Appeals Court Explains To Apple That Bloggers Are Journalists Too

from the so-you-know dept

We were a bit surprised last year when a California court decided that Apple was correct in arguing online publications were not subject to the same protections as journalists. It seemed to set a pretty questionable precedent. The case involved an Apple rumors site posting information about new Apple products before they had been released. Apple argued that it was a trade secrets violation, while the site owners argued that they were protected as journalists in publishing the information they had found. The lower court originally ruled in Apple’s favor. However, the California Appeals court has now overturned that ruling, clearly saying that web publications are covered under the same protections as offline publications. The court found that Apple never actually explained why the website in question wasn’t journalism: “We decline the implicit invitation to embroil ourselves in questions of what constitutes ‘legitimate journalis(m).’ The shield law is intended to protect the gathering and dissemination of news, and that is what petitioners did here…. Beyond casting aspersions on the legitimacy of petitioners’ enterprise, Apple offers no cogent reason to conclude that they fall outside the shield law’s protection.”

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Appeals Court Explains To Apple That Bloggers Are Journalists Too”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Mitch the bitch says:

Apple has been given a free pass forever

Apple computer as always is given a free pass by the mainstream media. After 20+ years of the same old crap from Apple it’s about time someone finally speaks up about their heavy handed treatment of not only the competition but towards their own customers. The arrogoance of Jobs and his teams of lawyers is truly oustounding yet Bill Gates gets a pie thrown at him by some wanker in a ponytail.

Apple = overpriced, overhyped, underpowered proprietary crap.


Clay says:

Re: Apple has been given a free pass forever

I agree totally.

It is suprising to hear others say it though.

I learned long ago that if you say anything against Apple or Linux you will be attacked. Sort of like you are a racist if you think Jesse Jackson is a putz. Can’t say it man. Best not to even think it

1984 is here but it is Apple that is big brother.


Kenny says:

Did someone leave the Gates open?

This sounds like a typical Gates trick… not something I would expect from Apple, but I guess now that they’ve gotten a taste of conquering (at least for a brief moment) the Portable Digital Music market they are practicing “muscling out” anyone who dares expose their products before they do.

Two pieces of advice for the CEO’s that have forgotten… One, (ANY Publicity is GOOD Publicity) and … Two, Maybe a little security sweep is in order in your own house… hmmm… maybe?

Jon Molnar says:

Re: Re: school comps

Macs are extremely good at video and audio editing?

I’m sorry, but you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Macs are the NORM for the AV “industry” because of ProTools. Need I point out that ProTools can be run on Linux and, for that matter, Windows? Need I further point out that you obviously know nothing about the hardware and software involved here?

Apple computers don’t have some kind of “oh em jee mega chip rox0rz” that makes them intrinsically better for A/V work than a Windows or Linux-running machine. Indeed, they’re identical ixcept for their hardware not having Windows and Linux drivers. Their components are exactly the same, even moreso now that they’re using ia32 (x86) instead of PPC processors. People have even gone so far as to boot Windows on Macs. Also, MacOS has been runnable on Windows for a long time with the PearPC emulator software.

Go get a degree, or even a casual understanding, in/of computer engineering or compsci before you make assertions backed by nothing other than your idiotic arrogance.

I should further point out that Safari is just as capable of retrieving fecophilic pornography from the web as any other web browser is. So really, your assertions aren’t backed by idiocy. They’re backed by… nothing.

So stop beating off to your iPod and get a clue. Thanks.

I’ll also point out that you shouldn’t be compensating for your flaccid system that can’t run PC games by associating those games with intrinsic idiocy, or PCs for that matter. I use a PC, and the first Mac I ever touched crashed on bootstrap. My PC has never bluescreened, because I know how to use it, unlike you. Also, I hate World of Warcraft and Counter-Strike.

Is there anything you do know how to do?

Do you know which hole to stick it in?

I can only hope not. People like you are ostracised from society for a reason: your genes are detrimental to society.

In fact, you should probably just go kill yourself.

Gawd, that felt good. =)

Was it good for you?

Brian Thompson says:

Re: Re: Re: school comps

Well hell. It seems everyone has lost focus here.

The fact of the matter is Itellectual Property. Any company that deals with bleeding edge technology has to keep a tight lid on their soon-to-be released products. One small amount of information about the latest/greatest products in a competitors hands can be devastating to the originating company. While I don’t agree that any company can trump someone’s rights, I do feel the you all need to look at both sides of the problems before slamming the company that is only protecting its ass.

While everyone is bitching about Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, Apple and Mac, Windows or Linux, you’ve completly missed the point. Hell you’re all completely off the map!

Sure, in their hayday, Apple was THE system for music and video editing. Still is for some, while the PC has made tremendous progress in market share for these industries as well. I have YET to find a product for my PC that even comes close to ProTools or Final Cut Pro Studio.

However, the PC gain is due to, primarily, one person; Linus Torvalds. Now, before I get flamed; The credit belongs to a hugely loyal programmer and fan base, but without Linus, Linux probably wouldnt exist today.

Someone claimed that PC’s are the staple of modern studio creativity (OK I fluffed it up, though the meaning stays the same). Well, you may be slightly misinformed.

Take 3d animation, whether feature films or special effects. None are created on a “PC”. There are more Macs and workstations involved than PC’s. Actually, in most studios, the only PC’s purchased are for those who need internet and productivity functions such at MS Office. The Macs and workstations are there due to the ability to work in clusters. Hell, Chances are you’ll find Mac OS X, Unix and some varients of linux in use.

Hmmmmm NO Microsoft Windows…

True Macs are more expensive than HOME BUILT PC’s. I’ve had both in my 25+ years in IT and would have to say I love them all. I have only had a Mac crash on me once and that was four days ago when I cooked a hard drive. My PC crashes off and on, and I have found those crashes are due to driver problems and not a Microsoft screw up. With Apples tight control of hardware and drivers, it is very rare to have a crash as a result of half-assed drivers. Are you listening ATI?

In the end, it’s all boils down to needs and preferences and their will never be a winning side.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Ix=MaCphile?

I used to have a mac that would have been around eight years old at the time i was using it, it had OS8.4. the thing ran adobe primer just fine even though the video length was limited to about 15 min at a time. i had it for about 4 years and never got it to crash, that is the one thing that i have seen over and over again is the stablility of a mac over windows. i think it took about 2 hours before my PC runing XP pro crashed out of the box. but yes it does come down to preffrence, and me i rather use RedHat then either of the two, but that is me, if you learned how to use a mac then use a make, if you learned how to use a pc then go with a pc.

XwabiXsabiX says:


i would like to see the specs for a tower that concoures a G5 powerpc…please lets see this and if you post something along the lines of any intel chip your a bloody fool…or your just not intelligent enough to use something beyond windows…and they is nothing overpriced about mac in comparioson to those who aren’t capable to construct their own pc…dells, acer, any other company all have the same pricing…they bundle shit you dont need nor want…VIVA La OSX…and to the first poster if you knew how to use your machine you would know it’s more worth while then any PC…shit the price is worth it for the fact of running a unix variant…and kid who claims his thinkpad is any greater has no idea what he has on the desk in front of him…unless of course he is referring to the new intel coreduo chipset that is being introduced…then yes but that is on intel…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: ix=macphile?

wow… ignorance on both ends of the spectrum. when will people learn thats its only preference seperating Macs and PCs. PCs are powerful enough now to handle the job of video editing, etc. It’s just a matter of preference now. i would have agreed with the Mac-folks awhile ago about video-editing being a Mac-only market. but its just not true anymore. PCs and Macs alike are becoming just so powerful to the average user that neither of them will notice a difference beyond the realm of preference. anybody who still thinks one is better than the other is a fool and a follower who can’t make their own decisions. you’re arguing over which color is better, blue or red… its a stupid debate, so please stop.

Grumpy Old Man says:

Re: Re: ix=macphile?

Let the grumpy one start with saying I am as far from a Mac fan as you can get, but the system you just described is going to run you double the cost of that G5. but for raw power I guess your right, that will eat any mac that I know of. But as stated before I am not a mac guy. Bah this is all pointless, both camps have more processing power than 99% of users will need for the next few years.


Mike says:

Re: Re: Re: ix=macphile?

Yeah well, the most powerful computers you will find in the home belong to us gamers, Macs used to be good for there video editing capabilities, but even there they are now lacking compared to PC’s (especially when it comes to free alternatives for software) but if linux ever supports directx I thinkMacs will be gone completely, (and did I mention they are UGLY?)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: ix=macphile?

Hum, I run a five-year old linux-windows2k duel boot machine, and it has been the center of my school and media life for most of that time. It still runs fullscreen video without glitch, and I’ve played WarCraft 3 on it since the game came out. The system specs are a little low for the newest games, but it has a number of good pieces of audio recording software, most of which were free, and a few excelent photo, video and art programs, many of which were also free. Admitidly, it doesn’t run the absolute latest games, and it crashed once, but I was able to fix it using the linux boot up without loosing anything but settings. The computer cost me $800 when I got it, it came with windows, and linux, is, free (duh). So, let’s see. unix based OS. Check. Crash resistant. Check. Customizable. Check. Easy to use. Check, at least as much as a mac. Runs a variety of programs. Check, way more than mac. Runs a variety of FREE programs. Check. Is relitivly easy to program and has universal inputs and outputs. Check. Now, what was it that your mac did that is better than a PC? How high can you overclock your Mac before it turns into smoke? Would you even think of nitrogen cooling a mac? How fast would you get it then? Did mac come up with multithreading? Can you replace your soundcard with a profesional mixer board? Can you get a mac with two built in cdrom drives? Can you update your video card later when you want better performance? Were you able to wait four years before a piece of non-game software that you wanted would not run on your computer? Were you able to select from more than thousands of games any time you felt like some entertainment?

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve worked on a mac. I think a mac is a good computer. There are some people, who just want a small selection of small, portable, easy to handle applications that I would recomend a Mac for. But seriously, it’s time people realize that computers are business, and Mac is just as carnivorious as either Intel or Microsoft.

JD says:

Right on!

XwabiXsabiX you hit the nail on the head. OS X is by far one of the easiest and most stable OS’s on the market today. The only reason most people dont like them is that they are afraid of change or they have a stereotype of Apple from before OS X. (OS 9 and before sucked!)

That is a bit off topic tho. I agree with Kenny. This does sound more like something that Microsoft would try to push. Does this mean that we are going to start seeing Apple act more like Microsoft? If so we are totally in trouble!

If you dont want you products to be announced unnofficially, then tighten up security on your development team!

ehrichweiss says:

how quickly...

…the convo degraded into Mac vs. PC. Both suck. Buy a Cray and then you can talk about how great your machine is. Pfffffffffffftttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you’re talking about video and audio production, Macs do it well but there is more, and more intense, software available on Whine-doze. Say all you want, there are 5 programs I use consistently to produce video on my Windoze machine that simply aren’t available for a Mac and haven’t been for over 5 years. This has nothing to do with a Mac vs. PC but rather that the fact remains that there are MORE programmers for Windoze and hence, typically, more programs. With that fact there are no attachments of “better” or “worse”, only “more”.

Only program remotely related to video that is on a Mac that I’d like to see on PC… “dvbackup”.

Now, try discussing the topic at hand.

Sluricane says:

Re: how quickly...

“If you’re talking about video and audio production, Macs do it well but there is more, and more intense, software available on Whine-doze”

ummm there are plenty more audio programs for mac than windows. Motu Digital Performer, Bias Peak, Cycling 74, and Logic audio are a few. I dont do video. You dont do audio, so take that part out of your post…

ehrichweiss says:

Re: Re: how quickly...

“ummm there are plenty more audio programs for mac than windows. Motu Digital Performer, Bias Peak, Cycling 74, and Logic audio are a few. I dont do video. You dont do audio, so take that part out of your post…”

Actually I DO audio too but didn’t bother mentioning it…so you can take THAT part out of YOUR post. What I said isn’t always what you think I said…sheeesh.

And I guess the reason my friend who uses a Mac is always asking me where he can find audio software for his machine that just happens to be available for the PC, that’s just a coincidence? Or why the drivers for his brand new digital turntable worked like a charm on my laptop but he couldn’t get them to work on OSX, he had to drop to classic mode and use them under 9.2.

Your list of apps is lacking in the overall field of “audio”. From apps that help you learn to play guitar by plugging your guitar directly into your soundcard(Interactive Guitar) to guitar effects generators(GuitarFX) to audio cleaning(Magix) to emulating Moog synths(Arturo..sp?) and lots and lots more….I can’t find 1/10th of those(and not the titles..but any app that would do nearly the same) on a Mac. But your list looks impressive if one leaves out all the other concepts in the field.

Oh, and it seems “Motu Digital Performer” is available for XP so maybe you oughta check your list a bit more…maybe I’m reading their page wrong but that’s how it reads.

Now, what were you saying about journalism again?????

BlackCow (user link) says:

I dont like apple computers because, 1) I cant build my own (I am stuck with the same look and desing they want to sell me) and 2) I like to play good games like CSS, BF2, etc not…well mine sweeper and 3) Its like the same power yet not wicked expensive. Now I have herd that new apple computers have some good stuff like gobs of RAM that PC mother bords that support that much dont exsist so ill give em that.

Frink says:

Re: Re:

“desing” – Nope, I can’t find that on my Mac

“I have herd” – a herd of PC machines?

“mother bords ” – Nope, not on my Mac either.

“exsist” – Not sure about that one.

“so ill give” – You mean not feeling well?

My Mac has a spell checker but I don’t need it for the easy words.

VPR says:

^That cracked me the hell up.

___ vs ___ is stupid. I use both XP and SUSE. I catch hell about Windows from both the *nix users as well as Apple jockeys. I catch hell for using SUSE from the users of other flavors.

It’s funnh how Apple & Windows-only turds shup up at the latter šŸ˜‰

Fact is, they both work for me & that’s all that matters.

As far as journalism is concerned, no there are no special licenses–just good/creative language skills. The only real difference between the two are where your paychecks come from.

By the way, my spellcheck extension for Firefox says my text is just right šŸ™‚

Anonymous Coward says:


I remember the days when the people of the church of mac used to tell me that intel sucks and their processors will never break over 100 Mhz and that the mac power pcs were architecturally superior because of their RISC design. Of course for the longest time Intel or I should say PCs (because of AMD) always retained backward compatability.

What I find amusing about the mac users just a year before was that MACs were superior and far greater and performance and bla bla bla (they were so full of sh*t they can double as a septic tank).

Now, they use intel. Hmmm… Interesting, but now they feel that they are still superior blea bla bla.

Well, I dunno about you guys, but when it comes to laptops, the new macs are decent. Why? Because they are using the PC architecture. The more funny part is that the processors are hybrid risccisc because ramping up the clock speed using risc wasn’t paying off because main memory couldn’t keep up with the high clock rates. If you are a computer scientist and programmer you will easily understand, but if you are not, just simply do this: Take the speed of light, or and divide it by the clock speed of your computer. That is your maximum distance or critical path that you can have from your cpu to memory. As you can see, if you want memory as fast as the clock frequency you need to either do two things: Make it very very wide or parralel and you can throw some latches there to extend the distance at some compulsory memory misses, or put it close to the CPU (which makes it expensive). Oh but I forgot about the whole capacitance refresh issue when using DRAM and the drain speed of the charge. Well, anyways, you mac geniuses were touting about this superiority only to find that it was a problem because intel tried to do the whole megahertz thing with the P4 ousting your original claims but facing a bigger problem -memory latency. We are not even going to try and jump in on the thermal issues.

So anyways, back to the debate…. I cannot even think of why you would say Macs are superior since they switched their architecture to intel / amd.

PC graphics cards price

mark says:

Far as I can tell, Apple has had a better OS than Windows for years, and the only reason the PC pulled ahead of Mac was the way each was marketed. Both camps have pulled dirty tricks, and I’m sure there is no shortage of volunteers to kick SJs and BGs butts. What I fantasize about is a OS thats as stable as a Mac’s but as simple and relatively easy to master as XP, without all the boilerplate bullcrap Microsoft sticks in there. If I don’t want to use IE that is my business. And whats with the inane paperclip?

james says:

bloggers are journalists?

Many bloggers seem happy enough to simply mouth off rather then ‘report’, so do they really want to be journalists and you know, learn how to write? I’m just kidding (mostly).

But there do seem to be a number of bloggers who don’t seem bound by the requirements of journalism. Like removing posts rather then posting retractions and apologies.

Then there all those damn dirty commentors to deal with, so maybe I will cut the bloggers more slack. God knows I would not want to have to put up with comments from people like me.

As for you nut jobs our there, learn to love not hate. I very happily use Win2K, XP, OS X, and Linux on occasion (just for kicks). Anyone who can not see the strengths each OS has is an idiot and should have their right to breathe revoked.

dennis parrott (user link) says:

Re: bloggers are journalists?

while james may be right (that bloggers just tend to spout rather than “report”) i would retort that:

1. bloggers now have a court decision that says they should be considered “journalists” — THIS IS HUGE.

(side note: will there be arguing in the courts as to what a “blogger-journalist” is and what it is not? you bet. will it resemble a common sense argument? don’t bet on it…)

2. most bloggers *probably* remove posts rather than retract or apologize because the lawyers for someone DEMANDED a take-down. people who don’t like what i say in my blog really DO NOT want anyone else finding that stuff and reading it (only to miss my retraction on pge 403). they want my opinion to completely disappear.

frankly, the standard of what “journalism” is in this blooody country has slipped so far that the garbage being spewed by the news organizations is little more than a gussied up blog anyway. there is little straight reporting anymore (who, what, when, where). so many articles i read are veering into opinion by the second sentence and that was not how i was taught news journalists should be doing…

as for all you bored goof-offs arguing about apple vs. pc, get over it. here’s a virtual $0.25 to help you buy a clue on getting a life. HERE’S A NEWSFLASH: all PC O/S’s suck in one way or another. Hell, all computers suck, not just PCs. It’s a question of what YOU are willing to accept and deal with. The worst part about this comment thread is there was maybe 2 people actually talking about what looks to be a landmark decision and 50 gibbering idiots slagging on Apple, carping at Gates, etc. WHO FRIGGIN’ CARES? When they finally cram Trusted Computing into your shiny new box they will p0wn your PC anyway!!!!!

have a happy memorial day weekend…

Cole says:

Apple v. PC

I run 2 Linux Boxes, A Windows Box and an old Apple Powerbook. I don’t do much with Digital Media at all, but my first experience with comparing Apple to PC came when I had to put together a small (15 minute) movie with some clips I had. I first went to my Windows Box, because I had some wmv’s and running Gentoo AMD64, I didn’t have any codecs for them. Within the first 5 minutes, it crashed. I tried it again, crashed even sooner (Built in 2004, AMD Athlon-XP 2800+). I then decided, for fun, I’d move the clips to my powerbook (Built in 2000, Powerbook G4 Ti @ 500 MHz) and try it. Slow saving, as expected, but worked like a charm putting it together. I’m no expert, but undoubtedly, Mac just “worked” for me where Windows didn’t even come close. And on such old hardware!

Comparing the Operating Systems, Mac is certainly a different feel and being a Windows/Linux user I didn’t really like it at first. But, it really seems to be a much better and more innovative system. And on top of that, it’s unix based.

That’s my 2 cents.

Cool Cliftop (user link) says:

Can you blame Apple for being a little gun shy

I am new to the apple camp and therefore I am not very familiar with the new IMAC. But looking at the history between Apple and PC, it seems to me Apple did it first and everything they did, somebody was there to rip off and expoit their work. I’m just saying maybe they are a little gun shy and maybe they are going over board trying to protect their product.

Curtis Wright says:

Apple Bloggers Are Journalists

Anyone ever hear of the Freedom of Speech? It nevers says you need to be formally trained in Writing or Journalism skills, (though it wouldn’t hurt!) If a person says or writes anything they just need to know it’s not a false statement, even if it is conjucture.

Apple and any other company should watch their own employees before trying to come down on the little blogger. If they don’t want anyone to know anything they should keep it secret.

It’s nice to know that I can say anything about anyone as long as it’s not false. Of course it’s also not wise to call the big guy a lughead if he’s standing right in front of you and can pound you into the ground before you can blink twice!

Anonymous Coward says:

Has anyone here yet mentioned “Bootcamp” for the new IBM based macs? It seems to be that with bootcamp, you can have the best of both worlds. You get the Mac ease of use on one half, and you can keep all the niche programs for fansubbing, engineering, or what have you in a partition on your HD…

I’d like to see Gates offer THAT type of versatility.

What?? says:

PC v Mac / Blogger rights

How did a conversation about bloggers rights turn into an argument pitting PC v Macs?

They both have there strengths and weaknesses. Yes, bootcamp will be nice, but, it’s only a test for Apples switch to the Windows architecture. Yes, I said it. They are going to layer their OSX interface over Windows. Just wait for the Macworld conference when Bill Gates comes out and the video screen behind them shows the Apple and Windows logos melding.

And as far as the idea that this lawsuit sounds like a Bill Gates move, do your research. Apple has been playing this game for years and years. They leak just enough information to keep these sites and bloggers writing about the exciting things to come from Apple. This IS how the Apple marketing works and how it’s continued to work for years. There is nothing stronger then word of mouth advertising.

But, once Apple decides that a blogger or site is getting too close to home, they drop the lawyers on them. Steve Jobs doesn’t like having his thunder taken away from him. What would he do if he pulled a “and one more thing..” and no one was in awe?

Anyway, yaaa for bloggers and remore sites. Apple has been using you for years and they shouldn’t treat you so poorly.

|333173|3|_||3 says:

Re: PC v Mac / Blogger rights

It turned into an OS war simply because it mentioned Apple and did not give a good chance for trolls to attack Bush, the RIAA, or the ultra-conservatives. Maybe I shoukld formalize this comment and puiblish it at Shaw’s Law (Like the Wilcox-McCavendish Law of Thread Derailments)

bbfreak says:

Coke Vs Pepsi etc

Sadly enough, this issue was never given the chance to be anything less than a “Mac Vs PC” decusion (Though, I’ve no doubt it would of turned into that anyway). Mitch our first poster obviously thought this issue supported his own dislike for Mac, and thus mentioned such at the bottom of his post. You mention anything bad about any company that has a rival and people will use that as ground to try and convince other people of their opinion of dislike. Someone mentioned AMD though, I’m just surprised it didn’t also branch out into a AMD Vs Intel rant. If people want to have these “vs” decusions they should go somewhere else.

Curtis Wright says:

Apple Bloggers Are Journalists

Anyone ever hear of the Freedom of Speech? It nevers says you need to be formally trained in Writing or Journalism skills, (though it wouldn’t hurt!) If a person says or writes anything they just need to know it’s not a false statement, even if it is conjucture.

Apple and any other company should watch their own employees before trying to come down on the little blogger. If they don’t want anyone to know anything they should keep it secret.

It’s nice to know that I can say anything about anyone as long as it’s not false. Of course it’s also not wise to call the big guy a lughead if he’s standing right in front of you and can pound you into the ground before you can blink twice!

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop Ā»

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...