March 4, 2005 6:43 AM PST

Tentative ruling favors Apple in blog case

A California judge has issued a tentative ruling that Apple Computer can force three blogging sites to divulge their sources, according to reports.

In the preliminary ruling, issued Thursday, a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge said that the three blogging sites, which had disclosed information about Apple's upcoming products, did not have the same legal protections that shield journalists, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

A hearing in the case, which is scheduled for Friday, could have a significant ripple effect on all blogging sites that disclose information about companies.

Judge James Kleinberg tentatively declined to extend to the Web sites the protections of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment and the California Shield Law, which is designed to protect journalists from having to divulge the names of sources or supply unpublished materials.

In the past four months, Apple has subpoenaed PowerPage, Apple Insider and Think Secret, seeking to discover their sources of information about a yet-to-be released product code-named Asteroid and Q97.

Apple is subpoenaing the three Web sites to ascertain the identity of those who leaked the information and is suing the "John Does" who allegedly did so for trade secrets violation.

17 comments

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Not shocked.
If people post information that damanges a company or person, true or not, they are going to be held responsible for it.

A New Jersey court did note that owners of web sites, which people post information on, are not responsible, but that isn't what happened here.

Combine this with the news yesterday about the FEC looking into blogs, and it looks like 2005 will be a banner year for courts, congress, and the media poking into blogs.

NWLB
****
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.nwlbnet.blogspot.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.nwlbnet.blogspot.com</a>
Posted by NWLB (326 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Indeed
Corporate profits is more important the the first amendment, right?

You are scary.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
This is complete bull
journalists are supposed to be able to do their jobs without fear of big brother comming down on them

that's what the first amendment is for, it doesnt matter what they reported as long as it's true

there are laws in place called Sheild Laws that protect journalists from having to divulge their sources of information
like Deep Throat and the whole Watergate scandal
people still dont know who the source of that information is, and there is a good reason for it.

it would be like if a company was producing bad meat and one of the employee's who was bound by a contract not to say anything decided to speak to the press, he could do it with sheild laws in place without fear of losing his job

what is happening here is a travesty against the american people
Posted by Jiggajonson (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Lesson to Learn
I agree. But it is quite clear to me, and should be to most people that...

BLOGGER != JOURNALIST
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
It will probably be appealed(no text)
&lt;EOM&gt;
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nice try but...
...none of the sites involved are blogs. They are rumor news
sites; they are nearly identical to News.com in that they have
headlines and blurbs on the front page, and allow comments.
(And have far too much advertising.)
Posted by tubedogg (31 comments )
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Get Real
This is no travesty. Difference in your examples to this case is that of public well-being. This is not reporting, it is the intentional distribution of company secrets. A Company needs to have the right to determine who has stolen their confidential information, otherwise ALL information will soon be public knowledge. Unless you are communist this is not where you want to go.
Posted by wwhit710 (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Please...
Please pull your head out of your hind end and take a breath of fresh air for once. What these people did is post rumors and interesting tidbits of information just like almost every other checkstand tabloid.

Robert
Posted by (336 comments )
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