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Print 32 comment(s) - last by captchaos2.. on Jul 13 at 5:49 PM

Judges say online journalists should be protected by the same laws as traditional journalists

According to reports, Apple this week decided to drop its legal battle with several online websites that leaked information about unreleased Apple products. Despite a long drawn out battle, Apple decided not to appeal a ruling by a panel of three judges that rejected Apple's arguments that the writers for the online websites were not "true journalists."

Apple went after AppleInsider, MacNN.com and PowerPage.org after information was released about a FireWire product codenamed Asteroid for its music application GarageBand. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) ended up supporting the three websites and said that Apple's actions undermined the rights of journalists and threatened the safety of those who leak information to journalists. Judge Franklin Elia was quoted saying that Apple tried to "trump the First Amendment."

In May, a court ruling denied Apple rights to have the identities of those who leaked information be revealed. The case was originally filed in a Santa Clara County court but judges wondered why Apple had not performed any investigation internally. The judges felt that Apple had not exercised enough internal investigation to justify going outside of the company. "Apple has failed to establish that it adequately pursued other possible means to identify the source of the information in question," said the judges.

EFF attorney Kurt Opsahl said that "[Apple] just can't take a shortcut through a journalist" to identify the source of information. Although Apple did not submit an appeal -- and the deadline to do so has passed -- court documents showed that Apple's own internal investigators interviewed 29 employees. No details were released on the results of the investigation.


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RE: Your assessment is hollow
By rrsurfer1 on 7/13/2006 10:52:59 AM , Rating: 2
No, it really is not a one sided view.

Protecting it better is what they HAVE to do. Other companies have to deal with this sort of thing as well. It's not Apple who's being picked on, its Apple who tried to change the way things were done, and they were firmly told "NO" by the courts.

One duty as a company if you want to remain competitive in the global marketplace is security of IP. It is part of developing, and marketing a product. ALL companies have to deal with this.

I work for a company that develops it's own IP, and our security is quite good. Yes, it costs money, but that is a cost of doing business.

YOU are cleverly ignoring the fact that the first amendment should not be idly sidestepped so that Apple can save money on security. They should conduct there own internal investigation, and if that is not enough, they should implement security measures to prevent this sort of thing from occurring again, or tracking the perp if it does.


RE: Your assessment is hollow
By OrSin on 7/13/2006 11:08:19 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry Bu I would ahve to side with apple here even if the judes don't. I'm all for free- of speech but I think people need to be accountable for what they say and print.
I can at this piont print anything i want about any one and say a source told me and I'm protected. it Might be legal but I think its crap. I think all jorunalist should have to produce proof of what they print or if the the information is clearer a link, then be responisble for the damages it causes. I know this will never be the case, but Free Speech should not the freedom print anything. Jornalist knew the leaked inforamtion was illegal gotten and people should be allow to benefit from it. And the website did benefit from it (increase ad revenue).

Once again I know its legal but IMHO it shouldn't be.


RE: Your assessment is hollow
By DallasTexas on 7/13/2006 11:20:26 AM , Rating: 2
"..I work for a company that develops it's own IP, and our security is quite good. Yes, it costs money, but that is a cost of doing business. .."

Really? Are your company's security mechanisms that good? Even the CIA can't protect their most valuable information. Like the US government, your company is one rogue employee away from giving spilling all your secrets.

Again, it's a total disregard on your part that Apple, Intel, MS and most of the tech industry's assertion that allowing flagrant abuse of their intellectual property is a valid concern in an industry that lives and dies by this.

To your last point that I am ignoring the 1st ammendment virtues, Yes, agree with you that 1st ammendment challenges should not be idly sidestepped.

I'm certainly done with this circular argument. I give up. You win.


RE: Your assessment is hollow
By rrsurfer1 on 7/13/2006 11:28:45 AM , Rating: 2
They are good. Not infallible. But if something like this happened you would see extensive investigation, combing of employee hard disks, and certainly under-oath questioning, possibly even lie detectors. Exactly what Apple should do - not sue the journalists.


"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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