March 30, 2006 | By Derek Slater

Hearing Set for Appeal in Key Bloggers' Rights Case

On April 20, a California Court of Appeal will hear arguments in Apple v. Does, a case with broad implications for all journalists. 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.

As you may recall, Apple is suing several unnamed individuals, called "Does," who allegedly leaked information about an upcoming product code-named "Asteroid." Apple has subpoenaed Nfox, the ISP for PowerPage publisher Jason O'Grady, demanding that the ISP turn over the communications and unpublished materials O'Grady obtained while he was gathering information for his articles about "Asteroid." Apple has also been granted permission to issue subpoenas directly to EFF clients PowerPage and AppleInsider for similar information.

In a decision whose sweeping terms threaten every journalist, whether publishing in print, radio, television, or on the Internet, the trial court denied the protective order and held that a journalist's publication of information that a business deems a trade secret destroys the constitutional protections for the journalist's confidential sources and unpublished information. EFF petitioned to correct the trial court's manifest error and restore the previously well-settled constitutional protections for a journalist's confidential information, upon which the practice of journalism and the freedom of the press depend.

On June 2, 2005, the California Court of Appeal issued an Order to Show Cause, asking Apple to show the Court "why a peremptory writ should not issue as requested in the petition" that EFF filed on behalf of these online journalists. The Court has now set an April 20, 2006 hearing on this important issue.

Stay tuned for more information, and learn more about how EFF's fighting for bloggers' rights here.


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