Two people have been charged with offenses related to the iPhone 4 prototype leaked on Gizmodo in last year, but the district attorney’s office handling the case has decided not to charge the Gawker blog with any crime.
Brian Hogan, 22 and Sage Wallower, 28, were charged with misappropriation of lost property. Wallower was also charged with theft of lost property. Hogan and Wallower allegedly took the prototype iPhone from a bar in Redwood City, Calif., after Apple employee Gray Powell mislaid it.
Gizmodo bought the iPhone from Hogan for $5,000 after he found it, then posted pictures and video of the device to its Web site. Police later searched the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, seizing computers and servers from his home in April 2010.
In an official statement from Gawker posted at Gizmodo, the company said it was happy with the decision:
We are pleased that the District Attorney of San Mateo County, Steven Wagstaffe, has decided, upon review of all of the evidence, that no crime was committed by the Gizmodo team in relation to its reporting on the iPhone 4 prototype last year. While we have always believed that we were acting fully within the law, it has inevitably been stressful for the editor concerned, Jason Chen, and we are glad that we can finally put this matter behind us.
After publishing the story about the lost iPhone 4, Gizmodo was banned from the Worldwide Developer’s Conference and subsequent Apple events.