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Apple C&Ds Gawker over bounty on tablet info

Yesterday, as you might have heard, the blog Valleywag offered up a total of $100,000 in prize money for information on the rumored Apple tablet. They posted on their site that they were offering bounties for pictures, information, or eventually a full $100,000 for a hands on of the currently unannounced device. As expected, Apple has brought the legal hammer down on Gawker (who runs both Valleywag and Gizmodo), ordering them to cease and desist the bounty hunt for tablet information, and even threatening under California law that it is illegal to (paraphrasing) acquire, use, or disclose Apple trade secrets while knowing that the person who gave them to you was under a confidentiality agreement. Valleywag hasn't updated their original post (and presumably, their lawyers will have confirmed with them that there was some legal course for what they were doing -- they do say to would-be leakers that they shouldn't do anything illegal to get their information), but Apple threatens legal action if any secrets are leaked or published.

Very exciting, no? Gizmodo's headline claims that this is confirmation of the tablet's existence, but we're not so sure -- while obviously there have been lots of rumors about the tablet (some of them possibly even leaked from Apple itself), soliciting trade secrets for a payoff is against the law, and we're sure Apple would pursue legal action whether or not there was a tablet device. Just the fact that they sent a C&D hardly means "confirmed."

But it will be interesting to see what happens, either if Valleywag doesn't call off the hunt, or if they do find something worth paying for. Most likely, they'll end up hearing about it when we do: at the rumored event later this month.

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