Long story short: Yesterday Gawker issued a bounty on information on the Apple tablet.  Today, Apple’s famously heavy handed lawyers issued a cease and desist (and send us anything you get) order.  

The legality question is: Is anything that Gawker gets a violation of contract or theft of Apple’s trade secrets?  Certainly most of what they are asking for would seem that way.

But perhaps there is some gray area: Their $50,000 prize is for a picture of Steve Jobs with a tablet.  If you were at a restaurant and the guy next to you was Steve Jobs and he was showing off the tablet to Al Gore, and you snapped a picture, would it be against the law to sell it?

In any case, Gawker is getting what they wanted in the first place with this contest: Publicity and pageviews.  So it doesn’t really matter if they end up with a tablet or not.  

They got Apple to come out and react to the contest which means that there probably is a product of some sort on its way out of Cupertino soon…if you hadn’t already heard.

FWIW, the contest is still going on.  Letter pasted below:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Seth Weintraub's favorite gear