In December, Apple Computer filed suit against three developers it says posted a prerelease version of Mac OS X onto the Internet. The lawsuit alleges that the three men posted a developer release of Mac OS X Tiger onto sites used by BitTorrent. Apple is seeking an injunction to prevent further releases of its software as well as unspecified monetary damages.
One of the developers is a young Canadian named Sunny. The story is only just now breaking in the Canadian media. This interview makes a fascinating read about the actions of a young, and somewhat naive, Mac enthusiast. Rory Prior, creator of NewsMac for OS X had this to say about the lawsuit:
“As a software developer I understand Apple”™s desire to protect its intellectual property. Nevertheless I feel that Apple in a way encourages its customers to want to misappropriate their software because of the hype and fervour it whips up, often many months prior to the release of these products.
This can cloud the judgement of the company”™s ardent fans who feel they are doing no real harm by getting just a little bit more of a sneak peak than what they were shown already at public events like Macworld Expo and the WWDC. Of course that doesn”™t condone the actions of these individuals, what they did was clearly wrong and violated Apple’s NDAs. The punishment they face ”“ essentially the ruining of their lives both financially and professionally, does seem too much however.
There was no malicious intent involved from what I can see having read their interviews and I”™m sure the fear and pain they have already experienced at the prospect of being sued by a huge corporation is punishment enough. It is my hope that Apple will drop these lawsuits before the damage to these individual”™s lives becomes irreparable.”