Mac Musings

Letters on Kihei Pictures

Daniel Knight - 4 October 1999 -

I've received a lot of feedback, both positive and negative, on last Thursday's article, Kihei Pictures Pulled. The feedback ranged from calling my article "absolutely ludicrous" to "you go!"

Letters are spell checked and some punctuation fixed. Other than that and the absence of names, they're pretty much as I received them. They are presented so you can understand the diversity of opinions on the many issues raised in Kihei Pictures Pulled.

For more reflection on these issues, please read Apple and the Mac Web.

I got a look at all the pictures before they were pulled [from other sites - I only had 1. dk]. I benefited from the information in that it is helping me to make my next purchase decision. (I need a 17 inch screen, so I think I'll go with a G4).

That said (in my opinion) the pictures were stolen from Apple. They belong to Apple and right or wrong, Apple can decide when the public gets a look at them. Even if the pictures were somehow not protected assets of Apple, just because one could publish them doesn't mean one should.

As a stockholder in Apple, I'm glad the pictures were pulled. I don't want the public to know the details of the new iMac. I want them to buy the iMacs that are already in the channel. That was the mistake Steve Jobs made at Seybold. He announced the G4s to win the audience, but the announcement hurt Apple precisely because demand for the G3s dropped before Apple could supply the G4s. Apple cannot afford that kind of mistake with the iMacs

I am obviously not telling you anything you don't already know, but as a stockholder I am sensitive to the Company's perspective.

That said, I can understand how you feel after receiving a threatening message from Apple. First (this is not an excuse but a partial explanation) these letters are written by lawyers charged with getting the pictures out of circulation at all costs. Second, in that sense the warnings were effective because everyone did pull the pictures. However, if Apple had hired me to write the message, I would have worded it differently. I would have started off:

"Thank you for your interest in Apple and promoting its products. Apple could not survive without people like you, and even if it could what fun would that be. You are truly special and Apple appreciates your dedication to all things Mac. However... "

Your web page is appreciated and it would be a loss to those of us who stop by if you closed shop.

I checked your site to read about the "newest" iMac, and must disagree with your claim that your right to freedom of speech has been violated.

The US Constitution does not give you the right to steal some one else's property. Especially if it was obtained illegally. I assume that everyone at Apple and all companies of that type must sign a document that they agree not to divulge trade secrets and other vital company information. If the picture was "leaked" with Apple's consent, then this is a whole other story.

The info about the iMac is Apple's property, and I think it is their right to decide who does and doesn't get to use it.

Until that product is released, it is the company's property. I know we Macheads want to know the scoop on "what's next", but I agree with Apple on this one.

Yes, the press should have "free speech", but you are confusing news with marketing.

I agree with what you have posted as of 9/30/99. I believe in freedom of the press. I love your site though. I hope that you continue to update your site. I just wanted to thank you for a great and informative site that I and many others must enjoy on a daily basis.
>The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution

The first amendment is irrelevant in this case, because Apple is not part of the government.

>Even though I haven't heard directly from Apple yet, this is good 
>enough for me. The picture is gone, replaced with the one to the 
>And I'm not happy with Apple Computer.

Speculations are one thing, but when you publish specs and photos that confirm what the next iMac is going to be then you should expect Apple to take action.

Leaking information like this contributes in a small way to Apple having to announce lower-than-expected earnings. Clearly, anyone reading that stuff would be more inclined to wait and see what comes out in October, rather than buying an iMac in September (before Apple's quarter ends). Between the 7400 shortage, the Taiwan earthquake, and Apple managing its inventories tightly, a lull in iMac sales can make a difference in Apple's bottom line.

>appears within some context (see MacWeek for a great example). It 
>was in this way that I used an image from the site, 
>reduced it so the file was a fraction of the original size, and

The problem is that was not the copyright owner, Apple was. As the copyright owner, Apple has the right to control access to those pictures. In this case, Apple said no to any publication of those images.

>But the courts have consistently held that public figures cannot 
>prevent others from taking pictures of them and publishing those 
>photos. That's the price of fame.

I'm not sure that you're completely right. I think celebrities have some say in how their images are used. There have been a number of successful lawsuits by celebrities against tabloids.

But even assuming you are right, these are pictures of unreleased machines so the "public figure" argument doesn't apply. You're free to publish pictures of an existing iMac that you have taken (or that the copyright holder gives permission to publish).

(Even then there are restrictions. You probably would be thrown out of a store if you tried to take a photo of an iMac without permission from the store manager.)

>All this seems symptomatic of Apple's attitude toward independent 
>pro-Mac sites. They would rather engage us in court than engage us 
>in conversation.

Apple is very particular about its confidential information, with good reason. You are free to push the boundaries of this, but then you should expect to get calls from Apple's lawyers. I don't see this as Apple trying to "engage us in court" or as hostility.

I guess I don't see what you want. Are you saying Apple should just look the other way when web sites publish confidential information?

Are specs and photos different from other kinds of intellectual property? For example, if you think it's OK to publish photos of an unreleased iMac then is it also OK to publish a copy of Mac OS 9 (whether prerelease or final)? How about some of Apple's source code, which might be helpful in fixing a bug in the Mac OS?

Would you object to someone breaking into your web server, pulling out information that you hadn't yet published, and publishing it themselves as news? How about if you take a roll of film to a drugstore for developing and a person there takes one of your prints and publishes it?

As long as Apple sends polite email or phone messages and doesn't immediately file lawsuits, then I don't see the problem. You have a good idea of Apple's position regarding information that they own. And I know that Apple's legal departments are happy to field questions about specific items, although you're unlikely to get an answer you want.

You go, boy!! Tell it!! You are correct, it is way past time that Apple give credit where it is due and cease and desist in their hypocritical, cynical, and otherwise unacceptable treatment of what is no doubt their best ally, the Mac-centric Website/Webmaster.

Congratulations! Stand for something or you will fall for anything, right??

I tell you , if it was not for Independent Mac Websites, I might have let our school go the way of Windoze. Well, I hope I wouldn't have! All the same, when the going was the toughest, it was the Mac indy sites that helped me keep the faith and hope for new and better Mac future. Apple, maybe doesn't understand or appreciate the crap ( that is the nicest word I could use at this moment) that Mac network administrators and/or those responsible for making technology purchases had to suffer when the ship was sinking fast.

Thanks to Steve Jobs and the team at Apple for getting it together. Thank the faithful indy Mac Sites and Mac enthusiasts for helping many not jump the ship before Steve and the folks got it together!!!!!!! Steve I believe needs a reality check on this matter!

Enjoy your vacation.

I mean it. You have been a great Mac reporter and source for Macintosh information, and deserve better from Apple Inc. Actually ANYONE who has been an Apple champion deserves better than what Apple Inc. has been dishing out. A major part of the Apple experience is in the community, not just the computer. The sooner Apple Inc. gets that through it's corporate head, the better.

I speak as a current owner of five Macintoshes and a modestly invested stockholder; I do not agree with your arguments, which have similar sounds to those of the press deeply involved in the death of Princess Di. Just as individuals have a right to privacy, corporations have a right to internal confidences. When you invade those confidences, then you are in the wrong; and to argue first amendment logic is ignoring the responsibility that attends the constitution. You certainly have the right to conjecture, express opinion and advocate; and I have long enjoyed all of your exceptional work. But the individual who publishes internal information is just as guilty as the one that exposed it. If there is an adversarial relationship with Apple, I would have to fault those who constantly try to invade the inner circles of the corporate mind. I really don't feel that I am better off for knowing the technical features of the new iMac one, two or three weeks ahead (just for the sake of some journalist's scoop).
I'm with you; I am tired of Apple being so picky. I am go to buy a new iMac, and its nice to know that a new one will be coming out in about three week. I think rumors are good for Apple. I like to check the rumor sites ever couple days. Is it so wrong that I see things before they come out to the general public? It kinda makes me feel like a part of a company that I have enjoyed for last 12 years.
Bravo. But please do not turn off your site yet, it is still the best clearinghouse of usable info for old machines I dig out of the trash.
I agree with you. In fact, I think Mac users are much too pro-Apple for their own good. Apple abuses us and we keep on praising their product. When Apple discontinued the clones, I vowed I would never, ever buy a Mac from Apple again. I emailed Steve Jobs.

Before I always bought Apple hardware but had great misgivings about Apple being my sole source supplier. When the clones came in, I continued to buy Apple but I was much relieved that there were players there to keep Apple honest.

I guess Apple doesn't want to play honest. I like the Mac, but I question whether its worth the abuse. Recently I put together my own PC with very little prior knowledge of PC or Windows itself. I simply followed the instructions in PC Gamers magazine and I put together a computer everything I want and nothing I don't want. How marvelous!!

Wouldn't it be nice if you could buy an Apple motherboard and then put on the peripherals you want. That's a convenience we will never, ever have as long as Mr. Jobs thinks of us as a captive market.

Windows isn't the MacOS. But the MacOS is *not* God.

So I'm not buying Apple again. I'm now encouraging others not to buy from Apple blindly. To consider the PC as a possibility.

Hope you're feeling more pro-Mac soon...

Must say one thing made me chuckle:

"This is the kind of technical correctness we expect from politicians, from Microsoft, but not from Apple Computer."

Haven't you taken a look at their Y2K site? :-)

"Apple, have fun equivocating and spinning. Loyal fans are growing tired of it. But it's your future - will you build it on honesty or by stretching the truth?"

More shades of their approach to Y2K...

Anyway, I do hope you cheer up. The more I use Macs, the more I appreciate them. Not sure if I always appreciate the leadership / lawyers, but the engineers and other workers at Apple do a good job.

Great column on your decision to take a break from the web site.

Maybe this kind of frustration is what led Don Crabb to say the things he said a while back...

I think what you are expressing is not necessarily "righteous indignation," but "righteous frustration."

Your statement on Low End Mac depresses me very much, because this attitude Apple is showing will end up hurting the company as much as the incompetence of Sculley and Amelio and The German guy, whatever his name was. I use Low End Mac as my homepage and check almost all the links everyday. Like you I work administering Macs for a living, working in a prep house. I had an Orange Micro card in a StarMax, but sold it because I felt why even bother with an inferior product when I did not have to. I have owned a half dozen Macs I bought new. Probably over fifty used machines have passed thru my house the last eight years, and I know I am not alone. I constantly badger people I know to buy Macs when they are going to purchase a new computer. I do not like to feel like I have been dumped on though.

Apple needs guys like you.

I agree completely with you and just want to let you know that you have my support. I am a very, very fresh newbie at Mac News reporting, as I just posted my first article on my 25 hit a day site less than a week ago. However, I recently got a huge jump in hits per day, and Apple saw my article about the new iMac, called my ISP, they contacted a local lawyer, and he emailed me quoting fines of $260,000! This is a very unfair game they are playing, I'm only 16, I can't afford lawyers, and I like Apple enough that if they had sent ME a nice email requesting the page being edited or taken down, I would have done it no questions asked. Now my ISP thinks I'm some hacker that is out to infringe on everyone's copyrights. I just wanted to let you know that you've got one vote!
I don't know you personally, but you answered an email I sent with a question about a Performa 5200 that my father wanted to upgrade last year. That speaks well of you. You took the time to answer me. I also enjoy your Low End Mac site. I am writing this on a Q800/500/40 with a cable modem connection. I am sure you can appreciate this:-)

Concerning the iMac picture debate: Yes, I am as big a Mac advocate as anyone. Mac owner since I bought my first, a Mac Plus, in 1987. I am an Apple Authorized Service Technician (an MSCE, as well) and I support about 120 Mac users every day at a large international design firm. I love what I do and I enjoy getting to work with the best computer in the world.

But what are we Mac advocates really after? I guess that is what I would ask. asked their readers if they did the right thing by posting the pictures after translating them from German. I wrote and said they did the wrong thing. Why? Because they took all the suspense away from Apple's future rollout. I personally believe that THE biggest reason that Apple is doing so well is because they are building excitement (not to be confused with Pontiac's boring cars). They keep us on the edge of our seats waiting for the next Mac, PowerBook or OS version. That is driving more excitement in Apple than anything else, in my opinion.

Take that away and what do you have? The PC makers don't unveil their PCs to enthusiastic crowds and the press because they have nothing to reveal. It's just a beige box with a faster chip. But Apple spends a lot of money creating exciting products (at least for the last two years).

I work at a design firm. I know what it takes to design a product. The firm I work at designed the original [product names removed] enclosures. But first they conducted sessions with researchers who are professionals at figuring out how people interact with things. Then they conducted focus groups. Then they met with the designers. Then they made the models and got back with [the manufacturer]. Then [the manufacturer] started mass production of the drives. The result? [Their] drive almost overtook the floppy.

My point is that Apple is trying to resurrect the Mac. There is no other leader in business today like Steve Jobs, in my opinion. Where would Apple be without him? I shudder to guess. But they have done it with world-class industrial design that cost them a lot of money. They gambled with the iMac and it paid off. Next the PowerBook, the Blue-and-Whites and now the iBook. That is what Apple is doing.

What are the Mac advocate Websites doing? What is their reason for existence? You could make a persuasive argument that they are die-hard loyal Mac users who want to bolster what Apple is doing and promote the Mac. But what are those things that move around while I am at those websites? What are those colorful banners doing when I try to scroll down the page? Low and behold, you had one running a M$ ad for Word 98 Special Edition.

I'll tell you what they are: they are making money for some Mac advocates. You and the rest of those who run websites "advocating" the Mac are complaining with blood on your hands. You say you only want to promote the Mac and the cause, but there is green stuff flying around in the background. Is this a crime? Absolutely not. I am a freedom fighter just like most 'mericans. But websites who reveal pictures that were the legal property and were not distributed with Apple's consent might as well be stealing from them. What do you have without the pictures? Nothing. Just speculation and rumor. That is freedom of speech. Those pictures were stolen, even if it was an Apple employee who handed them out. They had no right to do it. None.

So, where do we stand? I am certainly not trying to give you any disrespect. But answering people's questions and helping them with their Macs is one thing. Revealing Apple's new products without their consent, as a customer of your website, is theft in my opinion. It makes me think that all you are really about is selling advertising. Why else would anyone want to reveal the photos? Just to say they saw them? I can wait, just like everyone else. It's going to hurt no one to have to wait on Apple. We might as well bump up Christmas to December 15th whenever the retailers are having a bad year so they can get their profits earlier.

I sincerely hope you are not offended by my comments. Do not take them personally. I enjoy your site and your insight. I always go there when I have a question about an older Mac. I simply agree with Apple's right to their property. For the good of the company and for the good of the Mac platform.

The grounds for your boycott are absolutely ludicrous. To say the iMac is a public figure is beyond reason.

What the sites did was the equivalent of sneaking into a preview of a movie with a video camera and posting it on the web. It happens all of the time of course, but it is totally illegal and those who do it get busted if they are found out.

I have been a regular reader of yours for the past year or so.

I enjoy reading the wide variety of interesting news that you track down - news that I wouldn't necessarily look for, let alone find, on my own. And as a husband and father of two young children, not to mention attorney, Mac enthusiast, part-time webmaster, church member, etc., I appreciated your column about stress and the need to relax (really relax) now and again. If a needed respite requires that you take time away from the absorbing task of maintaining a dynamic web site, I, and I suspect the rest of your readers, will more than understand. Anyway, thank you for spending the time that you do on Low End Mac.

As for today's post - I can see why you are not a little upset with and disappointed by Apple. It seems they have no concern for the community that made them a success and helped bring them back from the near dead. You need look no further than the G3 ROM "update" for evidence of this. And now they're beating up on independent Mac web sites. This isn't good. It is, unfortunately, Apple.

Thanks again for Low End Mac.

So everyone who starts a web site (or presumably advocates in any fashion) deserves a seat on the board of whatever company they like?

Apple rumor sites are of little benefit to Apple. They deflate the excitement of new releases and serve to kill sales of currently shipping merchandise. Apple "refuses to comment on unannounced products" for that exact reason. So what benefit are you and other tell-all sites doing, besides making a name for yourself and selling page views? Amateur journalists have to learn to balance the "freedom of speech" with the responsibility that goes with it.

Almost all of the "news" published on Mac rumor sites is from dishonest people who have broken their agreement with Apple not to keep sensitive information confidential. By being the mouthpiece of these people, you are exploiting Apple's good faith developer relationships and encouraging others to break their promised agreements as well.

So stop portraying yourself as a martyred Apple advocate. You're part of a self-serving lot that's simply profiting on the loot taken by info-pirates.

"Frankly, the iMac is no longer a hot product. Apple needs something new for the upcoming holiday season."

How can you say that that when more iMacs have been sold in the past 3 months than during the first 3 months of the product's inception. If you mean that it's no longer making headlines, go figure... it's more than a year old. Yet it still gets a mention in any article that talks about style and computers, consumer computers, sub-$1000 PCs (and how the iMac isn't and still sells well), and of course the look-a-likes that it's generated.

Now we have the iBook stealing some of the iMac's spot in the limelight, but that doesn't discount that the iMac continues to sell well, continues to be Apple's most popular product, and continues to be the icon that defines the "new" Apple.

I just read your commentary on the situation of Apple versus the pro Mac sites out there and you are damn right.

They could excuse themselves by saying they will ignore the sites that go too far just like bad reporting in real life newspapers. They can ignore those that don't really have an impact on the Mac community online too, but hell, there are serious and popular sites out there that do a lot of good for Apple.

It is a nice coincidence that you did your move barely a week after Bryan published a column about the issue.

When I saw the drawings and pictures of the "New" iMac I was upset. Very upset. I was also upset when I read the specs on the iBook the day Steve Jobs introduced it. I find that kind of information as stealing. Why? Because that info is the property of Apple . . . not the free Internet Mac press or any other news source. I have believed for a longer time that the Mac press has been more of a hindrance to Apple than help. Detailing hardware and software spec.'s, possible release dates, and other information only brings confusion and uncertainty to Mac users in general and has a big impact on Apple sales. What the Mac press seems to have overlooked is Apple is in business to sell and that is that.

There secretive approach to introducing products provides them an vantage point their competitors don't always have. The introduction of the iMac last year was a great move by Apple. It caught the whole industry by surprise. As it turned out, the whole approached helped Apple to move forward (and the industry as well). Posting information that Apples competition can use, like spec drawings, is wrong . . . PERIOD (Steve learned that from Microsoft). What the Mac press needs to do is get software developers to start building great software again.

With Mac OS X just around the corner and X Server available now, Mac users will have he worlds best OS and hardware in the world. It needs great software. It needs great Internet software and web sites. Companies like Oracle, Microsoft, Dell, IBM and the like are building web services that deal with real content. It would be great if Apple server and Mac software could do the same. Even Apple has to use Solaria and Netscape to run their web store (powered at least by WebObects, a NeXT technology). In the not to distance future, hardware will be a thing of the past. Software is the future. Let the Mac press preach that....

The whole point of the "new Apple" is to create a buzz. It's hard to make a buzz if everybody knows exactly what your new products looks, smells and tastes like.

It's similar to if you created an incredibly great new site and somebody who you happened to show the site to (in order to get your opinion) posted the site on the web, before you were ready for the whole world to see it. Wouldn't that ruin all the hard work you put into it? I think Apple deserves some courtesy in this regard.

Further, they own those pictures. And they have to give permission for them to be reprinted. Same thing with your site - it's not in the public domain unless you want it to be.

On the other hand, Apple is snooty. They're not terribly nice. Steve Jobs is, from all hearsay, an asshole. Apple doesn't always do the right thing. However, consider what Microsoft might be like in comparison.

I'm not trying to offend you - I think Low End Mac rocks.

I am a Mac user who just likes to keep in touch with what is happening and future directions of the Mac platform. I am somewhat bemused at events of the last three days regards the possible new iMac details. Apple are an advocate of internet technology and should understand the nature of almost instantaneous availability of data/information posted to the web to those accessing it around the world.

"The horse has bolted." Shutting the gate behind it and picking up the dung along its trail will not recapture this horse. I am sure Mac lovers world wide now have copies of the pictures and technical details of what they hope might be their favorite next generation machine. (Perhaps I should review my browser cache and print a copy out for my pinup board right now! Will they threaten to sue me?)

Attempts at legal bludgeoning of the various web sites for posting news reveals a component of Apple corporate that appears to not understand the strategic value of the technology the company is pushing. Whilst Apple may have a legitimate gripe against an employee(s) or "industrial spy(s)" releasing guarded developments, once information is released to the public via such an open source as the internet, a legal clamp is useless in trying to hide that information. Perhaps Apple corporate marketing should train the wider corporate environment in creative propaganda - create positive outcomes from the situations it finds itself in. Misinformation, collaboration, covers like advance market research, etc., are among the effective tools available for creative propaganda.

The approach that has been demonstrated in this case has undoubtedly created some ill feeling in the Apple user community and will be lapped up by opposition OS and platforms in the coming week. One site told that the rationale explained by Apple legal for the demands was due to possible loss of current iMac sales volume and value. Perhaps they should consider the recoil they may now experience from their existing and potential user base because of their actions. As other sites have mentioned, sales volume has been dropping anyway and rumors of an impending change of model have been circulating for at least a couple of months. Anyone using the web as a research tool before buying an iMac would therefore have been aware of the impending change and these details would probably not have much impact on their decision - lets face it, the listed changes in build hardly make the likely new candidate a G4 equivalent, and the percentage improvements for someone who needs a new computer today would likely not justify the inconvenience of waiting!

I agree, from a user perspective, with the posted opinions of various Webmasters of Mac sites that a more cooperative and positive relationship with Apple would benefit us all. Apple should be positive and not attempt alienate their followers...... Lets hope!

I have been distressed at the increasing hostility of Apple toward its customers, not just the press.

I live in a rural area and have a relatively slow modem connection. My ISP cuts off the connection after 4 hours online. There is no way I can download the OS 8.6 upgrade. I bought 8.5, but haven't bothered to install it, waiting to get a less buggy version, and preferring to stick with 8.1, which works fine.

In the past when Apple came out with a free OS upgrade, I could go to the grocery store or several other places, and pick up a magazine with a CD that had the upgrade. But with 8.6, they stopped that, ostensibly so they can count how many people downloaded it. In the process, they have withdrawn OS support for those of us with limited web access.

I had planned to get a G4 in a few months, but now realize that would be foolish. I'll also avoid installing OS 9 on my current computer. Unless 9.0 is absolutely perfect, I'd be stupid to put an unsupported (for all practical purposes for me) OS on my machine.

Perhaps in a few years, cable modems will come out to this area, or someone will come out with a positive alternative to the Mac OS. But for now, I'm stuck.

I want to thank you for all your efforts in supporting Macintosh. Your web page has supported me in optimizing my Performa 6200 to its fullest potential. It's unfortunate that Apple is about big business and forgets the support after the sale.

This issue seems so like Microsoft. What's next on Apple's agenda, Macintoshites purchasing a new machine every year?

I don't typically don't write opinions. Usually, I let things be, but this time I feel moved to speak. There has been so much discussion in the online Mac community about Apple's reaction to the posting of images of the next iMac revision. Some have gone as far to call it censorship, some have temporarily closed their site, in frustration, to decide what to do next, while others have no mention of it. One thing is certain, there is a general consensus within the Mac community that Apple is overreacting to the posting of said images. This is incorrect.

Believe it or not, stock brokers, technology news sites, and the like read MacOS Rumors, MacNN, AppleInsider, etc. I have read reports on CNN, NY Times, The Register, etc., that make either direct or indirect references to rumors propagated by the main Mac rumor sites. Analysts, based on information from rumor sites, thought that the new iMac would be announced at Seybold, instead of the G4 (boy, were they wrong, which I knew from other readings, but I digress) and some even promoted Apple's stock to a buy because of the new iMac expectation. Apple stock went up, partially based on information from Mac rumor sites. The iBook was no surprise. Everyone knew what it was, where it would be announced, and roughly how much it would cost a month in advance of its announcement.

Now all this begs the question, how much sales has Apple lost to rumors (confirmed or unconfirmed) and speculation that Mac rumor sites reveal on a daily basis? How many iMacs would they have sold before Seybold if people didn't think the new one was coming out soon? How many iMacs would Apple be selling now if people didn't know that the new revision was near completion? Really think about this. Every time someone posts a rumor from a "trusted source" and hundreds if not thousands of readers see this, believe it , and make purchasing decisions based on this information, Apple loses untold sales. Every time the latest and greatest project at Apple is talked about in a public forum, Apple loses a sale in the present.

Every rumor, true or untrue, hurts Apple. By fulfilling curiosity about new toys being developed by Apple, the Mac community is hurting Apple. We stand by "the other OS" in our offices, in our homes and at our schools, lets also do it on the web. Members of the Mac online community, for the sake of consumer choice in computers, please stop the madness and end the posting of rumors. You'll be happy you did it.

I've never visited your website before; there are far too many Mac sites to visit them all. Nonetheless, your editorial regarding Apple's desire to squash the spread of "Kihei" pictures reached me via a link on MacSurfer.

Aside from the fact that it rambles a bit (what does Apple's honesty have to do with the First Amendment?), I have to disagree with your thesis that the Internet should be a free-for-all for passing corporate trade secrets. I am no fan of big corporations, but Apple has a legitimate claim that early disclosure of its product plans is harmful, particularly in the cutthroat world of PC hardware that Apple must thrive in. Sometimes restraint is the better part of advocacy.

Who cares that you and dozens of other Mac sites stop "covering" "news" and "rumors" about Apple? Who really cares since 99% of your information is just a pastiche, a collage, a copy-paste-with-some-in-between-poor-grammar of a few web sites that are really doing the hard work?

Who really cares?

Certainly not me and I am sure 90% of Mac users out there, who have better things to do that reading 20 times the same stuff they can read in quite more professional sites, with real journalists doing real work.

As for Apple's policy: They are a PRIVATE company with their own policy, set by a board of directors set by their stockholders, a group in which I am included myself. They can do whatever they want with their communications, they can censor, delete, eliminate, evaporate ANY message posted in their OWN public boards. That doesn't goes against the first amendment, neither their policy to distribute false rumors to catch the silly heads that spread _confidential_ information, OWNED BY APPLE, for their own personal and twisted reasons and most probably for their own benefit (whatever that is).

This doesn't have anything to do with the 1st. This has to do with a few leeches whining to get their share of spotlight in the web world, profiting on the efforts of serious news sites and the company of which you put yourselves as saviors and defenders and whatever other crazy thing you may have in mind.

Spare us the whining and yes, stop covering the Mac, but forever.

Not many people are going to miss you, really.

I'll keep it short. Marketing and the practice of selling are tricky. Elements of surprise, anticipation and other factors are often essential or supporting for them to work. The bottom line is market success. Apple needs the world press coverage to keep its name alive and in the peoples mind. Last minute press releases work better than if the news would be old (i.e. pictures shooting around the internet for weeks before release date). And please, do not quote your constitution. I find that way too heavy handed.

I like and appreciate all the work you do for the Mac Community!!!

don't be such a baby! if they don't let me play my way I'm gonna take my ball and go home. apple and those who use and love the iMac will be fine without you. bye
Good statement - and everything you said is very true. I couldn't agree with you more. It is people like you and the others that certainly kindle and stoke the fire of interest in the Mac's.

Apple management has made mistakes before, and I'm sorry to see their attitude about this, but please remember there are a lot of people who look to you and people like you and SOOOOOO appreciate what you do. We all appreciate the Macintosh or we wouldn't be here - but your abilities to publish information and fact is so appreciated by us, please don't get discouraged and stop.

I don't know what Apple was thinking, slapping the hands of people that buy the product and are the reason Apple even exists today doesn't quite add up, but it is still the loyal who stick by the product.

Probably a silly idea to write you, but it comes from the heart.

Apple can drive you nuts at times but they're still the best thing going. Low End Mac has helped me a lot. I've bought a PB 180 and a SE/30 because of it - great choices, too. Please continue playing the game with Apple as you're keeping them honest or at least as honest as they can be!

Keep fighting the good fight.

I certainly sympathize with your plight. However, at the same time, I sympathize with Apple. In the past days, I've consulted with people who are considering the purchase of an iMac. My advice to them has been, "If you need it today, buy it today. However, if you would be upset if an improved model was announced before you had time to get used to your new computer, you might want to wait a little while." At the same time, I told them that in the year since the iMac was introduced, there have been 3 minor updates to it. Another update is long past due, which suggests that this one will be a major one. Then I say, "These web sites," (insert URL's here) "believe a new iMac is near, and they believe they know what features it will have."

Have I caused a delay in the purchase of iMacs? Most likely. Does this affect Apple's bottom line? Probably. After all, the iMac that cannot be sold at full price, but must (instead) be sold at a discount represents a loss of income. However, given that Apple doesn't give me any inside information, and I haven't signed any nondisclosure agreements, I don't feel any ethical qualms about giving my users the benefit of the little information I have.

I think, actually that these people will feel better about their (eventual) purchases as a result, and may (by extension) feel better about Apple, than they would if I allowed them to buy a product just days before it was discontinued.

Were the photos copyrighted? I don't doubt it for a minute. They have that Apple style. When you see freelance photos of Apple products on the web, they just never look as good. They're not professionally lit, they're not isolated. At the very least, we can be certain those photos were taken by a professional photographer, likely to register works for copyright.

Any web author should know that grabbing art from another web site is more likely than not to involve a copyright violation. Here's a useful index of pages dealing with Copyright Resources on the Internet. <>

I (for one) greatly appreciate Low End Mac. I often supply URL's for pages from Low End Mac when consulting with users who are considering upgrading their present Macs.

I agree with you. How about starting a legal defense fund, poll the big newspapers for some funding, and on the next set of threats by Apple take them to court on a First amendment issue? ACLU implications.

Or as an alternative, see if the local Federal Attorney will prefer charges against whoever threatens your newsletter to block publication. Sounds like a violation of your civil rights. In any case a PR nightmare, and Steve can take the credit for it.

In any case, Apple is treating the epress - and sometimes its customers - as the enemy. Perhaps it is time to remind Mr. Jobs where those dollars come from. What do you suppose would happen if the first week OS 9 was available not very many of the established base bought it? I can wait a couple weeks.

All interesting things to think about.

Enjoy your break and decide as a journalist how you would like this to play out.

I think you've gone crazy. You're just mad because Apple pulled the pictures of the new iMac. Stop throwing your dummy out of your cot and think about what you are saying. Apple is still the best company out there, the iMac is still the best home PC out there and the next iMac will be even better. I am a multimedia designer who uses a 550 MHz Pentium III at work, and I have just bought my fifth Mac (which happens to be iMac) and I prefer iMac to the Pentium machine.

Chill out man!!!!!!

Since my purchase of an iMac about a year ago I have looked for a web site that would be interesting, informative, and iMac centered. I pretty much settled on this site as my home page. However, I feel you have kidnapped the faithful with your self-centered antics and have converted your site to a soap box upon which few of us care to occupy. For the past three days I am subjected to the same egotistical ramblings. There are other sites where the writers have thicker skin. See ya!
Your article related to the new iMac photo was very well written and concise, thanks for the thoughts. Apple appears to be taking a very arrogant stance toward folks - who after all - have been it's loyal supporters and constituents.

Instead of attempting to quash such matters, Apple would seem to be better served by working with the independent webmasters. For goodness sakes, even presidential press secretaries have learned that it is better to get along with the press than to engage them with enmity.

An older saying was "it never pays to get into an argument with the guy who buys ink by the barrel" and perhaps in latter days it could be updated to "it never pays to get into an argument with the guy who operates the influential website...."

Hang in there, your work is read and enjoyed!

First, I should say that I do like your site and find it a great public service. With that said, however, I find your recent editorial to be sickeningly self-pitying whining.

How can you in all good faith post photos of an unreleased product one day, and complain about Apple's attitude the next day when Apple legal has asked you to remove them. You seem to think that Steve Jobs should be calling you up and discussing the issue with you rather than having Legal demand its rights.

Not to be hypocritical, I enjoy rumours and speculation, even seeing illicit photos as much as the next guy. But I realize that they are illicit. These are pictures that were only leaked because someone violated a nondisclosure agreement. Just because it wasn't you who did so doesn't make it right.

Sure, your motivation is to spread the love. No one, not even Apple (who has a right to be paranoid) probably thinks you were intentionally trying to cause harm. But you just might be. OK, it's possible that Apple lost a few iMac sales due to these pictures being leaked. Fine, they lose a few hundred thousand dollars. No big deal (to you). Hell, maybe they didn't lose any iMac sales directly (and I'm talking about the current model here). But don't you think the Sotecs and eMachines of the world are overjoyed? These copycat artists get an extra week or two lead time to work on their designs. Hell, they don't even have to resort to industrial espionage anymore because the Mac community does the work for them.

I'm not saying you (and others) really caused that much harm. I'm sure you didn't. But that's the way Apple or any other company that puts millions of dollars into their designs would see it. As a frame of reference, think back two years ago to when the G3s were released. Did anyone care what they looked like? Hell no. Because Apple didn't put any major work into designing them then. Nobody bought Apple computers because they just looked cool then. What a contrast. Apple's efforts in industrial design have really paid off, but they don't want to lose their advantage to a bunch of misguided fans with websites.

Anyway, my main point is that I wouldn't be complaining if I were you. You sound like a kid who was caught stealing a chocolate bar at Walmart who complains that as a loyal customer, they should treat him better. Sheesh.

Just my 2¢.

I saw that the Kihei picture was pulled from your web site. That is one of many things that disheartens me about Apple - many of which came to light after I started fixing them.

The most recent one that really ticks me off is how Apple ended the 15" MultiScan "REA" program. On the tenth of September, they stopped offering to fix the color shift problems on Apple 15" MultiScan Monitors for free. No one knew they were stopping the program until September 10th, when it was ended. At the time we had two such monitors in our shop that had been brought in for that problem for which Apple had yet not been contacted for dispatch boxes. One was brought in on the Friday, Sept 7th after Apple's dispatch center closed for the day, and the other was brought in on Sunday, the 9th. Apple didn't care - their official response to me was that they were not going to fix them, period. No warning had been given to us that the program was ending - to any of the ten stores in the ComputerWare chain, to any Apple Providers to my notice.

Both of those monitors were eventually taken in - but only after the very PO'd customers argued with Apple and finally obtained Customer Satisfaction numbers. Had Apple simply told us the program was ending ahead of time, given us a date for which any and all monitors not checked in by that date would not be serviced for free, those two customers would still be happy with Apple.

We also had a customer who lost his DVD drive out of his G3 PowerBook in a taxi cab. For us to replace his DVD drive - we not only would have had to charge him stock price instead of exchange (which is understandable) - we would have had to charge him additionally for the fine Apple would have billed us for not sending a like for like broken unit back.

In this case - there was no unit to send back since his DVD drive was lost in a taxi cab! Apple wouldn't do anything for him. All we wanted from Apple was to not be charged the huge fine for no bad module returned on a 661 part - but Apple didn't care. He ended up finally getting on a waiting list for a third party (VST I think) DVD drive - and swore he would never buy an Apple Product again.

I really like Macs - I like the Mac OS - but I seriously think some of the user friendliness of their OS needs to rub off on their public policy.

I like to tell you that I think your article "Kihei pictures pulled" was an excellent piece. For a long period of time I've been in this "funny" position to love Apple computers but "dislike" the company that makes them or at least the attitude of the company that makes them. I don't know if you can or want to do so, but I sincerely believe that it would be a very good lesson to Apple Computer inc. if all the major "free Apple sides" would agree on changing their faces for a limited period of time. How about just having the blue "free of speech" icon and then the quote you included from the Us constitution. Then warn people about misleading information's about Apple computers elsewhere. Some might say that reaction of this kind was a bit to radical but I don't think so. Sadly this(Apple's) way of thinking and behaving was not buried along with the Soviet Union. The free Mac community is unique and will continue to be so. If it wasn't for the free community Apple would be history by now. It's just so sad that Apple doesn't appreciate it. May God give you energy to continue with your good work.
I am a lawyer, a Mac user, and AAPL stockholder. I think all of the non-lawyers out there have missed the boat on the Kihei pictures issue. Check out the following story:

I do think that the sites - at least those which are "news" sites - had the right to post the pix for their news value, and would have ultimately prevailed in court. Whether or not this is helpful to AAPL and Jobs' marketing strategies is another matter. I do agree that AAPL should reach out to the various sites and online communities and try to explain - politely - why it could hurt the company to "scoop" Jobs. Snotty cease and desist letters aren't going to cut it.

I do think it's sad that all the sites buckled so soon - of course, lawyers are expensive. ;)

If you publish my comments, please do so anonymously.

Disclaimer: The advice given above should not be considered legal advice. This email only provides general educational information. You must not rely upon the advice given here. Your individual situation may not fit the generalizations discussed. Only your attorney can evaluate your individual situation and give you advice.

While I understand your feelings about your dealings with Apple legal, I have a hunch I know why they are acting this way. You see, I was an Apple Retail Rep starting in June for the iMac Launch at Sears. Things were going quite well - until around mid-July. Then many stores stopped bringing iMacs into their in-store inventory. After much hunting and probing, here is what I found out.

Based upon rumour sites on the internet, the computer department managers at Sears got together and decided that there was an impending upgrade coming for the iMac. A new model, so to speak. Now please understand that Sears computer department managers are held to a bottom line type standard for what they have in inventory, and what they sell it for, and what profit they hold on the stuff. So their thinking was, that the rumour sites in conjunction with the fact that Apple has updated the iMac about once each quarter, were correct. So, the managers didn't want to get stuck with a bunch of "discontinued" iMacs in their inventory that they would have to sell at a discount in order to move them. They figured that if a customer really wanted an iMac, they could simply have the local Sears order one from one of the distribution centers, and the customer would have it - albeit in about a week. Well, since they weren't bringing the iMacs into the stores, the Buyers for Sears weren't buying them from Apple, which is what contributed to the pain Apple is feeling in this quarter's bottom line, whether they make a press release on it or not.

And THAT is why iMacs aren't on PC Data's top list for July. However, I would urge you to take a look at PC Data's June stats, as well as those for May. April doesn't count, because at that time PC Data was considering each color iMac as a separate model for their stats. This was dumb, so they changed it.

Chill out a bit and support Apple a little. The decision by the Sears guys was really stupid. They lost out on a full quarter of sales of iMacs simply by not stocking them. This was a pretty important quarter, considering it was 'back to school' time. But the truth is, it hurt Apple, and the cause, right wrong or indifferent, was in substantial part due to the rumour sights.

Anyhow, I am the guy that told Market Source what was going on, and I'm sure Market Source told Apple.

That's my take.

Be cool, and take care.

While I agree with you that Apple hasn't been very classy on this issue, comparing what they have done to a limitation on your "freedom of speech" makes you look like an idiot. The United States Constitution plays no part in this issue. In no way has the state prohibited you from exercising free speech. If anyone has, Apple has - and I'm sorry to tell you, that's perfectly OK and legal.

Give up trying to get the scoop and look like the "first to know." Instead of posting pictures of the new iMac's, why don't you just wait until it comes out and enjoy the show with the rest of us?

I think taking a few days off is a good idea. You take all this way too seriously.

Read you September 30th column "Kihei Pictures Pulled," and I couldn't agree with you more. You should take some time off, Apple doesn't deserve the kind of dedication it gets from people like you. I switched from using Microsoft OS computers to Apple OS back in 1993 (I used a PowerBook 180 for over five years until I bought an iMac earlier this year), and there is absolutely no question that Apple is superior; the product that is, not the people involved in the management of the company. All of them, from Steve Jobs in down, should get a lesson in public relations (does Apple even have a public relations department?) What it really is about Apple that inspires loyalty is the tremendous product and innovation which Apple engineers turn out. Nonetheless, Apple should realize if it wasn't for that loyalty, the company probably wouldn't have been able to hang on until last summer when the iMac came out and rescued it from the throws of death.

If it's any consolation, you should see how bad Apple Taiwan is. Computers which are made here are put on the local market two to three months after the US at 30 percent more. I could write a book about how bad Apple Taiwan is, but I like every other loyal Apple user puts up with it all, because we like our Apple computer. However, I hope for Apple's sake, they don't take advantage of us too badly, because even loyalty does have a limit.

Wow, that's a lot of mail, and a good portion of what I received on the issue.

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Dan Knight has been using Macs since 1986, sold Macs for several years, supported them for many more years, and has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. If you find Dan's articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

Links for the Day

Recent Content