Apple demands silence from exploding iPod victims

Yet another censorship-related story: The London Times reported on the case of a father and daughter seeking a refund from Apple for an iPod which literally exploded after the father accidentally dropped it. The drop apparently set off an electrical and/or chemical reaction which caused the device to explode going several feet into the air.

After contacting both Apple and the UK electronics store Argos, Ken Stanborough finally got through to an executive from Apple. The company then sent a letter to the Stanboroughs, which offered a refund but did not accept liability. The disturbing part, however, are the strings attached to the refund. From the article:

The letter also stated that, in accepting the money, Mr Stanborough was to “agree that you will keep the terms and existence of this settlement agreement completely confidential”, and that any breach of confidentiality “may result in Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties”.

“I thought it was a very disturbing letter,” said Mr Stanborough, who is self-employed and works in electronic security. He refused to sign it.

This is purely shameful conduct on the part of Apple. It is one thing to not own up to a defective and dangerous product; it is another entirely to attempt to silence those who easily could have been injured or possibly even killed by the defect.

Mr. Stanborough did the honorable thing here, refusing the money and telling the story to the public, and he should be commended for that. However, he should not have to choose.

The intentional censorship of stories about a dangerous product is unfair, evil, and unacceptable in decent society.

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