Harvard Law School Professor Jonathan Zittrain and a big time Apple critic wrote a scatting scathing open ed piece in Financial Times criticizing Apple for not being open. However when it came to his matters he was anything but open.
His Harvard office (The Berkman Institute) is funded to that tune of $500,000 by Google. He charges $25,000 for a speaking engagements, like the one at Stanford University, he spent $4,647.56 on cucumber and chutney sandwiches for the attendees (paid for by Microsoft) as they sat there and listened to him criticize.
The problem is that professor and Harvard failed to disclose that they are taking money from Apple’s competitor to criticize Apple. He and Harvard used Harvard’s influential brand to make his criticism appear to be based on fact and evidence when in was simply done for money.
When reporters made several attempts to clarify the matter by email and by phone with Zittrain he continued to decline comment, citing his health and other “long-arranged” commitments. He finally agreed to a phone interview only to cancel it. When the reporter caught up with him he said that he could not “engage on this,” due to major surgery he had in May 2010.
This is similar to the ethics quandary in 2008, where Harvard Medical School professors promoted drugs manufactured by companies such as Pfizer and Merck, from whom they had been paid as consultants. Full Story
Full Disclosure: I own Apple shares at the time of the writing.
Channels: ethics, harvard, zittrain