Apple has settled a legal row with tip site Think Secret that will see the Web site shut down. The legal battle between Apple and the site blew up in January 2005 when Think Secret revealed details of the Mac Mini before its official unveiling.

Apple brought the lawsuit to make the fan site reveal who had leaked details about the cut-down computer.

By agreeing to shut down, the Think Secret site gets to preserve the anonymity of its sources.

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In a statement about the deal Nick Ciarelli, Think Secret publisher, said: "I'm pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits."

Apple declined to provide details of the settlement but a spokesman said it was "happy to have this behind us."

Apple is notoriously secretive about forthcoming products and it sued Think Secret claiming that bloggers should not enjoy the same rights to protect sources granted to mainstream journalists.

A California court initially sided with Apple but the hi-tech firm lost the case on appeal. The outcome of that said bloggers should be considered as journalists and subject to the same protections.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) aided Think Secret in its legal fight to stop Apple forcing it to reveal its sources.

"I hope that Apple takes from this that it is neither useful nor wise to sue its fans," said Kurt Opsahl, an attorney for the EFF.

Mr Ciarelli started Think Secret when he was 13 years old and is now a student at Harvard University. The name of the website is a play on the "Think Different" slogan Apple once used in its advertising.

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