Gizmodo won't be charged in iPhone 4 prototype case

The Gizmodo article posted in April 2010 that had a hands-on look at a prototype for Apple's iPhone 4 was one of the biggest tech stories of the year. It generated questions about both the iPhone itself and how Gizmodo got its hands on the device. Now Gizmodo is reporting that the district attorney in the case has decided not to charge anyone at Gizmodo in this case. However, the District Attorney of San Mateo County, California did say it was filing misdemeanor charges against two people involved in this incident.

The statement said, "Brian Hogan, 22, of Redwood City was charged with one count of misappropriation of lost property, and Sage Wallower, 28, of Emeryville, was charged with misappropriation of lost property, and possession of stolen property." Both men are scheduled to be arraigned on these changes on August 25. Gizmodo has admitted to purchasing the iPhone 4 prototype from Hogan for $5,000 who claimed he found it lying in a bar in Redwood City, California in March 2010. Gizmodo later returned the iPhone 4 prototype back to Apple but not before writing a extensive hands-on article based on its examination of the device.

In a statement today, Gizmodo's owner Gawker Media said they were "pleased" with the district attorney's decision, saying "While we have always believed that we were acting fully within the law, it has inevitably been stressful for the editor concerned, Jason Chen, and we are glad that we can finally put this matter behind us."

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Did anyone read what is being said and seen the controdiction. The 2 are being charged with "misappropriation of lost property" and yet they are also being charged with "and possession of stolen property".

OH WAIT.

If it is lost than how can it be stolen at the same time? if you leave something somewhere and I find it, it is my DEFINITION...LOST. Stoeln requires the act of removing said object from a person or a surrounding belonging to the person. In other words, if the phone had been in the guys house, or car or in his jacket pocket, it is thus stolen. If I find it on a counter at a bar and it doesn't belong to an employee that works at the bar, it is lost property.

If I was the guys I would not allow them to charge me with having possession of stolen property, because it was never stolen in the first place.

It technically was stolen since when the guy picked up the iPhone 4 he should have given it to the authorities or the bar manager, but the fact that he took it for himself makes him a thief regardless of where the said object was found.

SteelToast said,
It technically was stolen since when the guy picked up the iPhone 4 he should have given it to the authorities or the bar manager, but the fact that he took it for himself makes him a thief regardless of where the said object was found.
What if the object would have been found in a trash bin? See it's not regardless. People can't get their stuff back when a club bouncer smashes it saying you're not allowed to go in with that, but Apple gets it's phone back? This cas was not the law applied in full, it was the law applied or people who have big pockets. No matter what they said, Engadget would have been on that phone a week later at most if Gizmodo would have said no.

I'd hate to break it to you, but "Finders Keepers" is not a legal president.
It was lost when they picked it up. It was stolen then they knew they had no rights to it, and didn't turn it in to the bar, police, etc.

Also, if a bouncer smashes you stuff, you can sue and have him charged. Cause doing that is also Illegal.

Ryoken said,
I'd hate to break it to you, but "Finders Keepers" is not a legal president.
It was lost when they picked it up. It was stolen then they knew they had no rights to it, and didn't turn it in to the bar, police, etc.

Also, if a bouncer smashes you stuff, you can sue and have him charged. Cause doing that is also Illegal.

I never said anything about "Finders keepers" being a legal precedent (not a president ). And suing a bouncer would cost more than what was smashed (not that it happened to me). If i would try to get the police before event thinking about suing my case would be lost on some desk for weeks on end. And that was exactly my point, justice is for the deep-pocketed. I never said Apple shouldn't get justice, it's just strange they get priority over us. A 600-700 phone (not really a prototype since the dude who owned it was using it on a daily basis) is worth more to the police than a 12k+ worth of camera.

DukeEsquire said,

This is a criminal investigation; nothing to do with Apple.

Well, wasn't Apple the ones that made a phone call and had (the Secret Service I believe) show up at the manager at Engadget and confiscate his computer and server and everything? Unless that was a different case... But I'd say Apple was definitely involved.

M_Lyons10 said,

Well, wasn't Apple the ones that made a phone call and had (the Secret Service I believe) show up at the manager at Engadget and confiscate his computer and server and everything? Unless that was a different case... But I'd say Apple was definitely involved.

that was a differnet case, that was more recent, this happened a while ago

Stewart Gilligan Griffin said,

that was a differnet case, that was more recent, this happened a while ago

Also Apple doesn't "have the secret service" do anything. They file a criminal complaint, and the agency which has justification, in that case, being the Secret Service, took the action it deemed prudent.
I know US Law enforcement can be hard to understand, with all the justification between Local, State, and all the Federal departments, bug they each have their areas, and rarely do they overlap..