Friday, March 18

apple vs. blogs

evil appleThe EFF needs your help! I don't know whether y'all have been keeping up with the Apple vs. Blogs suits recently, here's a quick brief for the uninitiated:

An apple rumour site called Think Secret somehow found out that Apple was developing a new product, an external firewire audio interface (so you can plug your guitar, keyboard etc into your computer and record in Garageband) codenamed "Asteroid". Think Secret published this news, and Apple sued them. The intricities of the trial are quite complex, but essentially the San Jose judge ruled that the First Amendment's journalistic protection rights do not apply to bloggers. The argument was not over how damaging the leak was to Apple, whether the story was for the public good (as in the Watergate scandal), or even whether Think Secret had obtained the information legally, but whether a blog is a work of journalism. Journalists (for newspapers etc., at least) aren't required to reveal their sources.

Anyway, Think Secret lost the case. Their lawyers are now launching an appeal. As reported on BoingBoing today, the legal team is looking for instances where a story has been broken on a blog. I remember half the news from the ground in Iraq during the first (recent) strikes coming from a blogger, and a popular Sri Lankan moblog after the Dec. 26 Tsunami. There has to be heaps more. If you're interested in reading about the case, why Think Secret and the other Mac rumour sites should be free to publish information without having to reveal their sources, or can help out with proving that blogging is another form of journalism (hell, lists and diagrams is better than A Current Affair nowdays), head to the EFF's page on the whole affair here.


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