All of us in the tech industry know the "rules of engagement" when dealing our prospective companies intellectual property rights. Many of us, including myself, sign non-disclosure agreements so that the companies that we work for can progress forward with their projects in order to remain competitive.
If Apple had let these employees off, then when a more serious offensive had occurred, they would not have any real enforcement abilities to prosecute the offenders since they would have set precedence for non NDA enforcement. Apple had to terminate the employees in order to maintain enforcement capabilities of the NDAs that were signed by its employees.
Apple has to protect their intellectual property. It is unfortunate that these individuals have been or will be terminated but this process will strengthen the position the company has with employees as well as maintain appropriate behavior.
That is my opinion...what's yours?
"At least five employees of Apple's retail stores have been fired after downloading copies of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard from the Internet that were distributed to developers at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference two weeks ago. "Dozens" more also face termination, Think Secret has learned.
The axed employees had apparently been overheard discussing their acquisition of Leopard with their co-workers, prompting Apple "corporate" to investigate after word reached Cupertino. The staffers were dismissed after admitting to acquiring the software illegally.
"All of us know that we violated our NDA and ethics policy. Therefore, because we had the character to tell the truth and to face the consequences of our actions, we were terminated," said one of the fired employees, who spoke with Think Secret on condition of anonymity.
"My only question is, if we all lied and denied it would we still be working at Apple today? Even more so, is that the kind of person that Apple wants working for them?"
It's not known whether the employees collaborated on sharing copies of the unreleased operating system or if they acquired copies individually."
Oh no! I wonder what would happen if they downloaded Liger...