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Science & Technology Law

Did Gizmodo’s Purchase of Lost iPhone Prototype Violate the Law?

Posted Apr 23, 2010 7:12 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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When an individual who apparently found an iPhone prototype left at a California bar by an Apple engineer shopped it for sale, the Gizmodo gadget site reportedly purchased it for $5,000 and proudly posted photos on the Internet.

But now authorities are investigating to determine whether the purchase could have broken the law, even though Gizmodo returned the phone to Apple when asked by the company to do so, according to CNET News and the Tech Chronicles blog of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Possible state laws that could apply to the situation include provisions requiring finders to attempt to return an item to its owner, if it contains identifying information about the owner, and to turn over items worth more than $100 to police, the Chronicle notes.

Also see:

ABAJournal.com: "Apple GC Asks Website to Return Its Secret Prototype iPhone"

ABAJournal.com: "After Gizmodo Posts iPhone Pix, Cops Seize Editor’s Home Computers"

Updated on April 26 to link to subsequent ABAJournal.com post.

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