Sunday, April 15, 2018

Intellectual Property Propriety and Impropriety

Pras: Ghetto Superstar

In a somewhat deliciously ironic twist, a Confidential memo from  Apple about Leaking secrets, has itself been leaked.  And here are the words themselves

The impact of a leak goes far beyond the people who work on a project.
Leaking Apple’s work undermines everyone at Apple and the years they’ve invested in creating Apple products. “Thousands of people work tirelessly for months to deliver each major software release,” says UIKit lead Josh Shaffer, whose team’s work was part of the iOS 11 leak last fall. “Seeing it leak is devastating for all of us.”
The impact of a leak goes beyond the people who work on a particular project — it’s felt throughout the company. Leaked information about a new product can negatively impact sales of the current model; give rival companies more time to begin on a competitive response; and lead to fewer sales of that new product when it arrives. “We want the chance to tell our customers why the product is great, and not have that done poorly by someone else,” says Greg Joswiak of Product Marketing.
Investments by Apple have had an enormous impact on the company’s ability to identify and catch leakers. Just before last September’s special event, an employee leaked a link to the gold master of iOS 11 to the press, again believing he wouldn’t be caught. The unreleased OS detailed soon-to-be-announced software and hardware including iPhone X. Within days, the leaker was identified through an internal investigation and fired. Global Security’s digital forensics also helped catch several employees who were feeding confidential details about new products including iPhone X, iPad Pro and AirPods to a blogger at 9to5Mac.
Leakers in the supply chain are getting caught, too. Global Security has worked hand-in-hand with suppliers to prevent theft of Apple’s intellectual property as well as to identify individuals who try to exceed their access. They’ve also partnered with suppliers to identify vulnerabilities — both physical and technological — and ensure their security levels meet or exceed Apple’s expectations. These programs have nearly eliminated the theft of prototypes and products from factories, caught leakers and prevented many others from leaking in the first place.
Leakers do not simply lose their jobs at Apple. In some cases, they face jail time and massive fines for network intrusion and theft of trade secrets both classified as federal crimes. In 2017, Apple caught 29 leakers. 12 of those were arrested. Among those were Apple employees, contractors and some partners in Apple’s supply chain. These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere. “The potential criminal consequences of leaking are real,” says Tom Moyer of Global Security, “and that can become part of your personal and professional identity forever.”

While they carry serious consequences, leaks are completely avoidable. They are the result of a decision by someone who may not have considered the impact of their actions. “Everyone comes to Apple to do the best work of their lives — work that matters and contributes to what all 135,000 people in this company are doing together,” says Joswiak. “The best way to honour those contributions is by not leaking.”
And you know what I do agree with the substance of this text.  (With my strident views about Apple I am worried that of late I seem to be agreeing with them far too often.  What is happening to me?)

- Nobody forces you to work for Apple, and you will have signed a contract to respect confidentiality when you joined
- In order to stay ahead manufacturers spend time in Research and Development.  This costs dearly, and is designed to give the owner a competitive advantage.  Something that gets rather ruined when somebody spills the beans
- In my day any such behaviour would have started with a call from the Manager and being walked off the premises.  Today you will face that humiliation plus the full force of the law.
Most of all however, leakers, at least at the product announce level, and particularly for Apple, create an ocean, or perhaps a tidal wave, a Universe of websites, forum debates, endless op-ed about what might be announced and when.  It ranges from obvious bullshit to plausibly crafted possibilities.   But it is all unnecessary and clogs up my Internet Tubes, my reading time as I sift though an Ocean of speculation,  all seeded by Leakers.

So Leakers inside Apple, do stop it, for the Public's benefit and for you not going to jail benefit.

Thank you.
(And as for the music,  no connection, but great right :-)