Some might argue that bloggers aren't he most objective sources of public opinion on whether online journalists deserve the same First Amendment rights as traditional reporters. But even they, like the courts, are conflicted about the issue as it pertains to Apple Computer's related case heard in a California appeals court today.
Apple Computer faced tough questioning by a panel of judges this morning in its bid to gain access to electronic records of Mac enthusiast sites that published leaked details of an unreleased product. Apple subpoenaed the online ISP and publishing carriers of the blogs in an attempt to determine who leaked information about "Asteroid," a FireWire audio interface for GarageBand.
While it appears bloggers tend to side with their fellow Web scribes in the case, some are also defending Apple's role in protecting its trade secrets. Where they seem to agree, however, is that whatever the judge decides, it's likely to have broad reaching effects.
Blog community response:
"The sad thing is that Apple, who likes to encourage expression and creativity is taking up the role of 'The Man' here. They are arguing that the rumor site does not qualify as a true media outlet. How insane is that? The defendant, PowerPage.org is one of the most popular Mac sites on the web. They are not some shot in the dark company. They may report on things as insignificant as Mac product news, but they are definitely a press organization. The truth is that Apple has not been able to enforce their own NDA's with workers and contractors and are thus going after the recipients of this leaked information."
"It will be spun where this is a case of bloggers' rights and that they should have the right to blog about anything...I am going to have to side with Apple on this issue. Having the technical ability to write whatever you want does not mean you should write whatever you want. It's my understanding that the freedoms offered to the press were written to keep our government in check with it citizens. I feel corporations should be protected by these same principles...I believe Apple Computer Inc. has a duty to all its stake holders to plug the leak."
"In a country that supposedly protects its citizen's rights, its Bill of Rights and its Constitution as the highest standard under God, let's hope the court remembers not to be divisible. Corporate America already holds too much power as it is...The digital freedom of bloggers within the law is essential, including keeping its ability to speak and protect the truth. Especially for stories based in truthiness..."