Bloggers Have Same Rights as Journalists

After the closing of a case filed by Apple, a California appeals court judge has ruled that internet journalists and bloggers alike are protected by law just as traditional journalists are. Apple filed a case claiming that AppleInsider and PowerPage make known their sources for a 2004 story on those websites revealing an in-development Apple product dubbed Asteroid, which is to be a breakout box for Garageband. The ruling meant that AppleInsider and PowerPage did not have to disclose their sources and that the First Amendment and California's Shield Law also apply to bloggers. This is one more step to furthering the recognition of blogs as viable media sources.

The ruling concludes that trade secrets do not categorically transcend freedom of the press, that there is no relevant legal distinction between journalistic blogging and journalism with regards to the shield law, and that Apple's attempt to subpoena the e-mail service provider of one of the sites was a violation of the federal Stored Communications Act.