Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/11/chen_not_charged_in_gizmodophone_case/

iPhone 4 prototype journo off the hook

Curtain comes down on Der Ring des Gizmodophonelungen

By Rik Myslewski

Posted in Mobile, 11th August 2011 19:53 GMT

The saga of the Gizmodophone – the iPhone 4 prototype found in a bar and exposed on the web – is nearing its end: prosecutors have decided that Gizmodo's Jason Chen won't be charged with wrongdoing in the long-running phone follies.

"The difficulty we faced is that Mr. Chen and Gizmodo were primarily, in their view, engaged in a journalistic endeavor to conduct an investigation into the phone and type of phone it was and they were protected by the shield law," San Mateo County assistant district attorney Morley Pitt told the Associated Press.

For those of you who were trekking through Tierra del Fuego last spring and missed the entire imbroglio, here's a mercifully abbreviated summary:

And that's where the matter lay until this Wednesday, when assistant district attorney Pitt decided that enough was enough.

"We concluded it is a very gray area, they do have a potential claim and this was not the case with which we were going to push the envelope," he said.

Chen's lawyer expressed relief. "We feel there was not a crime to begin with and still believe that, and are pleased the DA's office has an appropriate respect for the First Amendment," he said

Hogan, however, is not yet off the hook. Prosecuters have filed misdemeanor charges against him and an accomplice, the wonderfully named Sage Wallower.

Hogan and Wallower were both charged with misappropriation of lost property; Wallower was also charged with possession of stolen property. They both could receive a maximum of a year in the county slammer, plus fines and probation.

Sucks to be them. ®