A Big Win for the Investigative Bloggers!
By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2006, 5:54pm PT  

Score another one for the home team. Especially for those of us who call California home.

From AP yesterday...

Appeals Court Rejects Apple Computer's Bid to Identify Sources of Leaked Product Information

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A state appeals court on Friday rejected Apple Computer Inc.'s bid to identify the sources of leaked product information that appeared on Web sites, ruling that online reporters and bloggers are entitled to the same protections as traditional journalists.

"In no relevant respect do they appear to differ from a reporter or editor for a traditional business-oriented periodical who solicits or otherwise comes into possession of confidential internal information about a company," Justice Conrad Rushing of the 6th District Court of Appeal wrote in a unanimous 69-page ruling.

"We decline the implicit invitation to embroil ourselves in questions of what constitutes 'legitimate journalism," he wrote. "The shield law is intended to protect the gathering and dissemination of news, and that is what petitioners did here."

The online journalists are thus entitled to the protections provided under California's shield law as well as the privacy protections for e-mails allowed under federal law, the court ruled.

This is all rather important to us, as you may have guessed, at The BRAD BLOG, considering the kind of work we do here.

In fact, we were quoted by the NY Times last March concerning this very case and appeared on ABC News to discuss it as well that day.

Thanks, and a big congrats, go to the EFF for standing up for us on this one!

The Electronic Frontier Foundation called the ruling "a huge win."

"Today's decision is a victory for the rights of journalists, whether online or offline, and for the public at large," said the group's staff attorney Kurt Opsahl, who argued the case before the appeals court last month.

Right on.