Melancholy End for Think Secret

Apple and Think Secret have settled their lawsuit, reaching an agreement that results in a "positive solution for both sides," though one might question the broader implications. Think Secret has in the past published rumors about upcoming new Apple products, and Apple is a notoriously secretive company in that regard. Apple has sued to force Think Secret to reveal its sources.

As part of the confidential settlement, Think Secret was not forced to reveal the sources of information it published. But part of the agreement also is that Think Secret no longer will be published.

The decision represents a "positive" outcome for Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret's publisher, only to the extent that the financial damage from losing such a lawsuit would have been catastrophic. "Positive" for Apple in that Apple reins in "leakers" and media outlets.

There's nothing wrong with Apple's obsession about secrecy. It's a time-tested and successful "buzz marketing" tactic, and Apple plies it better than any other company. But the "chilling" effect on media is palpable. That isn't to say there are not some circumstances where revealing a source is socially desirable. As a rule, though, lots of "news" that actually is socially desirable is the result of somebody "leaking" something.

It's good that Nick still has a life. It's good that no Apple "leakers" will be prosecuted or "persecuted." I still respect Apple. It's just too bad it had to come to this.
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