The legality of Gizmodo’s iPhone Prototype scoop may at last catch up with them as police begin investigating the theft.
The issue has been debated back and forth all week on the web, with some commenters saying the prototype was straight up stolen, and others saying Gizmodo acted inside the letter of the law.
The iPhone 4G prototype was “found” in a bar in Santa Clara, then sold by an unknown party to Gizmodo for a $5000 fee. California’s laws on property loss regarding this matter seems less than clear, but it is clear that whoever found the phone could have done more to return it to its rightful owner.
Gizmodo tells the whole story here, and claims it has done its homework on the legal side of things. At the end of the day, the facts are clear: Gizmodo got themselves a sleazy scoop. Apple will make a bajillion dollars selling the iPhone 4G, regardless of this slip. Gray Powell, the engineer responsible for losing the phone will walk funny for a couple of weeks if he should be allowed to keep his job. The earth will continue to revolve around the sun.