Court drops its shield for online journalists

<>Court drops its shield for online journalists
<>Apple can demand documents from publishers

by OfficialWire NewsDesk

SAN JOSE, CA -- (OfficialWire) -- 03/05/05 -- James Kleinberg—a California state court judge in San Jose—has refused to protect journalists who have published articles about Apple Computers. In December 2004, Apple sued unknown individuals, identified in court documents as "Does," to determine who might have given them information about GarageBand—Apple's latest software used to record and mix music.

The tentative ruling, Friday, permits Apple Computers to force three online publishers to disclose where they got the confidential information.

The three publishers are Jason O'Grady, publisher of O'Grady's PowerPage; Monish Bhatia, publisher of Mac News Network and the editor of AppleInsider, identified online and in court documents as Kasper Jade.

Kurt Opsahl, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation who represented the online publishers, argued that the defendants are journalists whose sources are protected by the California Constitution and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Both shield journalists from having to disclose sources.

"We're disappointed that the tentative ruling was a denial," said Opsahl.


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