After a long and tumultuous struggle between Nick from Think Secret and Apple, they’ve resolved their issues and Think Secret will be publishing no longer.
This is especially interesting to me because I’ve been a reader of Think Secret for many years, essentially since the site started, and followed the lawsuit from its genesis to now. Nick is actually a few years younger than I am, is still in college, so seeing him go up against a giant company like Apple is interesting for me since I’ve enjoyed his reporting over the years.
As part of the press release that Think Secret posted, it said that a “positive solution” had been reached for both sides. To me, that means the lawsuit has been dropped and perhaps Nick got a payoff to stop writing. I don’t know what type of payoff, perhaps Apple paid his legal fees plus some cash, but maybe it was larger than that. Maybe once the EFF got behind Nick’s case Apple realized they were going to lose, so they decided to turn the tables and stop that from happening. If Nick won then other rumor sites could safely pursue information inside of a protective Apple NDA without worrying about the legal consequences, so by Apple paying off Nick it stopped the forthcoming rumor flood.
Ars Technica mirrors my sentiments in that they also believe he got a nice payday:
“Apple was faced with losing the case and having to pay attorney’s fees,” explained Opsahl, which is likely part of the reason why it decided to settle instead of continuing to pursue it. As for Ciarelli, “We understand that Nick is very satisfied with the outcome of the case,” Opsahl said. “We hope that Apple learns a lesson over this.”
With a wad of cash in his pocket and some real journalistic work experience behind him, Nick can no move forward and has many opportunities to choose from. Of course those opportunities don’t include writing about Apple rumors, but there could be far worse outcomes to this story.