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Apple settles one Mac OS X lawsuit

Apple Computer says has settled its lawsuit with one of three men it sued for distributing test copies of the next version of its Mac OS X operating system on a file-sharing Website. Apple said it had settled the case it brought against Doug Steigerwald, who was a student, in late December. As a member of the Apple Developer Connection, Steigerwald was given early test copies of the next version of the operating system, code-named Tiger. Apple has said Tiger will be available by this June. "While Apple will always protect its innovations, it is not our desire to send students to jail," said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling. "We are pleased that Mr. Steigerwald has taken responsibility for his actions and that we can put this lawsuit behind us." Apple said it had no comment on the other two defendants in the lawsuit. Steigerwald, in a prepared statement read over the telephone beyond which he agreed with Apple not to comment, said he would pay an undisclosed sum to Apple. "Although I did not mean to do any harm, I realize now that my actions were wrong and that what I did caused substantial harm to Apple and for that I am truly sorry," said Steigerwald, 22, who graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in computer engineering last December. He also said he is the subject of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office and he is "working toward a resolution with the federal government." Apple has in recent months launched a series of lawsuits aimed at preventing publication of details of future products, one of which has raised First Amendment concerns in some quarters. Apple claimed in its suit that two different versions of Mac OS X were made available on the Internet on or about October 30 and December 8, 2004. The men sued by Apple released the software on a Website that uses BitTorrent file-sharing technology, which is used to rapidly distribute large files of electronic data and is also widely used to distribute pirated copies of motion pictures Related stories Apple wins first round of 'secret' war Apple founder urges company to drop lawsuits

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