Friday, September 6, 2013

iPhone leaker: "Gizmodo took advantage of me."

Unless you’re a person who gets his news exclusively from Will McAvoy, you probably remember back in 2010 when Gizmodo reported the details about a stolen iPhone 4 prototype.  It was found in a Redwood City bar by a man named Brian Hogan.  After trying to shop the device around to a few different tech blogs, Hogan sold it to Gizmodo for $5,000.    

Hogan was eventually charged with misappropriation of lost property.  He was sentenced to one year of probation and 40 hours of public service, and he had to pay $125 in restitution to Apple.  During a Reddit AMA this past June, he reflected on the whole ordeal and also had some unkind words for Gizmodo.  On whether he profited from the incident:
“Gizmodo told me they would give me $5,000 for the story, and another $3,000 after it was confirmed by Apple to be real.  They knew that there was no way in hell I was going to be able to ask for the $3,000 after the story aired, but I didn’t.  I ended up having to hire and expensive lawyer and had to pay him much more than $5,000.”
Hogan obviously took a gamble, and he lost, so of course he's going to sound bitter.  His words should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.  However I do find it interesting how Gawker treats their sources in the wake of a controversy.

On how his experience compared with that of Gizmodo:  
"Actually nothing happened to them.  Jason Chen got his door knocked down during a police raid, but no criminal or civil charges were filed.  My friend and I were the ones that took the heat.  From my perspective Gizmodo took advantage of me." 
It isn't unprecedented for Gawker to cover their source's legals bills.  It happened earlier this year in the case of Joe Muto, aka the "Fox Mole."   I asked Hogan whether or not Gizmodo made any such offer in his case.  He replied:
"No, when the shit hit the fan I asked them to 'step up to the plate for me' and they basically said F U and I never heard from them after that."

19 comments:

  1. This is a guy who "found" someone's phone in a bar, absconded with it, and sold it. Not surprised he doesn't sound like a particularly bright or pleasant person. Just one of the many tough lessons that life has to teach you, Brian Hogan.

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  2. Profiteering off a found item doesn't make you a source, it makes you a thief.

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  3. They took advantage of him... by paying him a lot of money for a piece of stolen property?

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    1. "They took advantage of him... by paying him a lot of money for a piece of stolen property?"
      READ THE ARTICLE
      READ THE ARTICLE
      READ THE ARTICLE
      READ THE ARTICLE
      They paid him nothing. They promised him money and he took all the blame.

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    2. Maybe I'm misreading, too, but it appears to me that they paid him the $5000, just not the additional $3000.

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    3. He deserved all the blame, 6:55pm. He initiated the process. Couldn't just e given it back; had to take the scumbag option.

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  4. He saw someone's phone, and instead of turning it in to the bar owner or the cops, he took it and sold it, with premeditated intent. He's nothing more than a lowlife thief.

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  5. Here come all the trolls from Apple's Minister of Misinformation, Herr Gruber.

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    Replies
    1. Really? Did I miss them or something? I don't see any Apple trolls.

      You're fond of overreacting, aren't you?

      Delete
  6. If
    "Sucks for him. He lost his phone. Shouldn't have lost his phone."
    Then
    "Sucks for him. He sold the phone. Shouldn't have sold the phone."

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  7. Gawker is just a trolling as a profession.

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  8. Gizmodo is seedy and sleazy no matter what way this story is spun, even if this guy was wrong to sell something that was not his property.

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  9. California law states (at the time, at least, and presumably now) that someone who finds lost property is legally obligated to make every effort to return it to the rightful owner before assuming ownership of it. He made no such effort so the bottom line is that this half-a-tard broke the law and expected everyone else down the line to play by his rules. Well, boohoo Brian Hogan. You're a lot dumber and lacking in ethics than many of us assumed back when this story first broke.

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  10. If he had gone directly to Cupertino, he'll have feared much better. Did he care if some one got terminated over the misplaced iPhone? Did he care about the stress the Security Staff & iPhone Team had to go thru to find out if the leak was intentional? He didn't care, do I care that he got a rough deal? Yes, I do...to the extent that I would have wished Apple Inc. would have put much more legal pressure, if it wasn't for the media attention they would had, a had him serve just enough time to realize that it does not pay to take advantage from other people mishaps.

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  11. At first I thought the guy was saying Gawker didn't pay him the 5K, but that isn't it at all is it? He's saying that his legal fees came to more than 5K, so he ended up out of pocket. My heart, as you can imagine, bleeds. Way to go Brian Hogan.

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  12. Scummy media company that's willing to pay for access to stolen property turns out to be scummy. Shady thief who's willing to sell something that doesn't belong to him angry that someone else is as scummy as he his.

    Film at 11.

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  13. Hang on, Gawker knowingly bought a stolen phone (paying stolen prototype prices) for the sake of leaking details but they got no punishment at all?

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    1. CNET has more of an explanation here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20118994-37/how-gizmodo-escaped-indictment-in-iphone-prototype-deal/

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