There’s been a lot of press recently about Apple’s lawsuit against the Think Secret website, and virtually all of them assert that Think Secret has a First Amendment right to publish as they have been doing. Finally, someone has written — and done the research to back it up — what I had been thinking for a while: that it’s not unreasonable for Apple to sue people who publish their trade secrets.
It’s one thing to suppress protected speech; if Apple was suing to make the guy stop writing about how much he hates Steve’s black turtlenecks, or something else that was a matter of opinion or public fact, that would be one thing. But Think Secret is publishing commercial trade secrets, or at least trying to, and that runs into other laws besides the First Amendment.
Now, the court may eventually find in favor of Think Secret. And that would be OK. But it’s a complicated issue that deserves debate and deliberation, and the courts are the right place for that. So I’m not at all feeling like Apple is out of line for initiating the lawsuit.