Bloggers don’t have same legal protection as bona-fide hacks

Well, well. In December, Apple’s lawyers went after three weblogs which had posted leaked information about forthcoming products. They filed a lawsuit to compel the bloggers to reveal the names of their informants (who presumably are Apple employees). The defendants claimed that online publishers are entitled to the same legal protection as traditional journalists. Yesterday, Judge James Kleinberg of the Santa Clara County Superior Court was reported as saying that he was “leaning toward” granting Apple’s demands. If this leads to a solid legal precedent then we will have some interesting contradictions — for example, the right-wing crazies of Fox News will enjoy constitutional protection while intelligent, rational bloggers will not.

Note to UK readers: all this is irrelevant over here, since UK journalists don’t have this kind of legal protection, and indeed some have gone to gaol for refusing to reveal their sources in court.