Bloggers prevail vs. Apple
Late Friday, California state appeals Judge Conrad Rushing ruled in favor of the blogosphere, overturning a prior decision that would have forced three Apple rumor sites to turn over their emails -- and thus sources -- to the company.
In a legal saga that has come to be known as Apple vs. The Bloggers, the latter had invoked the California shield law, arguing that they deserved the same protection afforded the mainstream press. Friday's decision vindicates the position: "We can think of no workable test or principle that would distinguish 'legitimate' from 'illegitimate' news," wrote Justice Rushing. "Any attempt by courts to draw such a distinction would imperil a fundamental purpose of the First Amendment."
Naturally, the blogosphere is pleased. "I may love my Apple computer, but I hated the way Apple the company was behaving," writes Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine, who calls the decision a big victory for citizen journalists and "salutes" the California judge for acknowledging that "anyone can commit an act of journalism."
But the battle is far from over. On Sunday, The Register, which otherwise approved of the decision, slammed Justice Rushing for citing Wikipedia as a source and allowing himself "flights of technological rapture," worrying that this sort of "new age" rationale will provide Apple a legal "gold mine" when the time comes for the inevitable appeal.
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