The San Mateo County district attorney’s decision not to bring charges against Gizmodo or its parent company, Gawker Media, in the iPhone 4 prototype caper has left Apple in awkward position. As you may recall, Steve Jobs made it quite clear in an onstage interview at our eighth D: All Things Digital conference in 2010 that he wanted to punish the publication.
“When this whole thing with Gizmodo happened, I got a lot of advice from people who said you’ve got to just let it slide,” Jobs said. “‘You shouldn’t go after a journalist because they bought stolen property and they tried to extort you.’ And I thought deeply about this, and I concluded the worst thing that could happen as we get big and we get a little more influence in the world, is if we change our core values and let it slide. I can’t do that. I’d rather quit.”
Well, Jobs is still CEO, even though the DA has now let Gizmodo off the hook.