back to article Apple and Snow Leopard take-downs - just say no

On Tuesday evening UK time The Register received a take-down notice from San Francisco lawyers acting on behalf of Apple. Our hosting company, Rackspace, received a similar notice, Apple's beef being that The Register had posted "confidential trade secrets" in our First Look at Snow Leopard. You will notice that we have not …


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  1. shaunm

    get a grip....

    First off i own a mac..

    Get a fuckin grip apple it was a good informative article promoting your newest product.

    God for bid aanyone should mention your name these days without expressed written consent from you.

  2. David Webb

    I see

    Getting a DCMA take down notice from Apple? There's an app for that!.

  3. Jonathan White

    Dear God

    Do try to avoid dislocating your shoulders while slapping yourself on the back so fiercely.

  4. James O'Shea

    what _did_ you do to them?

    What on _Earth_ did you people do to piss 'em off?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I do hope

    That your reply to them referenced Arkle vs Pressdram...

  6. MnM

    I'm in the wrong office

    Lots of amusing letters going around today!

  7. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: I do hope

    I considered referencing General Tony McAuliffe vs OKW (1944) or Pierre Cambronne vs British Army (1815), but the latter at least seemed inauspicious, so I didn't. (-:

  8. alex_c
    Jobs Horns

    Fighting talk from el reg!!!

    Go guys!!!

  9. eJ2095


    Apple trade

    They must be bored..

  10. Daniel Kluge

    Standard reply

    "We feel that our position was most eloquently argued in Arkell vs. Pressdram."

  11. Law

    They are short-sighted idiots...

    ... I ended up ordering snow leopard right after reading the article based on the review from somebody I trust to tell the truth about it.... not their marketing machine (which I've never trusted and has always annoyed me)... if they keep going this way they won't have any users left... incidently I had no intention of ordering it before the review.

    *high fives El Reg* sticking it to man five!

  12. SmallYellowFuzzyDuck, how pweety!

    Free promotion

    Well this is the place I came to to decide if I was going to buy Snow leopard or not.

    Then Apple decide they can't have the free promotion just days before the launch?

    Never thought I would say this, but Apple have been a bunch of idiots.

    As everyone else is going to say on here we support you El Reg for your excellent articles (And bizzare sense of humor)

    Keep it up!

  13. Paolo Marini

    go get them tiger, ehm, leopard

    well, well, if that's not a bitter bite for the apple...

    I still wonder what's the exact difference between a patent and a trade secret... because Steve himself has plenty of the former to his name (and they only last 20 years) but pleading deniability of something that is well known and announced looks fairly comical to me...

    haven't Snow Leopard features be known for a while already and hasn't Apple itself publicised them? how exactly is that talking about these features is not allowed because they are a trade secret? then Apple should not even run commercials of anything they are not already selling...

    (and the latter suggestions is for everybody really...)

  14. nsld
    Paris Hilton

    what you should offer.......

    Is to never cover anything related to Apple or its affiliates ever again.

    That said your OS X hack article the other day was excellent and should be more likely to incur the jobsian wrath than advertising the latest release of sleet donkey 10.6.whatever.

    How about some articles reviewing apple hardware with a Linux OS running on it? That should lead to some venting of the spleen (and possibly the liver as well ) from the fruitigonistic brigade.

    Paris - brighter than sue, grabbit and run llp

  15. F1reman

    Go reg!

    fuck yeah!!!

  16. Aaron Em


    Well, there goes the shrine.

  17. Colinmac
    Thumb Up

    If this annoyed them ....

    Just imagine how riled the 'how to run OSX on your vanilla PC hardware' article got em...


  18. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    The lawyers have got it right, actually

    If I worked at that law firm for apple, I'd send that letter too. Who cares if it's right or wrong, send it anyway, send a bill to apple, get paid lots and have a laugh doing it.

    And I'd now be relishing taking el reg to court over this. Just think how many hours I could bill! I'd make a fortune!

    Screw this, I'm leaving IT to become a lawyer!

  19. BenDwire Silver badge


    El Reg does NOT have a bizzare sense of humour. It's perfectly normal.


  20. corestore
    Black Helicopters

    Never a truer word...

    “If the Church of Scientology went into consumer electronics it would be Apple" - Dan Lyons.

    (How to piss them both off in one sentence; is that the sound of black helicopters full of lawyers I can hear...?)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A takedown notice ...

    .. as in the DCMC is bound by US law ONLY!

    So tell them to fuck off and go to hell.

  22. Sergie Kaponitovicz
    Jobs Horns

    Bunch of Eejits

    I too am a Mac user, and found the article very useful, written in a non-partisan way.

    Why Apple continues to shoot itself in the foot with such actions defies logic.

    I will stick with the product, and probably upgrade at version 10.6.5 but not before. I am not a Mac Fanboy, I use the product because it makes business sense, and going for V10.x.1 is not sensible. There are always too many bugs, fixes/work-arounds. Also, the fact that I'd have to upgrade to Adobe CS4 makes it a very expensive move.

    Apple's threats against El Reg alienate a Mac user of some 22 years.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Stick it to the man!

    That'll learn them!

  24. JimFromOhio

    Isn't this standard procedure?

    If they don't send out the legal notices then they risk losing the right to defend their IP in the future. This is standard operating procedure for most businesses.

  25. Chris Osborne

    Page 5...

    ...Is the page about the "hidden gem" that is Automator.

    Perhaps Apple wants it to stay hidden? :)

  26. sleepy

    A more favourable review than the beloved Mossbergs, but . .

    Whether you think it's silly or not, Apple does have the legal right to issue information under NDA and try to manage the timing of reviews of new products. They don't want the Register to get in the habit. Pretty soon hundreds of sites would join in for future product releases. So they have to act, even though it seems trivial. To claim the information was in the public domain is to claim that Orlowski invented the review based on reading blogs etc, without relying on materials under NDA. We all know that's nonsense. Not much chance of Orlowski or the Reg ever being included in Apple's very short list of reviewers, but the Reg published a day too early to avoid the ire of Apple.

  27. Steve Adams
    Thumb Up

    I appreciate the stance of the Reg...

    Your position in this case - along with the quality of most of your output and much of the user comment - makes El Reg a primary tech news source for me.

    Maybe you will miss out on some page views through not having access to some PR tosh from certain vendors (often apparently regurgitated without edits by other "news" sites) - but I know that the substantive and important stories will be covered here.

    Well done & keep it up.

  28. ElectroBoy
    Thumb Down

    Good old Apple

    Nice of Apple to snatch PR defeat from the jaws of victory. Will they never learn??

  29. Anonymous Coward

    have you read the terms El-Reg?

    it's all fine to try to get some of your reader's sympathy ElReg but you should have read the confidentiality agreement before posting snap shots that shouldn't have been posted.

    Whilst installing the beta release you've agreed to the term and conditions. (remember that "I agree" button ? so why are you whining now ?

  30. Dave Bell

    Arkell v. Pressdram

    "Pressdram" is the name of the company which published Private Eye. No need to say more.

    I suspect that a bunch of Lawyers in California are are pushing their luck, but perhaps they have to do something to notify everyone so as to make their claims stick against the people they can drag into court.

  31. Wun Hung Lo

    Apparently, one should insert a title

    I would have thought Apple's lawyers would be Dewey Fleeceham and Howe. The name fits.

    The one with the iPhone in the pocket please...

  32. SmallYellowFuzzyDuck, how pweety!


    Yeah, El Reg has a perfectly normal bizarre sense of humour.

    /Fellow Brit.

  33. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Snow Leopard?

    I heard an interview of Jobs the other day, and I had trouble understanding why Apple would name an OS "Slow Leper"*. I get it now...

    *Why not Vista2?

  34. David Webb


    If my memory serves me correctly, El Reg was once hit with a DCMA as well as the host, or maybe it was just the host, which resulted in El Reg going down, after that situation El Reg changed providers so the same thing couldn't happen again, it's nice to see that prior planning allowed me to read this article today!

  35. Annihilator


    True dat. I'll be honest, when I started reading this article I assumed it was about the OSX install dongle!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd love to know...

    ...exactly which one of El Reg's writers actually shit through Apple's letterbox that one time.

  37. N2

    @get a grip...

    Couldnt agree more & well done El Reg,

    Tell em to fuck off anyway, even though I like & use Macs, i dont like this sort of trivia

    Software company lawers are too full of themselves where this sort of suff is concerned.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple wasting shareholder assets?

    Perhaps a shareholder should file suit against Apple's management about the manner in which they waste shareholder assets (cash) by engaging O'M/M for this frivolous matter.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    They may have meant

    that the release candidate versions (as reviewed) of their latest operating systems are subject to NDAs. Either way they are a bunch of cocks.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    On the other hand...

    Some folks are just plain old upset that holding back their print runs gets nowhere because some organisaion prints before an already agreed publication date.

    "If they can do it why can't I?" you might hear from other publishers.

  41. Ke

    Hosting in the US?

    Swtich to an Non-US based host and say good bye to DCMA

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh dear!

    Will Apple unleash their army of annoying coloured shirted shop assistants to assault Vulture central if EL Reg does not comply to their whims?

  43. Tankut Erinc

    Ingenious free publicity!

    Apple makes really nice GUI/UI stuff. Plus, cool (albeit hermetically sealed) hardware.

    But Apple especially excels in publicity mongering.

    Using a spurious DMCA take-down notice to warrant another news item?


  44. frymaster


    "without relying on materials under NDA"

    as they said in the article, they never signed an NDA

  45. James O'Shea

    it's just you

    for some reason, not only did these guys <> and <,2817,2352065,00.asp> _not_ get a take-down notice, _they got a mention on Apple's RSS feed_ <feed://>.

    They really, really, REALLY don't like you guys.

    Whatever did you do to earn the Jobsian ire?

  46. Francis Vaughan

    You assume it had anything to do with Apple.

    Chris 19 above almost certainly has it right. It is very doubtful that Apple are even dimmly aware that el Reg did the review. The lawyers will be searching the web for any possible technical breaches, and billing Apple for the effort of writing the letters. It is a great business. Lawyers essentially making work for themselves. At $500 an hour at least. We are indeed in the wrong business.

  47. Anonymous Coward

    This is NOT a title

    For all the complaining people do about the behaiviour of aPPLE you still buy there crap.. So why should they listen to your complaints?

  48. CaptainBlue

    @ By Law

    I'm another one who placed an order after reading the article. What a wunch of bankers!

  49. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: If this annoyed them ....

    We were secretly hoping they'd send us another one for that. Two days in a row would have been cool...

  50. Sergie Kaponitovicz

    @By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 28th August 2009 06:25 GMT

    "behaiviour of aPPLE you still buy there crap"


    100 lines for you:

    "behaviour of Apple you still buy their faeces", on my desk by lunchtime.

  51. Anonymous Coward

    good for you el reg

    what a ridiculous and pathetic thing to do lol - are their lawyers just sitting around bored with nothing better to do than bother people? spose theyve got enough of them.

    screw (cr)apple!

    apple: mediocrity for the masses™

  52. John Lettice (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Memory

    I don't recall that one. Years ago we did a lightning host switch after some dope at the ISP pulled the plug out. Then there was the mystery thing that kept knocking over the site (see:, which went away when we moved hosts. And then there was the DDOS attack a couple of years ago. But I don't think we've ever had a host pull us because of a DMCA. We do get DMCAs, sure.

  53. Rob

    FAO Andrew Orlowski's

    Having a 4 week old son myself, I'd like to congratulate Andrew on a good looking baby (obviously going on the assumption that the pic is fairly recent and not nigh on ten years old).

    Apple are more than welcome to claim ownership of my son (at least until his colic clears up, nappies especially included).

    Mines the one with baby sic down the back

  54. bigphil9009

    Re: Rob

    "Mines the one with baby sic down the back"

    What's wrong with the way you spelled baby?

  55. Big Bear

    Anyone check if...

    The lawyer/cowboys were working on US time? Maybe they read the article and t'was still the day afore the launch in the US. Notsure how clued up our cousins across the pond are about such things as time differences and whatnot... especially the pondscum that is the law fraternity!

  56. Alice Andretti

    Regarding Apple NDA...

    Apple made me agree to a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before they'd honor one of their own *warranties*. I guess they didn't want me squawking to the rest of the world about the precise nature of the problem I'd had with one of their particularly troublesome pieces of hardware. That was all *after* many months of going 'round and 'round with them to try to get things resolved in a more peaceful manner.

    I have kept my end of the NDA in that I have not publicly divulged any *specifics* as to the exact problem and the exact piece of hardware.

    But there was nothing in the NDA that prohibited me from making vague non-specific statements of general dissatisfaction ;)

    Unsurprisingly, I have not bought any new Mac hardware since that time. What good is a warrantee if you have to threaten legal action to get them to honor it?

    However, I still do very much *like* my *old* pre-return-of-Jobs Macs, which I'd purchased prior to that ugly little incident with the modern Apple company. I'm still using my old Macs and probably will continue to use them until the last little essential parts for them are no longer available on the used market. (I do have a stash of spare parts, but it will be depleted eventually.)

    But anyway, as to Apple shooting itself in the foot like people are discussing in these Reg comments here, it was Apple's insistence on my doing the NDA thing that is *the* first-and-foremost reason why I bought my first PC a few years ago - for internet stuff etc., mostly with Linux nowadays - (webmasters, nevermind what my browser user-agent says, it's fake :) for security purposes). Anyway when faced with the choice of buying a new(er) Mac or a new(er) PC, that bad taste from the NDA was a prominent reason I chose the PC instead. Lo and behold I discovered that Windows wasn't the nightmare I'd been led to believe it was, having never tried Windows before. (However, my first Windows virus - which didn't take long! - prompted my move to Linux for everything except DTP and printing.)

    Prior to that, I'd been an avid Mac supporter and a bit of a non-zealot Mac evangelist too. But I have my limits as to what I'll tolerate as far as corporate abuse of customers, and Apple crossed the line.

    Back to the topic here:

    Apple will eventually need to get a clue and quit sh1tting all over their own [formerly] loyal customers. So far, Apple doesn't seem to be too concerned about such things, probably due to Apple's clever marketing strategies etc. there's been a steady stream of newbies ready to sign up and buy new Apple hardware. So why should Apple worry about retaining existing customers when they can just get new ones to replace the dissatisfied ones? "Customers are a dime a dozen..." :(

  57. Anonymous Coward

    @ Big Bear (time differences)

    "Notsure how clued up our cousins across the pond are about such things as time differences and whatnot..."

    You mean there are other countries and time zones besides the U.S.? Who knew?! We should *do* something about that... it's unAmerican to have all those extra time zones running around out there. See, now if we still had patriots like GWB as Prez, we could surely find a way to make the rest of the world conform to our timezones so these kinds of misunderstandings wouldn't happen. So it would then be pitch black at noon, halfway around the world - deal with it, whiners! See, it's those damn liberal Democrats messin' everything up again, just like we'uns figured they would ;)

    P.S.: Canada doesn't count because it's not a separate country - it's regarded as the 51st state (if anyone remembers it at all, that is) and besides it has similar time zones except for those one or two wonky non-US-standard time zones way back east, some island or somethin' ... ;)

    </satire or piss-poor-attempt-at-humo[u]r or whatever it's called>

  58. Anonymous Coward

    @Captain Blue

    I'm another one who placed an order after reading the article. What a wunch of bankers

    Yes, yes you are.....Oh wait you mean Apple!

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