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Wednesday, December 22, 2004, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Apple seeds new Tiger Server software, warns developers

Following the filing of a law suit against three of its former developers for leaking copies of its next-generation operating system, Apple has reportedly released a new pre-release versions of the next version of Mac OS X Server, along with a stern warning to developers.

After filing suit earlier this week against three former developers for allegedly distributing test copies of an unreleased version of its Mac OS X operating system, Apple today released to developers a new pre-release version of Mac OS X "Tiger" Server. According to sources, the build was accompanied by a warning against further confidentiality agreement violations by its developers.

The latest Tiger Server software seed is rumored to be build 8A325 and is said to have been distributed through the company's Apple Developer Connection. Last month it seeded Tiger Server build 8A297 along with a recent build of Mac OS X Tiger client.

Prior to seeding the most recent software builds, Apple reportedly appended to its software distribution pages the following message in bold red typeface:

"PRE-RELEASE SOFTWARE IS APPLE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION. YOUR UNAUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTION OF PRE-RELEASE SOFTWARE OR DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION RELATING TO PRE-RELEASE SOFTWARE (INCLUDING THE POSTING OF SCREEN SHOTS) MAY SUBJECT YOU TO BOTH CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY AND RESULT IN IMMEDIATE TERMINATION OF YOUR ADC MEMBERSHIP."

In the civil suit filed yesterday against three of its developers, Apple contends that the defendants released a pre-release version of the Tiger software on a Web site that employs 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 via the Internet.

The suit seeks both an injunction preventing any alleged further distribution from the defendants, as well as damages. "The amount of such damages cannot be determined at this time, but will be proven at trial," the company told the court. "Apple is further entitled to recover from Defendants the gains, profits, and advantages that Defendants obtained as a result of these breaches. Apple is currently unable to ascertain the full extend of these gains, profits, and advantages, but will prove the value thereof at trial."

The company is reportedly seeking a trial by jury.