Can You Say Owned

Dvorak Uncensored let us know that if you buy property that you reasonably expect is stolen law enforcement is going to investigate. For the last couple of weeks there has been a saga going on at Gizmodo. They obtained what is believed to be the next version of the iPhone and they trickled out data for the better part of two weeks.

The saga involved how they obtained the iPhone prototype. After inquiry the story given by the Gizmodo people was they purchased it from a man who found it in a bar. Obviously the story sounds a little fishy and is dripping with potential criminal activity. Well that’s what the Feds thought so they raided the home of the Gizmodo editor who had the phone.

This story has intrigued me from the start. Not because I wanted to see the new iPhone, I really could care less about that. What I found intriguing was the potential legal ramifications involved here. It was very reasonable to believe the property Gizmodo purchased was stolen. To top that off this happened in California where buying merchandise you reasonably believe to be lost or stolen is a crime. Of course this case isn’t so black and white since journalists are able to get away with a lot more than you and me. Oh but we have yet another detail in that Gizmodo pretty much stated they knew the property was lost or stolen because the dragged poor Gary Powell through the mud. Mr. Powell is the Apple employee who lost the new iPhone prototype.

Still this case wouldn’t be a huge deal in my opinion if Gizmodo contacted Apple in an effort to return the device and in the mean time took some pictures and/or video of the new iPhone. But they also dissected the phone so they could show of the internals of the new device.

This should be an interesting case since it will further outline the rights of journalists in regards to buying reasonably believed to be stolen merchandise in order to do a story.