Engadget had option to purchase “lost” iPhone 4G, advised not to by legal counsel

Tue, Apr 20, 2010


This Gizmodo/iPhone 4G story sure has some legs, don’t it?

While Gizmodo is reaping all of the pageview rewards for its expose on Apple’s upcoming iPhone, it appears that Engadget was offered a similar purchasing opportunity but decided to turn it down on the advice of their legal team.

The WSJ reports:

Joshua Topolsky, editor-in-chief of Engadget, which is owned by AOL Inc., said that the site was contacted April 17 by people who claimed to have found the device in a bar. These people asked Engadget to pay for access to the device, but it declined to do so after consulting with its attorneys. “We believe it’s the same device,” said Mr. Topolsky.

Engadget might have missed out on one of the biggest Apple scoops of all-time, but in the end, they might come out looking a lot better than Gizmodo. Pageviews eventually dissipate, but Gizmodo’s obnoxious and suspicious handling of the story will linger on for some time.


2 Comments For This Post

  1. skips Says:

    It has been reported in several places that there is no evidence that Apple has any basis for bringing a civil suit against Gizmodo. However, it appears to be a strong consensus among those who have looked at the California law that a criminal case exists. It is interesting to note that Apple as a corporation (or you as an individual) cannot bring a criminal suit against someone. Only the government can bring criminal suits and only when the district (or states) attorney believes there is a case that can be tried. In some states, there exist grand juries, who advise the states attorney about which cases he should pursue.

    So in this case, even if Apple does nothing, an enterprising district or states attorney could decide to prosecute a criminal charge of theft against the “finder” and receipt of stolen goods on the part of Gizmodo.

  2. LIES! Says:

    This “article” is complete and utter bs. endgadget was the one that first offered money for the device, the guy who found it just wanted to find out if it was a secret not-iphone-looking mockup or what. then when endgadget found out their rival had it, they offered to double their offer if it could be re-procured back from giz.
    such lies.
    If you start out joking saying “so, does that sound like something you might be interested in seeing endgadget?” And if they offer you money, and you were going to show them for free, then sure why not.

    Every single person involved in this drama fest fucked up somehow, from apple to the engineer, to the bartender who wouldnt take the phone, to the guy who found it who didnt think to write the guys name down that night, to the apple operators who didnt take the call seriously, to gizmodo for posting the engineers name and pics, to endgadget for trying to get their hands on the phone too, then pretending they didnt. Thats a dangerous risk Topolsky is taking lying to the world and daring those who know the truth to come forward.

    Ok, back to work, but this whole thing is silly. Its just a phone. And an ugly one at that!

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