Remember That Stolen iPhone 4 Prototype Gizmodo Bought?

Joshua Melvin, reporting for the San Jose Mercury News:

Two Bay Area men’s alleged scheme to sell a wayward iPhone 4 prototype to a scoop-hungry tech website was serious enough to draw misdemeanor charges, prosecutors announced Wednesday, but apparently too amateurish to warrant felonies.

But Gizmodo avoids charges:

However, no one associated with Gizmodo, which scored a huge scoop with its post detailing the new phone, will face charges. Pitt said it was clear Gizmodo planned to use constitutional protections of free speech to defend its involvement with the missing phone, and the DA’s office isn’t interested in a protracted fight.

“That, as you can easily see, is a huge can of worms,” he said.

So it’s not that there wasn’t a case to be made against Gizmodo for knowingly buying stolen property, but the DA doesn’t have the stomach for a high-profile fight about whether such actions are protected by the First Amendment.

Thursday, 11 August 2011