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: Legal stupidity
By smitty3268 on 7/13/2006 1:22:39 PM , Rating: 3
You are basically advocating breaking the 1st ammendment unless it is really important, which is the opposite of how the law is usually interpreted - upholding the ammendment unless it is really important.

I can see what you are arguing, but for me it is the classic case of a "slippery slope." Who decides what is important enough to justify applying the 1st ammendment?

RE: Legal stupidity
By rrsurfer1 on 7/13/2006 1:28:05 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Legal stupidity
By Rapsven on 7/13/2006 1:36:24 PM , Rating: 2
Amendment rights have been broken before, just in extreme circumstances, which bolsters the above poster's remarks.

For example, our right to a fair and speedy trial were essentially ignored. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War in order to conduct warfare in a streamlined manner. Sure, you can cry foul and say he had no right to do it, but in that sort of situation, it is much more forgivable and understandeable. Taney and the other justices might have disagreed with Lincoln, but they wouldn't on practical grounds.

Trampling on amendment rights almost always happen during times of war. Now we're in the peace time. If amendment rights are revoked/ignored during the peace, there is a massive problem with our society.

RE: Legal stupidity
By captchaos2 on 7/13/2006 5:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
Why is it illegal for a person to stalk someone else, but legal for paparazzi to do it? Why is it a crime for a CIA agent to leak info about secret operations, but ok for a company employee to do the same? Why is it ok for a "journalist" to hold out money in his hand and find a weak individual to get what they want, but we arrest prostitutes and johns for the same kind of transactions? Why is it ok for "journalists" to ruin countless peoples' lives or sink companies just for the sake of a story and a magazine/newspaper sale? Sorry, but the First Amendment was not made to cover irresponsible, self-serving "journalists". Freedom of the Press means that real journalists can report on the truth and actual events as they really happen with no censorship, but it does not mean that depraved, morally bankrupt "journalists" can hold money out to weak company employees to buy company information on intellectual property that they have no rights to and does not belong to them.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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