Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bloggers 2 Lawyers 0

Macrumors reports:

In rendering his decision Judge James Klienberg said, "we can think of no workable test or principle that would distinguish 'legitimate' from 'illegitimate' news. Any attempt by courts to draw such a distinction would imperil a fundamental purpose of the First Amendment, which is to identify the best, most important, and most valuable ideas not by any sociological or economic formula, rule of law, or process of government, but through the rough and tumble competition of the memetic marketplace."


As many regular readers may know, I was sued for an article on this website back in January. In April, I had an injunction hearing ... which I won the decision "to keep the article up".

While I'm happy that this decision will help my case immensely ... I do think that my case is different and that the bloggers in this case should have lost. They were reporting illegal trade secret information that was a direct violation of the Uniform Trade Secret Act.

Followups:

Reputation Management Software?

Are Bloggers Journalists?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's right. You're much smarter than a Judge who had access to all of the evidence in the case. It's plainly obvious that the Judge made a grevious error in proclaiming the innocence of those pesky news sites.

fixyourthinking said...

Same troll ... different post. I'll leave this one.

Anonymous said...

Because Apple's lawyers chose to pursue the "bloggers are not journalists" tack instead of focusing on the "exposing trade secrets is not protected" tack, their client lost what otherwise could have been a landmark case. The practice of disclosing trade secrets and enticing others to help do it is dispicable and has no place in journalism of any kind. This type of reporting is even lower than tabloid journalism.

A company's ability to keep confidential products and research under wraps is their lifeline to prosperity. Its bad enough that after someone innovates, others shamelessly immitate and dig into the market share that the innovative company has worked so hard to achieve.

While "trade secrets" are definitely something that people have a high level of interest in and will flock to a news source for, they should not be viewed as something that is for sale and something to be frivolously toyed with.

Whether trade secrets are disclosed by CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal, the Today Show, Time or Newsweek magazine or the New York Times or any of several bloggers on the internet, the activity is CRIMINAL. It doesn't matter if the person committing such a crime has the highest of credentials, it is still criminal.

Note that I do not fault Apple computers for the way this case was pursued or turned out. I fault the lawyers. It appears to me that in this case and the case that the editor of this site is involved in, the lawyers thought that it was going to be a classic case of Big Law Firm vs. Little Everyday Guy. These kind of bully tactics are wrong in this first place, but become even more wrong when they compromise the client (whether they are in the right or not) by taking the wrong tack. This, in my opinion, is what happened to Apple in this case.