Apple Settles Lawsuit With One Tiger Leak Defendant

Apple has settled a lawsuit with one of three defendants it sued for distributing developer versions of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, the company said Wednesday.

Doug Steigerwald, a student and Apple Developer Connection member at the time, was sued in December 2004 after Apple determined that he was the source for pre-release copies of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger that were floating around various BitTorrent file sharing sites.

"While Apple will always protect its innovations, it is not our desire to send students to jail," said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling. "We are pleased that Mr. Steigerwald has taken responsibility for his actions and that we can put this lawsuit behind us."

As part of the settlement, Mr. Steigerwald will pay an undisclosed sum to Apple and said he will not discuss the details of the case. Mr. Steigerwald also revealed that he is the subject of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorneyis office and said he is "working toward a resolution with the federal government."

"I disseminated it [Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger] over the internet and thousands of unauthorized copies of Appleis software were illegally distributed to the public," Mr. Steigerwald said in a statement. "As a result, Apple sued me for copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation. All of the claims regarding me in Appleis complaint are true.

"Although I did not mean to do any harm, I realize now that my actions were wrong and that what I did cause substantial harm to Apple, and for that I am truly sorry. I am grateful for the chance to resolve this lawsuit and move on with my life, and hope that any publicity generated by this lawsuit discourages others from making the same mistake as I did."

Apple said it had no comment on the other two defendants in the lawsuit, Vivek Sambhara and David Schwartzstein.

In February, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak threw his support behind the students in the case, saying in a blog posting regarding Mr. Sambhara: "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, weire misusing our energies to pursue these types of small time wrongdoers. I will personally donate $1,000 to the Canadian studentis defense."