws because it was related to a felony investigation (theft) rather than a simple "give us your source" shakedown.

I don't claim to know the exact details of the law, but I think you're mistaken.

Take for instance, when the New York Daily News stole the Empire State Building. Of course they gave it back (after having it for 24 hours), and nobody got in trouble for the theft.


JavaJones

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2010, 03:06:26 PM »
Interesting story, but it seems rather different to me. Not to mention I think if the city/owner decided to press charges, it still could have gotten nasty. There seems to be no mention of them being "protected", simply that there wasn't any legal implication, which may be because of nobody pressing charges.

Anyway you may well be right, my interpretation may be incorrect, but without actually looking at the statutes in question (particularly the one for California), as opposed to looking at past examples which may have other circumstances, I don't think we can say for certain.

- Oshyan

wraith808

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2010, 07:16:30 PM »
If I leave something anywhere, and someone sells it, I would feel violated.  People lose stuff all the time- that doesn't make it right that someone sells it.  And it definitely doesn't make it right that someone sells it knowing who it belongs to.  We might have to agree to disagree on this one- I'm not even talking about legal rights, but morality, even though I do believe that what they did should have been legally wrong also.

Deozaan

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2010, 07:55:04 PM »
If I leave something anywhere, and someone sells it, I would feel violated.

I agree. But I think this is a little bit different.

For instance, if you lost something and the person who found it tried to return it to you--and you refused to take it back--would that change your opinion about them selling it?


Renegade

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2010, 08:08:37 PM »
SUMMARY: APPLE ABANDONED THE PHONE WHEN THEY WIPED IT AND PREVENTED THE PERSON THAT FOUND IT FROM RETURNING IT.

Contacting tech support or whatever is enough effort to try to return the device. It isn't his fault if the company (Apple) doesn't have reasonable communication channels for situations like that. He tried. They weren't able to receive his communications. Not his fault. Apple's fault.

As for returning the phone to police??? Huh? Why? Why should the police (or airports) profit be default? Why do they deserve to sell off lost articles more than the average Joe? The police don't make an effort to return things. They just wait until somebody shows up asking. If not, they sell it and keep the money. What inherently gives them the right to essentially confiscate all lost items? I have a very hard time seeing why anyone would have a moral responsibility to give a lost item to somebody that IS NOT THE OWNER. Sure - try to return it to its RIGHTFUL OWNER, but give something to someone that isn't the owner? That's nonsense.

Lost is lost. Saying that it was stolen is spinning the story and it's dishonest.

Put it this way, the average person has no way of knowing how to return a lost phone that has been remotely wiped of all data and disabled. It *IS* possible, but the amount of background information needed to do it is simply far beyond what a normal person can be expected to know. And even then, actually doing it is extremely difficult (that's an understatement).

There is a distinct difference between articles that contain contact information that can be used to return an item, e.g. a wallet or purse, and articles that are essentially "nameless". If Apple wiped the phone, then it's their own fault for not getting it back sooner. They sabotaged the 1 way that the guy that found it had to actually return it.

Ok, here's another angle... a pretty obvious one at that... If you lose your phone, WHY NOT CALL THE PHONE AND ASK FOR IT BACK??? Most people would answer and arrange for you to get it back. This is what most reasonable people do.

But nope. Apple wiped the phone (making it virtually impossible to return) and abandoned it. Lost. Not stolen. Apple then criminally deceived the courts into allowing them to ransack an innocent person's house.

Apple abandoned the phone, and then demonstrated their vicious, malevolent nature when it surfaced in the news.

Steve Jobs would make an excellent Sith.
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mouser

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2010, 08:14:25 PM »
i find some satisfying irony in this story of so-called "journalists" who are literally losing their minds with orgasmic anticipation and apoplexy, and willing to shell out thousands, just to have the possibility of getting a sneak peek at some new apple-product-in-production, and then being treated so poorly by the very company they are so damn obsessed with.

perhaps they would be better served by calming down a bit about the next un-released apple product, and just wait till the damn thing comes out.  hey guys -- these devices aren't filled with magic beans and they don't unlock the secrets of the universe.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 08:16:43 PM by mouser »

Renegade

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2010, 08:17:48 PM »
i find some satisfying irony in this story of so-called "journalists" who are literally losing their minds with orgasmic anticipation and apoplexy, and willing to shell out thousands, just to have the possibility of getting a sneak peek at the some new apple-product-in-production, and then being treated so poorly by the very company they are so damn obsessed with.

perhaps they would be better served by calming down a bit about the next un-released apple product, and just wait till the damn thing comes out.

Excellent point. The irony is simply stupefying.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

AndyM

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2010, 08:46:04 PM »
hey guys -- these devices aren't filled with magic beans and they don't unlock the secrets of the universe
next you'll be telling us there's no Santa Claus!

JavaJones

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2010, 09:19:23 PM »
While I appreciate your position philosophically Renegade, it doesn't jive with California law, which is what I was trying to point out:
http://law.justia.co...iv/2080-2080.10.html
or
http://www.animallaw..._2080_2082.htm#s2080

Quote
2080.1.  (a) If the owner is unknown or has not claimed the property, the person saving or finding the property shall, if the property is of the value of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, within a reasonable time turn the property over to the police department of the city or city and county, if found therein, or to the sheriff's department of the county if found outside of city
limits

So, according to what I understand of the story yes, what the finder did was illegal. Now how does that affect gizmodo? Well, the legal interpretation of what the item in question becomes when the statute above is not followed is a bit unclearer to me; does it become stolen property then? I don't know. But if that is the case, then Gizmodo absolutely committed a crime by "buying, acquiring, or possessing" stolen property.

Anyway I'm not the only one that doesn't see it as clear cut as you seem to:
http://www.businessi...mitted-felony-2010-4

- Oshyan

Renegade

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2010, 03:19:47 AM »
While I appreciate your position philosophically Renegade, it doesn't jive with California law, which is what I was trying to point out:
http://law.justia.co...iv/2080-2080.10.html
or
http://www.animallaw..._2080_2082.htm#s2080

Quote
2080.1.  (a) If the owner is unknown or has not claimed the property, the person saving or finding the property shall, if the property is of the value of one hundred dollars ($100) or more, within a reasonable time turn the property over to the police department of the city or city and county, if found therein, or to the sheriff's department of the county if found outside of city
limits

So, according to what I understand of the story yes, what the finder did was illegal. Now how does that affect gizmodo? Well, the legal interpretation of what the item in question becomes when the statute above is not followed is a bit unclearer to me; does it become stolen property then? I don't know. But if that is the case, then Gizmodo absolutely committed a crime by "buying, acquiring, or possessing" stolen property.

Anyway I'm not the only one that doesn't see it as clear cut as you seem to:
http://www.businessi...mitted-felony-2010-4

- Oshyan

Good points. Not sure if I'm willing to give up that fast though. ;) (Although I really don't care for laws at all and still don't see Gizmodo as having done anything wrong. i.e. Just because something is legal or illegal doesn't make it right or wrong.)

If you can value the phone at under $100, then the laws there are moot and it can't be claimed that the phone was stolen.

I think a strong case can be made there:

1) Used iPhones go for around $60 or so, well under $100. Used iPhones on eBay

2) In addition to being used, the product wasn't even finished. What is the value of an phone that you know doesn't work properly? This should further devalue it.

3) There is no support for the product, so if there are any issues, it's basically a worthless chunk of plastic and metal. This again should further devalue it.

4) That Gizmodo paid $5,000 is not relevant. Would you pay for dirty underwear? Probably not. The value of dirty underwear is zero. But, there are people that will pay for dirty underwear. That doesn't make them generally valuable though. The existence of 1 person/agent that will pay for something doesn't necessarily give that something an intrinsic value.

To make that last point in a different way... Take my dirty underwear. I do not sell it to people, and neither to I give it to anyone. It isn't on the market. So, it is unobtainable. Nobody can get any of my dirty underwear. There is an incredible scarcity of it on the market. So, does that scarcity of my dirty underwear elevate it's value? Is it priceless? A work of art, or rather, a work of fart. :P

Ok, very silly, I know. But, the general principle still holds.

In a perhaps more relevant way, take some insignificant personal item of yours that you attach some sentimental value to. Now, to anyone else it has no value, but to you, the value is, well, whatever you attach to it, which can easily be more than $100.

Apple's attachment of more than $100 (or Gizmodo's attachment of $5,000 to it) does not necessarily give it that value.

* Used
* Incomplete
* Unsupported

Those 3 criteria generally make something less valuable.

For most people, the phone would only be a curiosity and utterly useless with no value at all.

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Eóin

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2010, 06:23:36 AM »
1) Used iPhones go for around $60 or so, well under $100. Used iPhones on eBay

2) In addition to being used, the product wasn't even finished. What is the value of an phone that you know doesn't work properly? This should further devalue it.

3) There is no support for the product, so if there are any issues, it's basically a worthless chunk of plastic and metal. This again should further devalue it.

The value here is the value to the owner, and to Apple this phone was very, very valuable! That it was bought goes a long way to showing it was also considered a valuable item to others too. Just because 'most people' wouldn't see the value in it doesn't inherently devalue the item.

cmpm

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2010, 06:33:07 AM »
I hope it all backfires on apple.
Cause I think it is a publicity stunt that has involved a public service, the police.

Yeah, like apple has some big great secret super phone.
Worth $5,000? No way.
An "engineer", doubt it.

This is how a new phone is "leaked"?


Eóin

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2010, 06:39:30 AM »
Funny, I'm not inclined to think it's a publicity stunt. It's doesn't follow any of Apple previous marketing tactics.

cmpm

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2010, 06:54:34 AM »
You may be right, just a rotten apple.

cmpm

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2010, 07:24:39 AM »
another reason I think this is bs

http://www.apple.com.../find-my-iphone.html

how did they find it.....
or follow it...lol....

and know where to leave it to get somewhere

wraith808

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #40 on: April 29, 2010, 08:35:34 AM »
If I leave something anywhere, and someone sells it, I would feel violated.

I agree. But I think this is a little bit different.

For instance, if you lost something and the person who found it tried to return it to you--and you refused to take it back--would that change your opinion about them selling it?

This is being used as a reasoning in a lot of posts in this thread... so reference?  And even so- why call tech support?  Why not call apple and ask for the person?  Even after the phone was wiped, he knew the person's name... else why did it appear in the article?

Renegade

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #41 on: April 29, 2010, 09:19:20 AM »
1) Used iPhones go for around $60 or so, well under $100. Used iPhones on eBay

2) In addition to being used, the product wasn't even finished. What is the value of an phone that you know doesn't work properly? This should further devalue it.

3) There is no support for the product, so if there are any issues, it's basically a worthless chunk of plastic and metal. This again should further devalue it.

The value here is the value to the owner, and to Apple this phone was very, very valuable! That it was bought goes a long way to showing it was also considered a valuable item to others too. Just because 'most people' wouldn't see the value in it doesn't inherently devalue the item.


Sorry, but I'm going to have to insist on this point. I really don't think that it is up for debate.

Value in a legal sense cannot be determined by a single individual/agent/company. If it were, in any given lawsuit, people could value their time at astronomical amounts. However, this doesn't happen, and the courts do not recognize those sorts of claims.

Like I mentioned above, just because you value something, doesn't mean that it actually has that value in the broad sense of the term.

Here's another example:

My laptop is worth a very great deal to me. The value to me is at least $10,000 at the absolute minimum. However, if it were stolen, and I made an insurance claim for it, I most certainly would not get that amount for it. Just because I value it very highly doesn't give it that value in the real world.

For yet another opportunity to flog a dead horse (though perhaps a horse of a slightly different color)... Read virtually any agreement for any software or hardware you have and you will see that damages are almost invariably limited to either $5.00 or $50.00.


If I leave something anywhere, and someone sells it, I would feel violated.

I agree. But I think this is a little bit different.

For instance, if you lost something and the person who found it tried to return it to you--and you refused to take it back--would that change your opinion about them selling it?

This is being used as a reasoning in a lot of posts in this thread... so reference?  And even so- why call tech support?  Why not call apple and ask for the person?  Even after the phone was wiped, he knew the person's name... else why did it appear in the article?

I'm not sure that he knew the person's name. All of this came out well after the fact. The articles had the benefit of hindsight. For the specific details, I have not seen anything in depth to support that he knew or did not know the name of the engineer that lost the phone. If anyone has seen that, it would be nice if they could post a link.

But to be honest, I seriously doubt that most people know how to get somebody's name out of a phone. Even if it wasn't wiped quickly, and he had time to check, I don't know that he would have been able to find the guys name.

This thread should erase anyone's doubt that finding a name in a phone could be, errrr, ummmm... "difficult": People are really (really, really) stupid (Muahahahahaha~! I just loved that! Absolutely wonderfully entertaining! :D )

Ultimately, I don't think that we really have enough details to determine some things.
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Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Eóin

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #42 on: April 29, 2010, 09:37:30 AM »
I'm not referring to sentimental value. This phone was a very valuable commodity beyond just the sums of it's parts as it represents highly prised IP. You can't simply compare it to existing iPhones or try and judge it's worth based on something like a lack of support, as it's not in that sense this item holds it's value.

The value of this phone would be determined by three factors; first by how much R&D Apple invested into it, second the potential loss to Apples profits if similar devices were to hit the market earlier as a direct consequence of the prototype leaking, and third by just how much 3rd parties are willing to pay for it, in this case $5000.

Your dirty underwear may be a difficult product to buy, but it's value is based on demand and if no one wants to buy it then supply is irrelevant.

A precious artwork for example holds very real, legally enforced value even if to 90% of the world it is little more than dirty paper useful only for wiping ones ass.

wraith808

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2010, 09:43:26 AM »
Sorry, but I'm going to have to insist on this point. I really don't think that it is up for debate.

Value in a legal sense cannot be determined by a single individual/agent/company. If it were, in any given lawsuit, people could value their time at astronomical amounts. However, this doesn't happen, and the courts do not recognize those sorts of claims.

Like I mentioned above, just because you value something, doesn't mean that it actually has that value in the broad sense of the term.
For a prototype iPhone that's fully workable and not akin to the used market at all?  And has extra features that you won't find in any iPhone?  I defy you to find any judge that would value that at less than $100.

If I leave something anywhere, and someone sells it, I would feel violated.

I agree. But I think this is a little bit different.

For instance, if you lost something and the person who found it tried to return it to you--and you refused to take it back--would that change your opinion about them selling it?

This is being used as a reasoning in a lot of posts in this thread... so reference?  And even so- why call tech support?  Why not call apple and ask for the person?  Even after the phone was wiped, he knew the person's name... else why did it appear in the article?

I'm not sure that he knew the person's name. All of this came out well after the fact. The articles had the benefit of hindsight. For the specific details, I have not seen anything in depth to support that he knew or did not know the name of the engineer that lost the phone. If anyone has seen that, it would be nice if they could post a link.

But to be honest, I seriously doubt that most people know how to get somebody's name out of a phone. Even if it wasn't wiped quickly, and he had time to check, I don't know that he would have been able to find the guys name.


From http://gizmodo.com/5...lost-the-next-iphone
Quote
During that time, he played with it. It seemed like a normal iPhone. "I thought it was just an iPhone 3GS," he told me in a telephone interview. "It just looked like one. I tried the camera, but it crashed three times." The iPhone didn't seem to have any special features, just two bar codes stuck on its back: 8800601pex1 and N90_DVT_GE4X_0493. Next to the volume keys there was another sticker: iPhone SWE-L200221. Apart from that, just six pages of applications. One of them was Facebook. And there, on the Facebook screen, was the Apple engineer, Gray Powell.

He knew.  And from the same page, something about the fact that he did apparently call Apple about the phone- I guess I overlooked it.  But yes, he definitely knew the person's name.  And with that information, the fact that he called several numbers seems more disingenuous.  I'd call their office and ask for the guy.  I'm sure at some point you can call and get a person on the phone... and knowing his facebook page, he could have messaged the guy on facebook...  seems like CYA to me.


UPDATE: An interesting analysis... and some more links

http://www.onenewspa...OLEN-iPhone-Case.htm
http://www.guardian....zmodo-paid-iphone-4g
http://www.pcmag.com...CRSS03069TX1K0001121
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 09:53:16 AM by wraith808 »

40hz

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2010, 10:10:03 AM »
Motivations and economic value aside, in the end it will all come down to whether or not the prosecutor's office believes they can make a case for theft. With elections coming up (and a big corporate campaign contributor in the loop), you can be sure the decision won't be based exclusively on its legal merits.

You can be prosecuted for taking something worth as little as a penny (or in some cases nothing other than sentimental value) if the state decides they want to make an issue out of it. An act of theft is theft. It's only in the definition of what constitutes an act of theft that it gets murky. In my home state, you can be charged with theft even if you didn't actually take something. The simple act of temporary concealment is considered enough.  

Example: some dumb kid conceals a game cartridge he intends to shoplift. Maybe he loses his nerve or thinks twice about the risks - but ultimately he experiences remorse and decides not to swipe it. So he puts the cartridge back exactly where he found it and leaves. Store security watches the whole thing on camera and stops this kid once he exits the store, accuses him of shoplifting, and has the local police arrest him. Is it a bogus charge since he didn't actually take anything out of the store? Not as far as the law is concerned where I live.

In the end, I think the prosecutor's office will want to take the easy way out and not fight the journalist 'shield' argument since that would be a long expensive case. Especially once the ABA, Press Association, ACLU and EFF weighed in on it.

A case like that would likely end up before the Supreme Court before it was finished. And for something as fundamental as defining what constitutes journalism, it probably should since the constitutional implications would be enormous. And that would remain true no matter which way the decision went.

Expect Mr. Chen and Gizmodo to be offered some sort of misdemeanor 'plea bargain' where they have to pay a fine and get off with a slap on the wrist. Unless of course either they - or Apple - decide they want to take it all the way.

Since it's easier to squeeze an individual, I'm guessing Gizmodo will be left out of the dealing, and all the pressure will be put on Mr. Chen to cut a personal deal. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if he caved.

But even without criminal charges being brought against Gizmodo, Apple still has the opportunity to initiate civil action - but that's a discussion for another day.

 8)



« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 10:35:36 AM by 40hz »

JavaJones

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #45 on: April 29, 2010, 01:17:19 PM »
Just to be clear, at no point have I been arguing the moral or philosophical implications of any of this. I am simply talking about whether Apple and the police did the legal, "correct" thing (legally and practically speaking, not morally). All the possibility of a Supreme Court trial would seem to go out the window if it's an action taken on the basis of handling/purchasing stolen property, as I mentioned before. Everyone is trying to make it a case of journalistic protection, which muddies the waters significantly and certainly should be a matter for the Supreme Court to rule on, should it be challenged. But I'm not sure that's really the correct interpretation of the situation. At the very least - right or wrong - the police can probably claim that following up a theft investigation was their intention.

I think the articles Wraith linked to perhaps state all this better than I could, particularly:
http://www.onenewspa...OLEN-iPhone-Case.htm (see compelling Mercedes ever-popular car analogy, except replace "call automotive magazines" - which is silly - with "call Mercedes").

- Oshyan
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 01:24:09 PM by JavaJones »

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #47 on: April 29, 2010, 02:11:56 PM »
I'm surprised at the number of vehement opinions given, which appear to take no account of a legal definition of theft. Not even with a brief read of wikipedia. Juristictions vary somewhat, but they all include aspects of unlawful taking (or not attempting to return) and the intent of keeping (permanently depriving the owner). Here, the finder attempted to return and the 'buyer' (it's unclear exactly what was being 'bought', probably just the transfer of the item) then advertised their possession of the article with sufficient information that the owner was able to identify their property and get it back when they asked. Trying to make this stick as theft would prove exceedingly difficult if there was a fractionally competent lawyer involved in the defence. And quoting a blog from  a competitor (claims to be an erstwhile competitor, but there's a surprisingly long paragraph on the previous competition), who shows no knowledge of the situation at all and appears to be using it as a rant against Gizmodo scarcely bolsters any argument.

wraith808

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #48 on: April 29, 2010, 04:40:07 PM »
The legal definition of theft in this case is defined by California code- and it is a bit wider than your comment takes into account.  There is a legal responsibility in California to return found material.  That's where theft and possibly felony actions come into play.  Were they wrong for their actions in their raid?  Yes.  But does this make Giz, Gawker, and Chen less wrong for what they did under the law?  Money is on no right now...

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Re: Apple instigates Police Raid over lost/stolen iPhone 4G
« Reply #49 on: April 29, 2010, 04:46:59 PM »
That it was bought goes a long way to showing it was also considered a valuable item to others too. Just because 'most people' wouldn't see the value in it doesn't inherently devalue the item.

I disagree. In fact, I think I take quite the opposite stance in most cases.

For instance, does any Toasted Cheese sandwich have an intrinsic value of over $100? How about $1,000? GoldenPalace bought one for $28,000.

Just because 'a few people' are willing to spend crazy amounts of money on something doesn't inherently give the item great value.

Although I must concede on the following point:

Quote
This phone was a very valuable commodity beyond just the sums of it's parts as it represents highly prised IP.