Forbes Questions Wisdom of Apple's Legal Campaign Against Rumors

Forbes has published a piece by Lisa DiCarlo that questions Appleis legal campaign against rumors. Ms. DiCarlo said that Apple enjoys amazing press coverage from both the community of Mac sites and the mainstream press, and accuses Apple of "biting the hand that feeds it."

"It is widely acknowledged that Apple Computer enjoys the kind of slavish devotion among its customers--and fawning adoration from the press--of which other companies donit even dare to dream," wrote Ms. DiCarlo. "That is, itis acknowledged by everyone but Apple."

She wrote on the topic because Apple has sued Think Secret for publishing what Apple characterized as "trade secrets" concerning an unannounced Mac. While having acknowledged in her piece that someone likely broke an NDA in leaking the information to the rumor site, Ms. DiCarlo made the case that this happens all the time in the tech world, though for most companies, itis not fans of the company that do the leaking as it is in the Mac community.

"This community gives Apple untold free--and mostly positive--publicity and buzz about upcoming products and strategies," she wrote.

So why would Apple want to squelch that? Apple has long contended that it must control when and how information about its products becomes public. The company has said in the past that its unique status in the computing world as both innovator and last supplier of computers where the hardware and software is provided by one company means that it must protect its secrets so that the competition can not benefit from them.

In addition, Apple has stated concern for those times when false rumors raise expectations the company can not meet.

These are issues Ms. DiCarlo does not address, focusing instead on why Apple would work to dampen the community of enthusiasts she contends helps the company with both its enthusiasm and continual "mostly positive" coverage of the company.

She also questioned Appleis stance, made in the lawsuit against Think Secret, that, "Unauthorized disclosure of product news diminishes the interest of both the mainstream and trade media in the launch of a new product."

"Huh?," she wrote in her piece. "Can you think of another company whose product news garners more coverage--regardless of unauthorized disclosures--from the geek and mainstream media? Appleis products were featured not once--but twice--on the cover of Time magazine in recent years!"

Appleis efforts to control information about the company has long been the topic of discussion within the Mac community itself, but this marks one of the first times we have seen the topic discussed in a mainstream financial magazine like Forbes.

She further elucidates her point in the full article, which we recommend as a thought-provoking read.