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iPhone 4 Prototype Finder Gets Probation 334

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the finders-keepers-losers-send-you-to-prison dept.
think_nix writes "Brian Hogan, who found an iPhone 4 prototype last year which was sold to Gizmodo for $5,000, has been sentenced to one year of probation, 40 hours of community service, and a $250 fine. The District Attorney's office was asking for jailtime."
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iPhone 4 Prototype Finder Gets Probation

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  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:32AM (#37690018)
    And you have evidence of this? In the same vein, how do we know you didn't rape and murder a young girl in 1990? I'm not saying you did but I find it interesting that you never denied it either. I'm just asking questions, that's all.
  • Re:Justice is served (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:33AM (#37690050)

    If it was just another phone that was stolen, would the punishment be as severe? I dont think so.

  • by bool2 (1782642) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:36AM (#37690084) Homepage
    The whole thing seems a bit one sided. Given that Gizmodo knowingly paid for stolen goods, where is their equivalent fine, community service and probation?
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:45AM (#37690232) Homepage

    So I get to suffer in the rain instead of them... how dishonorable.

  • Re:Justice is served (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:51AM (#37690356) Homepage Journal

    The right thing to do with something that isn't yours is not to pick it up and sell it. Duh. He will learn a lesson from this.

    Well, did he pick it up, remove the SIM card so the owner couldn't just call it and ask about it? Or did he keep it at home waiting for the owner to call and after a few days decided to sell it?

    Completely not the point. (make way for the car analogy!) Hey I found this sweet car, and the owner never once showed up in the few days that I waited for him to claim it. It's totally mine. I wonder why so many people abandon cars at the airport, anyway? Oh well, finders keepers!

    Most jurisdictions require public notification of found goods, as well as a 6 month waiting period. Neither of which this guy even came close to adhering to.

  • Re:Justice is served (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @11:04AM (#37690534)
    doesn't always work that way. sometimes the police get keep items turned in by honest people.

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/Dallas-decides-to-keep-cash-found-by-honest-teen-121609364.html [wfaa.com]
  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @11:05AM (#37690564)

    Quick summary timeline...

    Dude sees an old MacBook Pro on Craigslist listed by Seller as broken.
    Dude buys it thinking maybe he can fix it.
    Dude does indeed fix it, requiring reflowing of parts, adding parts (ram, HDD, etc.), chronicles it at Anandech, noting that it seems to be no ordinary MBP.
    http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2165252&highlight=macbook+antenna [anandtech.com] - Prototype Macbook Pro with 3G: In my shop now!

    Dude then sells it on Craigslist himself as he has no use for it and doesn't yet realize its uniqueness.
    Buyer takes it to an Apple Store for some service, Apple Store Genius bar says "This is not an Apple product." on account of weird things in there.
    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/08/30/apple-genius-bar-didnt-recognize-macbook-pro-3g-prototype-apple-now-wants-it-back/ [macrumors.com] - Apple Genius Bar Didn't Recognize MacBook Pro 3G Prototype

    Buyer sues Dude, wins (in part based on Apple Store findings), Dude is out moneys.
    Dude thinks 'wtf', though, and takes a closer look at the MacBook Pro, asking around on forums.
    Dude learns that the red motherboard implies it's a prototype.
    Weeks pass and Dude does what anybody who isn't a fanboy would do - puts it up for sale on e-bay.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20092180-248/3g-equipped-macbook-prototype-pops-up-on-ebay/ [cnet.com] - 3G-equipped MacBook prototype pops up on eBay

    e-bay bids go up to $70k, listing is pulled due to request from Apple.
    Dude then hears nothing, sits around waiting for some manner of official explanation for days on end.
    CNet, however, now wants to know what happened, so arrange an interview, in which they of course also call Apple.

    Apple suddenly takes very keen notice.
    http://m.cnet.com/Article.rbml?nid=20099494&cid=null&bcid=&bid=-248 [cnet.com] - Apple wants its 3G MacBook prototype back

    Dude gets call - Apple wants their hardware back and they can have somebody stop by Dude's private residence that evening.
    Dude says 'I think not, my lawyer will be in touch'.

    Lawyer says Apple have no case.
    Lawyer and Apple chit chat.
    Lawyer says having no case matters shit all when you're Apple, so give up or incur huge costs.

    Apple thus sends over a PI to pick up Prototype MBP.
    Dude hands over the MBP.
    Dude then sits around again wondering wtf just happened while waiting to see if he gets compensated in any way at all.
    Apple does nothing.
    Dude then petitions to Apple to get his shit back.
    Apple says nothing, but does send an unmarked FedEx box with parts back.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-27076_3-20117512-248/prototype-3g-macbook-buyer-gets-parts-back [cnet.com] - Prototype 3G MacBook buyer gets parts back

    Dude now left with little option but either go "oh well", or sue the original Seller for incurred costs. Seller however says he received the MBP in earnest.

    It would have been nice of Apple if they had arranged an exchange for a shiny new MBP and cover Dude's costs, as there's no reason to believe that this prototype was stolen and - as of the latest reports - Apple never filed it as such either.

    The 'best' part? Being on IRC, watching a guy go from not being a fanboy but certainly an admirer of Apple, to being completely disenchanted.

  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @11:37AM (#37691040)

    Dude should have contacted Apple as soon as he knew what he had, and told them what happened.

    why? Keep in mind that this was an old prototype from years ago. Not a prototype of a model not yet released (like the case in TFA). I have several prototype things, ebay is also full of them. There isn't a law saying you can't own or sell prototype things. There may have been such a stipulation in an agreement between Apple and the original Seller (or whoever they got it from) but that's something Dude couldn't possibly know.

    He also couldn't have suspected the Seller of being a fence (and I'm not saying Seller was) as it wasn't being sold in a shady way or well below market price. In fact, Dude didn't know what it exactly was at the time of purchase.

    Dude chose to be a doofas and attempts to cash in.

    No actually he repaired it, because that's what he does. He chronicles this, and it's reported on several mac-centric sites.
    He doesn't really want to keep it, so he sells it on, himself, on Craigslist. He gets a few hundred dollars for it.
    That could well have been the end of the story right there if not for the fact that the Buyer took the thing to an Apple Store who then stated that it's not an Apple product.
    Yes, later on, once he learns it may have some value to collectors, he puts it up on e-bay. However he only expected to get maybe $2000 - never in a million years would he have thought it'd go up to $70k.

    He wasn't trying to 'cash in'.

    Dude is an insignificant individual, bought something that wasn't legally for sale,

    Matter of contention and certainly wouldn't have been known to him.

    and was clearly going to be crushed by the biggest and most secretive IT company on the planet.

    Except that he wasn't, not even after the ebay listing got pulled. Only once Apple heard from cnet did they start taking a closer look.

    Dude gets a lesson in life.

    Apple don't miss his fanboyism or loss of his purchases.

    Those two are obvious, yes.

  • Re:For contrast. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NFN_NLN (633283) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @12:33PM (#37691832)

    In China, these are called hero's of the people.

    In early America they were called heroes as well. In fact, Samuel Slater is known as the the "Father of the American Industrial Revolution" because he illegally smuggled in textile plans from the textile leader of the time: Britain.

    "Stitched into the lining of his clothing were his indenture papers, which would prove to any prospective employer that he knew his job. More importantly, in his head he carried all the secrets of the water frame and the continuous spinning process that Arkwright and Strutt had perfected."

    Oh... and by today's standard the forefathers of America were also dirty terrorists.

Forty two.

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