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, and 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 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.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
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