April 10, 2006 | By Derek Slater

Apple v. Does Critical To Bloggers, Journalists, Everyone

On April 20, a California Court of Appeal will hear arguments in Apple v. Does, a case in which EFF is fighting to ensure that bloggers and other online writers get the same rights as offline journalists and can protect the confidentiality of their sources. Apple has demanded that the three online journalists defended by EFF turn over the identities of sources that allegedly leaked information about new Apple products.

Jason O'Grady is one of those journalists, and, in an article entitled "Apple v. Me," he points out that the case isn't just about him -- it impacts everyone's speech rights:

"Apple feels that independent online journalists are not protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and that a journalists [sic] confidential communications and sources should be exposed to them or any large corporation that doesn't like what they publish - at will. I think that this is completely wrong on several levels....

This case is not about me, it's not about Apple and it's not about the technology industry. It's about the First Amendment."

Bloggers can be journalists, too. And because anyone can become a blogger, everyone's rights are at stake in this case.

O'Grady and the other journalists deserve the well-settled California and federal constitutional protections for a journalist's confidential information, upon which the practice of journalism and the freedom of the press depend. The trial court in this case erroneously held that a journalist's publication of information -- online or offline -- that a business deems a trade secret destroys the constitutional protections for the journalist's confidential sources and unpublished information. In the appeal, EFF intends to overturn this far-reaching, dangerous conclusion.


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