Apple on Wednesday settled a lawsuit with one of its developers, Doug Steigerwald, that leaked a copy of Mac OS X Tiger on a file-sharing Web site. Twenty-two year old Steigerwald was one of three developers sued by Apple in December for allegedly posting advanced builds of Tiger on such Web sites.

"While Apple will always protect its innovations, it is not our desire to send students to jail," an Apple spokesperson told Digit. "We are pleased that Mr Steigerwald has taken responsibility for his actions and that we can put this lawsuit behind us."

In a prepared statement Steigerwald acknowledged that the allegations by Apple were true and he apologized for his actions. Steigerwald also said that the US Attorney's office has launched a criminal investigation and that he was working towards a resolution in that case.

"I disseminated it (Mac OS X Tiger) over the Internet and thousands of unauthorized copies of Apple’s software were illegally distributed to the public," said Steigerwald. "As a result, Apple sued me for copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation, and I have been the subject of a criminal investigation by the US Attorney’s office. All of the claims regarding me in Apple’s complaint are true."

As part of the settlement Steigerwald will pay a monetary settlement and the court will rule in favour of Apple. "In regard to the criminal investigation, I am working toward a resolution with the federal government," said Steigerwald.

"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. "I am grateful for the chance to resolve this lawsuit and move on with my life, and hope that any publicity generated by this lawsuit discourages others from making the same mistake as I did."

There was no word on the status of the lawsuits against the other two developers.