Monday, April 19th, 2010

Gizmodo Semi-Explains the iPhone–But Not About Title 18, Sec 2314

GIZTonight Gizmodo semi-explained how they came by the next-generation iPhone: an apparently drunk developer left it in a bar in California. On March 18. Which then somehow wended its way to Gizmodo-to be posted about a month later. (We presume some of that time involved the Gawker Media legal department doing their job.) Gizmodo is currently being absolutely roasted in the comments for naming the drunk Apple employee. They do not confirm the amount paid to the "finder" of the iPhone in the post-but their boss confirmed our earlier-reported $5000 figure to the Times. And this is interesting! Title 18, US Code, Section 2314 and 2315: "Whoever transports, transmits, or transfers in interstate or foreign commerce any goods, wares, merchandise, securities or money, of the value of $5,000 or more… shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both." Isn't it funny how the figure $5000 keeps cropping up? Some lawyers who are not your lawyers discuss it here; their opinion is that there is no practical (punitive) legal action for Apple to take, except to recover the phone-and neither is there any publicity-friendly legal action for Apple to take.

27 Comments / Post A Comment

petejayhawk (#1,249)

IT'S A TELEPHONE, PEOPLE. OK, so it's a telephone crossed with a Gameboy. But still. A TELEPHONE.


btw yr comment box is comically small

Sent from my iPhone

Atencio (#399)

It's a telephone that's made billions of dollars and completely changed the mobile electronics industry. To some people that is still considered "newsworthy."

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

Is anyone outside of OCD tech-gossip blogs caring about this? Not really. Few people really care about this. On the same level as folks waiting outside to go to the Apple store to buy some new thing… Who cares.

I'll bet $20 worth of decent food and drink this is all a publicity stunt.

Fredrick (#268)

People care cuz it's got that espionage/dirty money/you-shouldn't-even-be-seeing this/man's-life-ruined vibe that we all pay our ISP to get a glimpse of.

Abe Sauer (#148)

@Spy: true. Today this morning covered this huge story… for 8 seconds. They mentioned gizmodo. made a crack about a guy losing his job and then went to commercial. The segment about whether or not a mom going to short hair means she's sending a "nesting" energy vibe over a "sex" energy vibe got 15 times as much play.

mmmark (#4,458)

Evening posts. Year 2 with a bang!

Flashman (#418)

The NightAwl

Burning the midnight Awl.

Night CrAwler?

Dark night of the sAwl.

Matt Langer (#2,467)

Awld Lang Syne.

sigerson (#179)

She rocked me Awl night long!

Fuh Dul Ducker (#4,484)

Awl dressed up and on with the show.

Jeff Barea (#4,298)

Blah, blah, blah, blah…Guy leaves his iPhone behind, he's abandoned it – if the story is true – and therefore no theft occurred.

It would be akin to leaving your tv on the curb and the garbage man takes it and throws it in the truck…

Once you walk away from your property in a public setting no one has any responsibility to return it.

Jeff Barea (#4,298)

If you want to be conspiratorial, though, what if some guy pickpocketed Gary in the bathroom and then acted like they found it on a stool? Then gave it to someone who was most likely to hand it off to Jesus? Sneaky cheeky.

Clip Arthur (#2,024)

I hear Rollergirl cornered him in the bathroom, unzipped his pants, found the iPhone and sold it to Gizmodo.

Jeff Barea (#4,298)

While Benny spun Xaaanaaadduuuuuu….

abbyjean (#508)

apple + gawker + gadget blog readers + convoluted potential legal action + omg the first amendment + "dirty feelings" about publishing dude's name = WANKFEST PERFECT STORM

let it commence!

Nrbelex (#1,742)


Dan Kois (#646)

Gaby is earning her space on the Gawker seating chart, that is for sure!

brianvan (#149)

She should probably be sitting in Denton's office by now.

imbeccable (#2,315)

perhaps i'm reading the title wrong, but it seems to me that *someone* at gizmodo or gawker or wherever would be in "hot water" if they did pay $5000 for the phone, but not if they paid $4999.99 for it. "of the value of $5,000 or more" seems to imply that paying 5k for the phone = a prison sentence of some kind? am i wrong? i might be wrong!

sorry if this comment posted twice!

sigerson (#179)

I think the actual price paid wouldn't matter. It's about the fair market value of the goods. Otherwise the mob would sell all those hot VCRs for just under the threshold and structure the payments.


Abe Sauer (#148)

"and neither is there any publicity-friendly legal action for Apple to take." Not true! The longer this story drags on the MORE publicity-friendly it gets for Apple. Which is a goddamn shame b/c the brand was just starting to take the hits it deserves.

More importantly, I wonder if Gizmodo will be banned from future apple events. They've done it in the past, and in the long run that will be much more harmful to the publication than this one-time shebang.

brianvan (#149)


Baroness (#273)


jolie (#16)

Needs a GABY tag.

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