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Apple Pushes to Unmask Product Leaker

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the say-what-you-must dept.

255

Zack Wells writes "Should online journalists receive the same rights as traditional reporters? Apple claims they should not. Its lawyers say in court documents that Web scribes are not 'legitimate members of the press' when they reveal details about forthcoming products that the company would prefer to keep confidential. That argument has drawn stiff opposition from bloggers and traditional journalists. This is related to a case of an Apple news site, PowerPage.org, who leaked information about a FireWire audio interface for GarageBand that has been codenamed 'Asteroid.' The subpoena is on hold during the appeal. In the lawsuit, filed in late 2004, Apple is not suing the Mac news sites directly, but instead has focused on still-unnamed 'John Doe' defendants. The subpoena has been sent to Nfox.com, PowerPage's e-mail provider, which says it will comply if legally permitted."

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255 comments

mmmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171575)

apple bad.

Uh...? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171581)

"...The subpoena has been sent to Nfox.com, PowerPage's e-mail provider, which says it will comply if legally permitted."


Is it just me, or do these guys sound like they really wan't to name the source...like they simply can't wait to do it?

And, heh, this post's security word/image was 'Safari'...

Apple needs to be careful here. (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171591)

Apple gets so much attention, publicity & free defense from the bloggers.

It would be stupid of them to alienate their biggest fanbase - but that's precisely what they're doing. Seems more like a personal vendetta then a business....

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (2, Insightful)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171601)

Thats the only correct answer to this, what are these apple people, stupid evil morons?

Concerning the difference between an online and a paper-press journalist, you get the question, what is a journalist? The one who gets paid for it? Do you have to register somewhere? Freedom of speech should count for everyone equally anyway.

From a practical point of view: Maybe bloggers that get troubles like this should subscribe to the journalist unions (or collective), just to have increased protection from the group.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171619)

what are these apple people, stupid evil morons?

Well... yes. Apple officials are as stupid, greedy and evil as their supporters allow... which is very greedy, stupid and evil indeed. Apple supporters are dumb, compliant sheep who support unequivocally anything their favourite company does, no matter how stupid or evil.

I mean, Apple has put a Big Brother chip [masternewmedia.org] into the new Intel-based Apple Macs, for hardware-based DRM and to ensure that you never actually own the hardware that you have paid for and are never given root access to the system. And they are busy architecting OSX around this "treacherous computing" (wonder why Apple released BootCamp? TC is why).

And yet, you will still hear Apple fans claiming that the company is not evil. No. no. no. Not the boy-god Jobs. He would never do anything like that.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171676)

wonder why Apple released BootCamp?

No, I don't wonder. The reasons are many, and obvious.

1) People were damaging their machines trying to follow the recipes on the web for booting XP; 2) the availability of Boot Camp removes one standard premise that coporate IT drones routinely use to veto Mac purchases; 3) Apple wanted to lower the sales barrier for individual buyers who have one or two Windows apps that they must run, for whatever reason: Virtual PC costs a couple hundred bucks, Boot Camp doesn't; 4) it provides a compelling sales advantage against the Dells and the HPs of the world, since they can't offer Mac OS.

So, cram your stupid conspiracy theories back where they came from.

-jcr

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (4, Insightful)

toadlife (301863) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171694)

"Virtual PC costs a couple hundred bucks, Boot Camp doesn't;"

And unless Apple starts selling OEM compies of Windows with their machines, Apple users will be forced to pay full retail price for Windows, which is...a couple hundred bucks.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (4, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171709)

Apple users will be forced to pay full retail price for Windows

If, god forbid, I ever needed a copy of windows, I'd pick it up for twenty bucks from any Linux user I know who got it with his Dell and never wanted it in the first place. First sale doctrine and all that.

-jcr

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171727)

Not sure if that would be legal, but if so good idea.

do what you want at home... no one cares (4, Insightful)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171808)

One individual, buying a cd-key from a dell owner, no one will come after you- but the grander market here, the one that the GP post is referring to- is the large, corporate, lawyer controlled, and sometimes silly- business market.. where 1000 pcs on 1000 desks can get a licensing lawsuit going.. and if they try to purchase 1000 xp cd keys from dell linux users, that lawsuit is smoking depending on which court you live near.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_sale_doctrine [wikipedia.org]

esp the section that reads in part
The acts specifically excluded:

A computer program which is embodied in a machine or product and which cannot be copied during the ordinary operation or use of the machine or product; or

Re:do what you want at home... no one cares (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171822)

The Large, corporate, lawyer controlled businesses probably have corporate licensing if they are smart and chances are they blow away the OS that comes with the computer and ghosts from a preconfigured image.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (1)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171829)

I've never tried it, but I'm pretty sure the Dell CD's only install on computers with a Dell BIOS in it...

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171937)

Most of the dell's that I've purchased come with Windows install CD's that will work on any computer...I have tried it.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (1)

Yocto Yotta (840665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15172026)

Yes, they actually go further than bios checking (no different than HP or many other retail box mfgs) and place a hidden partition on the MBR drive to assist in verifying the hardware you're running. Not my favorite practice, and with the right image and software not effective for us people, but it's effective in stopping mom and dad from "theiving" their OS across their Pavillions.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171815)

And unless Apple starts selling OEM compies of Windows with their machines, Apple users will be forced to pay full retail price for Windows, which is...a couple hundred bucks.

Or just buy a mouse and get an OEM copy, like everyone else.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171702)

So, cram your stupid conspiracy theories back where they came from.

I must have missed the part where you showed that a) Apple doesn't include a TPM in the new Intel-based Apple Macs b) How would Apple allow trusted computing DRM, and still allow developers to boot XP for testing, without an official digitally signed bootloader?

But then... you are an Apple fan. So I guess we can excuse a little of your confusion and dullness.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0, Flamebait)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171717)

I see you missed the part where other people had managed to boot XP on the Mac without Apple's help. You can shove your snotty affectation of superiority right next to your conspiracy theory, sunshine.

-jcr

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171977)

I see you missed the part where other people had managed to boot XP on the Mac without Apple's help.

Of course they could, you stupid bloody halfwit. But they would be doing so without a signed and trusted bootloader... meaning that Apple's plans for using the Trusted Computing DRM woulf be thwarted on those machines. Basically, developers (or users) who had to multi-boot XP would be forced to run OSX "untrusted" and probably be locked out of Apple's update server and iTunes in future. The bootloader is critical to that... it has to be signed and official for the hardware to trust it.

Maybe you should read up on what Trusted Computing hardware is, and what Apple can/will do with it. Though I doubt even that will shake your faith, you clueless Apple zealot.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171915)

Virtual PC costs a couple hundred bucks

If you have your own license, VirtualPC cost $129. I call that $129, not a couple of hundred bucks. The other versions actually come with Windows Licenses, and are actually cheaper then buying VPC and the OS separately.

2) the availability of Boot Camp removes one standard premise that coporate IT drones routinely use to veto Mac purchases

Well the reason I hear most is cost. Apple cost more to buy, more to repair, and more to upgrade. You have to pay to get more than 90-days of phone support. Forget the fact that even with bootcamp you still need to buy a Windows license. Also Boot Camp is a BETA and there is no guarantee it will be free after the beta end. No responsible IT group will use an unsupported piece of software because then they have no one to look to when the shit hits the fan.

4) it provides a compelling sales advantage against the Dells and the HPs of the world, since they can't offer Mac OS.

I could argue this with you all day, but most people do not need or want the Mac OS. It isn't just a cost issue. This is especially true at most corporations who have a ton of specialty programs that work in Windows and will never work on a Mac. They have no use for the Mac OS, so why do they care if Dell and/or HP cannot offer it to them.

So, cram your stupid conspiracy theories back where they came from.

Please play nice. You don't need to get mad everytime someone shatters your world.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (1)

Habahaba (824033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15172006)

No, I don't wonder. The reasons are many, and obvious.
Yeah, right. Let's see how you did....

1) People were damaging their machines trying to follow the recipes on the web for booting XP;
And Apple cares? Didn't they always say that if you mess with your computer, it's your fault. If the users break their computer, that did not cost anything to Apple. Nr 1 busted.

2) the availability of Boot Camp removes one standard premise that coporate IT drones routinely use to veto Mac purchases;
You've, never been there, have you? Boot camp is not supported. If it's not supported it ain't ok for "corporate IT drones". Nr 2 busted.

3) Apple wanted to lower the sales barrier for individual buyers who have one or two Windows apps that they must run, for whatever reason: Virtual PC costs a couple hundred bucks, Boot Camp doesn't;
Normal users do not want to dual boot. They do not even know really what that means. They have not heard of virtual PC either. Enthusiasts do. They know. And this might be a good point to them. The audience isn't that large, but there might be some truth here.

4) it provides a compelling sales advantage against the Dells and the HPs of the world, since they can't offer Mac OS.
Eh, in a way of: "Hey, let's buy that cripled PC where the mouse buttons do not work correctly just so that we can try out the shiny Mac OS and if that sucks then we can still run Windows (no so) well". I do not think so. Nr 4 totally busted.

So, cram your stupid conspiracy theories back where they came from.
No no, conspiracy theories are good! Keep them coming. At least they are as much spot on as there other reasons.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15172040)

Dear Steve Jobs,

If you want me to kill this guy I will. I have made a shank out by gnawing the
edge of my iPod nano.

Just issue the fatwa by the usual channels, i.e. pulse position modulated in
the beat of the next song I download from iTunes.

We should defintitely try to silence trolls who portray us users of the One
True OS as insane fanatics.

Hal.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171616)

I think, perhaps unintentionally, they're laying new groundwork for the expansion of the 4th estate. It's pretty clear from the outright character assassination that was so common in print early on in our country's history that the founders intended the qualification for being a member of the press as having access to one. And look what technology and democracy has wrought, printing presses for all, distribution included. Any jackass with an opinion and a way to disseminate it is probably a member of the press. If Apple wants to keep secrets, perhaps they should hire people better at keeping them. Their other avenues for protecting their creations (patents, copyrights and trademarks) I presume they are already aware of. But when more onerous people with less benign intent come calling, we'll all have Apple to thank for the precedent.

Hurt feelings will pass. But freedom found, see Roe V Wade, is tenacious weed once it has found purchase.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171683)

Their other avenues for protecting their creations (patents, copyrights and trademarks) I presume they are already aware of.

I see that you left out trade secret law, which is what this case is all about.

-jcr

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171718)

What was it the 1st Amendment said about Congress shall make no law...? I forget. Let's remember what the Supreme law of the land really is. The protection for trade secrets are patents, copyrights, and NDAs. The 1st Amendment is the shield of the people, and the 2nd is our sword. Corporations, not people. They lose, sucks to be quasi-beings such as them, for once.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (1, Troll)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171722)

What was it the 1st Amendment said about Congress shall make no law...?

The freedom of expression is not a license to aid and abet a theft. A journalist can be held liable for slander, prosecuted for incitement to riot, etc, etc. The first amendment secures our right to criticise and offend people, not to violate their property rights.

Trade secrets are the property of a corporation's shareholders. That's a hell of a lot of people, in case you didn't realize it.

-jcr

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171825)

Oh, shut up. Apple has zero chance if this goes to court, you know it. Are you even a supporter of free speech? If Apple can't keep secrets in house it's their own fault. Why don't they sue the guy who signed the NDA in the first place? Once he/she has leaked it it's out in the open and Apple can't do anything about it, legaly.

IANAL, but I'm not stupid.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171860)

Trying to find out who it was that signed the NDA and blabbed is what the whole law suite is about, stupid.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171720)

But freedom found, see Roe V Wade, is tenacious weed once it has found purchase.

See South Dakota bans Abortion [google.com]

The tree of liberty must be replished with the blood of patriots & tyrants from time to time.

For evil to succeed, only requires that good men do nothing.

No Sir, freedom is not a tenacious weed but a delicate flower that needs to be tended to everyday. See Patriot Act.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171867)

Near forty years of single minded sustained effort. The forces who would defeat Roe v Wade, have obtained control of all three brances of government, and they've yet to achieve victory. Where they are closest, is in one of the least populous states, and there Treaty obligations, which are subserviant only to the constitution, thwart them. They've all but been forced to abdicate any chance of victory in the more populous states. Explain to me how that's not tenacious? When the pendulum swings on it's return stroke more liberal ideals will likely sweep all those long and hard fought gains aside, quickly. Then all that effort to re-ban abortion, what will it be remembered for, aside from its petty asinine futility and ultimate failure?

Even with all the power they've amassed, the republicans were not able to easily renew the Patriot act. Do you think it will truly survive the inevitable shift of power? No. It is a temporary thing. In a time of War no less. Compared to other executive reaches it's anemic, and already the days count to its doom. It's hard for me not to look back an the real challenges this nation faced and resolved and not be a little amused at the reaction to comparitively small slights on freedom like the Patriot act. More amusing still how we chide ourselves for complacency, and a lack of vigilance in the care and feeding of our freedoms. With the compartive threat, and the earnest way in which these challenges to freedoms, which are comparitively new, are met, how can one be anything less than certain that, ultimately, the freedoms will be preserved. Granted, inequity will be forced into people's lives. But look at all the people rising to meet that injustice and the inventiveness they employ. These are both the way of the world, and the great success of our system of goverment.

Whenever you feel the end is nigh, join me in exploring the perspective of how often in the past it was much closer, and yet how far away it ultimately proved to be. I'm not complaining about the propensity to overreact in this respect. Quite the opposite. It is the fuel for my boundless optimism.

And now Apple will likely lay the foundation for a new addition. It's a beautiful system.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (2, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171664)

Seems more like a personal vendetta then a business...

Would you care to guess what product secrecy is worth to Apple, in dollar terms?

They're exercising their fiduciary duty to find and stop these leaks.

-jcr

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171737)

Would you care to guess what product secrecy is worth to Apple, in dollar terms?

Would you care to guess what the free cheerleading Apple gets from fanboys like you and me is worth to Apple in dollar terms?

I'd guess it's a helluva lot more then a leak (that in itself promotes excitement & buzz). Apple are jeapodising the very fanbase that supports them most.

Lets take you as an example - you've posted 5178 times on slashdot, I'm going to presume (conservatively) that 1/2 your posts are "Apple are great" posts. Lets also assume (again conservatively) that you average 2 minutes composing a post. Do the maths & you've spent 86 hours (3 1/2 days!) cheering Apple on.

I'm not sure what profession or country you're in, but let say you're on $50 US / hr.

Apple would have to spend over $4000 - just for your time on slashdot - now multiply that by the thousands of Apple fanboys out there & the thousands of sites and you get a pretty hefty dollar value (and frankly, that sort of grass-roots publicity is almost impossible to buy at any price)

That's what Apple is risking with these lawsuits.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171793)

I also want to know how the heck do they think that a "reporter" be it from a website or the New York times are any different. Personally, I think that any large site wants to protect themselves they need to publish a print version at as low a cost as possible under a subscription service. That way ANY of these ridiculous arguments from these scumbag lawyers would be nullified.

Personally I believe the only way to deal with this stuff is a huge noisy uprising from people in front of apple headquarters where they burn a steve jobs effigy while chanting, "you guys suck" over and over. If they can get tohether millions to march on cities over something like a pending immigration bill this should be doable.

Anyone want to start a rumor that they eat babies?

Nonsense (1)

clevershark (130296) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171838)

Sorry to say, but Apple can do anything it wants -- including this current bit of litigation -- without the Apple fan base really being able to do anything about or in response to it.

In fact over the years they've proved quite keen to release the legal hounds whenever they've felt that such a situation has occurred. What mystifies me is why this sort of move is considered to be "unprecedented" every time it comes up.

Re:Apple needs to be careful here. (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171962)

That was my thought exactly. I wonder if the execs at Apple that are responsible for this have any idea how much their success has to do with the goodwill they get from the very people they're attacking. It will be easier than they think to become the Bad Guys in the marketplace, and there are a lot of other companies making portable MP3 players out there.

Am I missing something? (5, Interesting)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171597)

Over the last few years I've seen companies fire employee's over their blogs, its not exactly a new idea. Ok in this instance the person used a online news site to 'get the information out'. It seems pretty clear whats going to happen. This employee probably broke a confidentiality agreement as well, these aren't things whicvh you can choose to ignore because your excited about your campanies new product. As much as bloggers like to be considered the new form of journalism they aren't, they are just people (often with overinflated ego's) who want to have their say.

But I have to ask if that person had gone to a newspaper where would we be legally?

Re:Am I missing something? (0, Redundant)

asylumx (881307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171646)

While you have a point, keep in mind that in this particular case Apple is not trying to fire anyone, but instead has decided to sue. Even stranger is that they aren't going after the entity, but the individuals!

I personally haven't heard of a lot of cases where someone has sued over simple breach of a confidentiality agreement. Then again, I don't follow the courts much, I'm not a big fan of all the BS lawsuits we have to put up with here in the US.

Re:Am I missing something? (1, Insightful)

elbrecht (211105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171657)

I think the point you are 'missing' is that of the two different roles involved - it took two people to raise this. One is the employee, who signed the contract with apple; he ore she therefore has to treat stuff as confidential. If those contracts were rendered moot, even security of government agency could not rely on having dealt out who wants to be loyal and who doesn't. Once Apple can legally (read: in court) prove who it was he well get fired, so what.

The other thing is indeed if bloggers are journalists/press. Along with it come privileges and responsibility. I for one doubt the responsibility if you refer to the 'blogosphere'. The privilege of not disclosing sources is therefore fairly questionable and I think it is good if a court rules on that. However this turns out: I think the court should definitely explain this and how to put the responsibility onto bloggers to have them use press privileges - and what makes them fail the criteria and make them fall back on being just "free speech", for which you can not claim everything beyond personal views (and they should appear as such).

Something to tell apart journalistic work (and responsibility) by whoever does it from the noise of the ranting link farms the blogosphere mostly is would be a great help. And the responsibility does indeed include to not publish whatever info you have if it greatly puts single persons or companies (etc.pp.) to an unfair disadvantage to others.

Re:Am I missing something? (1, Troll)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171789)

if it greatly puts single persons or companies (etc.pp.) to an unfair disadvantage to others.

I tried going to the newspaper to explain that SmithCorp was dumping toxic waste into the school's playground, but they refused to publish it even with my photographs of guys in bunny suits dumping 55 gallon drums off the back of a company truck. Something about putting the company at an unfair disadvantage. Of course, it could have also been that the local paper's owned by SmithCorp.

Hang on, doorbell...

Re:Am I missing something? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171663)

"As much as bloggers like to be considered the new form of journalism they aren't, they are just people (often with overinflated ego's) who want to have their say."

Just people who want to have their say, and you believe that a bad thing? You apparently don't believe they should have their say.

You do realize, I hope, that eventually (probably not so long from now) all news media will be distributed primarily over computer networks?

Do you understand the implication of this? How do you define "journalism"? Do you propose that freedom of the press should no longer exist once inking letters on flattened, processed dead trees is obsolete?

Re:Am I missing something? (3, Insightful)

bitkari (195639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171712)

As much as bloggers like to be considered the new form of journalism they aren't, they are just people (often with overinflated ego's) who want to have their say.

So what exactly is the difference between a 'blogger' and a 'journalist'?

A journalist is merely a person that records information, usually for publication.

Certainly, a typical blogger often writes more opinion than fact. However, the same can certainly be said for a great many 'real' journalists and contributing writers for many publications, both online and offline - none of whom would be raked over the coals by Apple for being given leaked trade secrets.

Just because someone has the backing of a large media conglomerate, publishing house, or broadcaster, doesn't make them more of a journalist than a freelance writer with their own website.

Re:Am I missing something? (0, Troll)

johansalk (818687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171985)

The difference between a 'blogger' and a 'journalist' is the same difference between letting some dude with a kitchen knife circumcise your child on a kitchen table and letting a surgeon do it in an operating theatre of a decent hospital. Big difference, and if you can't see it blame your ignorance.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

indil (911425) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171743)

As much as bloggers like to be considered the new form of journalism they aren't, they are just people (often with overinflated ego's) who want to have their say.


How do you define "journalist" or "journalism"? Physically printing something you've written and distributing it to people? Hell, I can do that out of my garage. If a New York Times reporter's articles are always displayed on the web site but never printed in the paper, is he still a journalist? What would be the difference between that and blogging? I think if you took a well-written blog and slapped it into a nytimes.com article template, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

The point of protecting a journalist's sources is to protect free speech and enable journalists to make damaging information public. If someone from the FBI comes to me about a high-level cover-up and I want to tell people about it (because it's the right thing to do and everyone would want to know about it), shouldn't I be afforded the same protections when writing about it? Does it matter whether I collect a paycheck from a newspaper? Are only paycheck-collecting journalists now allowed to be whistleblowers? Where do you draw the line?

Re:Am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171799)

Yes, you are missing something - its called the first amendment. Please look it up. And as for what is and is not considered journalism, what give you the right to judge that? Looks like the only person with overinflated ego is you.

Fairness in freedom of speech? (4, Interesting)

mcai8rw2 (923718) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171598)

The differences in laws that are applicable ONLINE and in RL are quite significant. I remember a time when if an online shop published the wrong price on thier ecommerce website that they were abound to honour orders placed for goods at that price.

That was changed.

Being that the online world is intensly different to RL, i would have suggested that certain aspects of everything should be governed differently on the net as in RL

Different countries have different laws...prephaps we should think of the net as a 'different country' in its own right, as opposed to an extension of the host country? And thusly, apply a separate set of laws.

Re:Fairness in freedom of speech? (1)

elbrecht (211105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171751)

You sound very much like the times when the internet was not yet reigned by greedy lawyers :-) Everyone (on the net) was aware that it was just NOT RL.

But as the lawyers are in already - your different country approach will just lead to restricting the whole thing down to some sort of least common denominator over all countries where you access the net: Maximum overall restriction, that is.

At least over here, it seems. And who would have thought back then, that popularity of the net comes with pr0n, but with pr0n the lawyers come?

If I sound sarcastic, then probably I am...

Product of Intellectual Property System (3, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171600)

One thought came to my mind. In all, I can't imaging any other explanation why Apple would want to throw money on such litigations.

Imaging scenario. Company X (Apple in the story) develops new cool product. Employee A leaks (for money or for fun) info about the product. Patent holding companies/competitors Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc start patenting *everything* possibly related to the product. Product comes on market. Patents as usually get granted and competitors start sueing company X.

What Apple (or any other company) can possibly do to avoid such situations???

Re:Product of Intellectual Property System (1)

madcow_bg (969477) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171680)

Unfortunately it is not going to help.

Imagine there are 30000 patents. (They are much more, alright) You issue the IPlod. THEN company Z applies to a patent and get it. They can still sue Peach for money, because with the patents you have no right of precedence. With copyright, you can proove that you did it independently (and did it first). Doesn't matter with patented ideas.

Re:Product of Intellectual Property System (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171734)

I can't imaging any other explanation why Apple would want to throw money on such litigations.

Let me try to give you an idea of why product secrecy is so important to Apple.

Remember the G4 iMac? Remember seeing it on the cover of Time?

Apple got that cover story because 1) it was news, and 2) they were able to promise Time an exclusive on the story. You can't buy the cover of Time as an ad placemement, but if you could, it's probably worth about a hundred million bucks.

Apple has come a long way from the days when you could find out everything that was happening there just by having lunch in any restaurant within ten miles of the campus. Apple can't just let this go, because letting it go is a lousy thing to do to all the Apple employees who do honor their agreements and STFU about upcoming products.

-jcr

Re:Product of Intellectual Property System (2, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171806)

Remember the G4 iMac? Remember seeing it on the cover of Time?

For those of you who don't remember - you can see the cover (with steve jobs looking quite sexy, iMac in background) here [time.com] (I kid, I kid, real cover here) [time.com]

Apple got that cover story because 1) it was news, and 2) they were able to promise Time an exclusive on the story. You can't buy the cover of Time as an ad placemement, but if you could, it's probably worth about a hundred million bucks.

No - Apple got the cover story because the iMac looked damn sexy - it was different from the vast majority of PCs that came before it.

If you really think Apple would stop getting this sort of publicity if their was pre leaks (with photoshopped mockup pics), then consider the car industry (the car/computer analogy never gets old).

When any high end car maker announces a new/cool model, it will make the front pages of all the car mags, in spite of the fact that the specs, look of the body, etc etc have all been known for months if not years. Why? Because they look cool - and the product launch is the first time the public knows for sure that this is what the product will be.

Apple will continue to get Time covers as long as it continues to make good looking products. It is nonsensical to suggest that these leaks will cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars worth of publicity.

Re:Product of Intellectual Property System (2, Interesting)

vague disclaimer (861154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171948)

When any high end car maker announces a new/cool model, it will make the front pages of all the car mags,

Time is not a car mag. Or a Mac mag, or a PC mag or any other kind of trade or consumer mag. It is one of the world's major news titles. It doesn't have the choice of putting a Mac or a Dell on its cover, it has the choice of putting a Mac or George Bush...or JK Rowling....or Manny Ramirez...or Romano Prodi...or Tom Cruise....or anyone else who happens to be top of the news agenda at the time.

With an exclusive a Mac isn't even *on* the news agenda for Time.

If you do not understand that distinction then you do not understand how publishing works.

Re:Product of Intellectual Property System (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15172010)

With an exclusive a Mac isn't even *on* the news agenda for Time.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt.

Wrong.

Look at the date on the cover that I linked to. (Jan 14th 2002)

Now, look at the date [imaging-resource.com] of the macworld expo where the iMac was announced and demod (Jan 7th, 2002).

I think you need to understand how the publishing industry works (or perhaps the definition of the word 'exclusive').

Some things I don't understand. (4, Insightful)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171607)

This whole case still has me puzzled. Apple apparently was working on a product to provide a firewire break-out box for use with their GarageBand product. Someone inside Apple (or outside and on an NDA) leaked it to an Apple rumours website, which published it. Apple then fired off a lawsuit against John Doe, and decided to drag the website(s) in question to court to get them to reveal the identity of the source of the leak.

All well and good, except one thing: where is the product? Whatever happened to this GarageBand break-out box? It has never materialized, and it's what -- a year-and-a-half later? You can't tell me that Apple suddenly decided to cancel this product just because news of it got leaked to the web. So far as I'm aware, it isn't like any of their competitors have such a product on the market, or that the leak has caused them any actual harm.

It makes me wonder -- did this product ever really exist to begin with, or was this some sort of fake product "trap" to try to find the source of product leaks to rumour websites?

Or is this product still in development, to be released at some later date?

Something about all of this just doesn't strike me as right (besides the whole freedom of the press, and confidentiality of sources issues). It isn't as if this is the first Apple product to be leaked to the press. Perhaps this one was leaked well before Apple was ready to announce something? Does Apple think it knows who is leaking this information, but wants sufficient proof to fire them? Does "Asteroid" even exist (and it sounds like a useful product to me -- with GarageBand '06's new Podcast creation features, even I'm starting to think of interesting ways I can put something like this to use)?

There is something more to this that Apple doesn't want us to know. I just can't quite pinpoint what is going on...

Yaz.

Re:Some things I don't understand. (2, Informative)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171610)

There's at least one Garageband specific controller that I know of - it's the M-Audio iControl [m-audio.com] . And I don't use Apple stuff or follow gear stories particularly closely, so I dunno much about it other than that it exists :)

Re:Some things I don't understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171628)

Reasons? First off, Apple is in court with the Other Apple at the moment, with music being the sore point. New Garageband hardware might be a embarassment to their attorneys until that's settled. A previous poster pointed out people patenting everything that they think might be related to the new thingie before Apple even has it finalized. Suppliers might raise prices on certain components in advance of any deals being struck, knowing beforehand that they're going to be required. Someone might rush an almost identical product out the door, figuring to beat Apple to market and get there fustest with the mostest. All sorts of reasons...

As for it not being out and about yet: they did mention that it wasn't being sold yet, hence the noise about the leak. If it was already on the shelves then it would be news, not a leak.

Re:Some things I don't understand. (1)

fdobbie (226067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171629)

You can't tell me that Apple suddenly decided to cancel this product just because news of it got leaked to the web.
Why not?

Re:Some things I don't understand. (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171705)

You can't tell me that Apple suddenly decided to cancel this product just because news of it got leaked to the web.

Let's see... A minor product like that, unlikely to ever generate even a whole percentange point of Apple's revenues? It's entirely possible that such a product got cancelled. It's even possible that anyone on that product team is now seeing their career at Apple stalled under a cloud of suspicion until the big mouthed asshole is identified and canned.

If you were a manager at Apple, would you look to a team with known leaks for internal transfers? Would you take the chance on your own project ending up splashed all over the rumors sites?

Make no mistake, this jerk didn't just violate his NDA (break his word), and violate the law, he also fucked over his colleagues.

Whether bloggers are journalists is really beside the point here. Even if the asswipe had been talking to the Wall Street Journal, Apple should still be suing to find out his identity any way they can. As a shareholder, I expect no less.

-jcr

Re:Some things I don't understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171771)

So if the product is such an insignificant addition to the i* line, why are they spending so much goodwill and money prosecuting?

Re:Some things I don't understand. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171785)

why are they spending so much goodwill and money prosecuting?

So that they can find and fire the perp, of course.

-jcr

Re:Some things I don't understand. (2, Funny)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171766)

There is something more to this that Apple doesn't want us to know. I just can't quite pinpoint what is going on...

"Asteroid" is actually the codename for a much larger, more subversive project from Apple. Using fake headlines to lure in bloggers and subsequently suing them, they will allow them to settle out of court anonymously. But, what they don't say, is that "out of court" actually means "secret death camps", and that apple is planning to unleash a mass extermination of bloggers, purging their vile, smelly presence from the clean, brushed-metal ideal of apple's internet. These brave souls sacrificed their lives to bring us the first bits of information from this insidious plot, and we owe it to ourselves to find out what hidden truths lie beneath this seemingly innocent firewire interface.

Begun, this war of the blogosphere has....

And in further news... (5, Funny)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171611)

...the San Jose Quicksilver reports that according to court filings, "Segway" Delmonte Jr. said that an Apple director, former vice president Al Gorithm, told him to leak the information, saying that he had direct authorization from Steve Jobs to do so. Under Apple law, Jobs has the legal right to declassify documents, but Delmonte said this was the only time he recalled in his experience when he disclosed a document to a reporter that was effectively declassified by virtue of the CEO's authorization that it be disclosed.

Becomming A Moot Issue For Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171617)

The days of exciting Apple product releases is rapidly coming to an end.

Is anyone really desperate to know the details of the next iPod tweak?

An iPod that is a little bigger?
An iPod that is a little smaller?
An iPod that has a corkscrew built in?
An iPod...

Is anyone really desperate to know the details of the next Apple x86 box?

Just go to Dell.com and see what Apple will be releasing in their next six month product refresh...

The days of Apple as a hip and innovative company are over - they are primarily a mass market digital music company that also is an very expensive niche x86 OEM.

Should public laws protect the self-interested? (4, Insightful)

pelorus (463100) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171650)

Journalists should receive protections for when the information is in the public interest, which is different to whether certain (fanatic) members of the public are interested.

Trade secrets leakage are probably NOT covered by first amendment freedom of speech. If the general public are protected by leakage, then yes. But if the only people this serves are self-interested, then should the laws designed to protect the public apply?

Re:Should public laws protect the self-interested? (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171724)

*DING*DING*DING*DING*

This gets right to the heart of the matter. So many of you seem to be saying that even if you've signed an NDA, you should be able to tell people about those trade secrets, so long as they promise to write about them. The point is that the entity writing about it needs to have a legitimate reason to be doing so. Informing a concerned public is a far cry from satiating rabid fanboys. And it seems that where exactly that line falls will be decided by the court.

Re:Should public laws protect the self-interested? (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171739)

Exactly. We're not talking about whistle-blowing, we're talking about some jerk trying to look like a big shot to the bloger he's feeding info to.

-jcr

Re:Should public laws protect the self-interested? (2, Insightful)

grimwell (141031) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171767)

Journalists should receive protections for when the information is in the public interest, which is different to whether certain (fanatic) members of the public are interested.

Why just "journalists"? Why not extend that protection to anyone who might have some information that is in the public interest?

Hint: Whistleblower laws

Trade secrets leakage are probably NOT covered by first amendment freedom of speech. If the general public are protected by leakage, then yes. But if the only people this serves are self-interested, then should the laws designed to protect the public apply

Really? A trade secret is more important than the Right of Free Speech? Really?

Try this on for size..... The general public is protected by the leakage or the leakage is in the general public's interest because the ability to leak re-affirms the general public's Right of Free Speech.

Granting non-living entities rights&priviledges that superceed my rights is a bad&dangerous thing to do.

It's gotta be protected (1)

LandruBek (792512) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171791)

Trade secrets leakage are probably NOT covered by first amendment freedom of speech. If the general public are protected by leakage, then yes....

IANAL but I would guess that Congress shall make no law abridging one's freedom to leak trade secrets. Hypothetically, what if you worked for AT&T and wanted to make known the fact that the company was (secretly) giving the NSA broad access to your company's switching equipment? (I know it doesn't sound much like a trade secret, but I bet that label could be flexed to cover such a case.)
 
Basically, it is none of the Feds' business whether Joe Employee decides, for whatever reason (maybe money, maybe conscience) to spill the beans about something going on at work. If Joe is violating his NDA, then there are already state laws that will take care of that problem.
 
The scenario you are suggesting is that if Congress passed such a law, non-disclosure agreements would be pretty much unnecessary, and it would be a Federal crime to reveal a trade secret! Bad scene.
 
And where then would the EFF be in its suit against AT&T [eff.org] ?

I hope they do get the same protections (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171684)

Ok, hear me out on this. While I'm certianly one of the first to laugh at bloggers that seem to think they are real journalists and are the same as newspaper reporters, I do think they should be afforded the same protection. Why? Because we don't want the government deciding who is and isn't a member of the press. Press protections should be a function of what you are doing, not who you are. If you are reporting news (even if it's trivial news) you should be protected, even if you don't work for a paper. If you aren't, you shouldn't, even if you do.

Take two cases:

1) What we have here. A source leaks information from a company to a website (blog), who then publishes it. The website operator (blogger) did nothing wrong, they violated no law. The person leaking it broke an NDA, but that's not their concern. They should then be allowed to pretect their source because they are acting as a journalist, they are reporting the news to the public. Doesn't matter that their day job is clerk at Walmart, they are acting as a journalist in this case, thus should be protected.

2) A person decides to leak some major secrets to a journalist for a major newspaper. However that journalist decides they don't want to publish them, but would rather to go a competitor and sell those secrets. It all gets found out and goes to court. Here, the journalist shoudl not be able to shield their source. Doesn't matter that they work as a journalist, they weren't acting as one. They were not reporting the information to the public, thus no protections.

The protection should be in the act, not in who you are. Otherwise we are down a dangerous road to the government being able to decide who is a member of the press and who isn't. Publish something they (or their big donors) don't like? Oh look, all of a sudden your journalist license is revoked. You aren't allowed to protect your sources anymore and oh look, here's a subpoena for their names as well.

We should give anyone who acts as a journalist the same protections as it relates to the reporting of informaton to the public.

Re:I hope they do get the same protections (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171710)

The website operator (blogger) did nothing wrong, they violated no law. The person leaking it broke an NDA, but that's not their concern.

Ummm... so if somebody from the nsa or cia, or whatever that you might happen to know would come to you and tell you internal secrets and you would tell what you heard to everybody else and dog, nothing should happen to you ? You didn't sign nda with them, the guy did, but you knew the information was a secret and willingly and knowingly made it public. Still you would feel you did nothing wrong ?

Re:I hope they do get the same protections (2, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171761)

Sigh. I do so wish people would do the slightest bit of research on the law before firing off dumb responses like this:

Classified information is different than confidential information from a company. Classified information is a legal secret, the government has declared that the information is not to be distributed, and those that do can be punished. That includes third parties. IF someone gives you classified info, you legally can't give it to anyone else.

NDAs are different, NDAs are a contract between two entities not to reveal something. However contracts are not transitive. If you signa contract with company X, I am not bound by the same contract. If I find out the information covered by NDA (let's day you threw it away and I found the paper) I'm not bound to keep it secret.

Oh, and something to note: Even when we are talking about classified information, with national security at stake, the right to freedom of the press still can trump. Look up information on the Pentagon Papers, if you are interested. The New York Times published top secret documents that had been leaked to them. The Whitehouse tried to stop them, the Supreme Court rules 6-3 that they couldn't.

Either way, the handling of real classified information relates not at all to private contracts (NDAs).

Re:I hope they do get the same protections (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171814)

Look up information on the Pentagon Papers, if you are interested. The New York Times published top secret documents that had been leaked to them. The Whitehouse tried to stop them, the Supreme Court rules 6-3 that they couldn't.
Good point, but the Pentagon Papers case did not lay a solid grounding for the public-interest defense. The ruling basically did not say the NYT could not be prosecuted for publishing, merely that they could not be restrained from doing so in advance, because the papers were not sufficiently important to national security (Near v. Minnesota [1931]).

The Pentagon could have brought another case post-publication for publishing confidential information, but chose not too.

Re:I hope they do get the same protections (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15172033)

Perhaps I should have been clearer, that's why I said "can still trump" and not "does trump". When it comes to classified information, it's not a clear case of what can and can't be published. Generally, you can't publish it, however if you can argue sufficient public intrest you probably can, if for no other reason than the public outcry if you were punished.

Re:I hope they do get the same protections (2, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171756)

Not exactly. What's missing from your first scenario is the fact that the blogger actively solicits people to break trade secret law. That makes him a participant, not just a reporter.

-jcr

Dumfkopf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171813)

In this case, the blogger was GIVEN the information without solicitation.

When ass-kissing, don't let the shit get in your eye, it can affect your sight.

Re:I hope they do get the same protections (2, Insightful)

AMindLost (967567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171809)

I agree, although I also find it difficult to characterise bloggers and online 'fan' page writers as journalists. The logic is sound that someone providing information of public interest should have protection as they are acting in the capacity of a journalist. Out of curiosity, is a gossip columnist in a newspaper classed as a journalist? If so the argument that online publishers are not must surely be weakened?

Re:I hope they do get the same protections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171906)

That journalistic prerogative/protection only applies if the information is deemed "in the public interest". I doubt there's a way to convincingly argue that leaking early slides of an Apple product in development is actually "in the public interest".

Re:I hope they do get the same protections (2, Insightful)

Bravoc (771258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171929)

Because we don't want the government deciding who is and isn't a member of the press.

Bingo! Exactly! Yes! You took the words right our of my ...er fingers.

THANK YOU!

Legally permitted?? (3, Interesting)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171695)

The subpoena has been sent to Nfox.com, PowerPage's e-mail provider, which says it will comply if legally permitted.

Was that supposed to be legally compelled or is the email provider anxious to give up their information?

Re:Legally permitted?? (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171772)

Maybe Nfox aspires to be the next Yahoo.

"online journalists receive the same rights" (-1, Flamebait)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171698)

online journalists receive the same rights

I must call BS here. Journalists are journalists, sixpack bloggers are ... guess what, they are _not_ journalists, however they might like it to be so. If a real journalist or a journal starts a web page (yeah, you can call it blog or any buzzword you can imagine) and they start publishing writings on it, they deserve all the rights they had as a non-internet journalist. But if mr prick comes around and starts a page of his own where he writes stuff, he should not feel offended when nobody that counts will treat him as a journalist. Because he ain't one. Just because everyone can afford to have a blog, they will not become instantly journalists. And no, because you can use dreamweaver you won't become a web developer either.

Re:"online journalists receive the same rights" (2, Funny)

cabinetsoft (923481) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171715)

And no, because you can use dreamweaver you won't become a web developer either.
Of course, everybody knows real web developers use Front Page!

Re:"online journalists receive the same rights" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171991)

real web developers use a text editor...! ;-)

Re:"online journalists receive the same rights" (2, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171721)

I agree that the fact that I have a Live Journal does not grant me journalistic privledge, but at some point a blogger does have such privledge. Otherwise, you simply make an arbitrary distinction as to rights based on the medium on which the story is presented. If I print out the story, does the author have privledge?

By your definition Kos (of Daily Kos fame) is not a journalist because he never was a "real journalist", assuming that means someone who publishes in a printed medium. Is that what you wish us to believe?

Re:"online journalists receive the same rights" (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171764)

By your definition Kos (of Daily Kos fame) is not a journalist

He's not a journalist, he's a polemicist (and not a very skilled one), but that's really beside the point.

-jcr

Re:"online journalists receive the same rights" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171753)

What if a blogger holds a degree in journalism, but doesn't actually work as a journalist for a news company? Do they still get the same rights as a journalist or are they just considered a run-of-mill blogger?

Re:"online journalists receive the same rights" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171797)

News is news whether it comes from someone with a journalism degree or not. As for the medium in which they are printed, I'd say that the old paper and ink medium is on it's way out and the online medium is being consumed by more and more people daily. So what makes one a "reporter"? Simple, it is someone who reports something pertinent to current events or happenings to a mass audience. In the past, the only way to deliver news to a mass audience was through the printed or televised mediums either by reporting it as an employee of one of these media outlets or through someone who is an employee. With the advent and popularization of the Internet, you have a mass audience at hand to report news to. Curt Schilling deciding to sign with the Red Sox...very pertinent "news"...broken first by people who run a message board. Where or who it comes or what medium it's told through doesn't change the fact that it is news.

Re:"online journalists receive the same rights" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171816)

Substitute "printing press" for "web page" and "printed newsletter" for "blog" and see if you still like your claims? Why should the definition change simply because the technology of publication changes? Why should electrons be treated differently from wood pulp?

Re:"online journalists receive the same rights" (3)

Secrity (742221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171936)

"Journalists are journalists, sixpack bloggers are ... guess what, they are _not_ journalists..."

That is EXACTLY what Apple is trying to get decided by the lawsuit. Many other people, including print journalists, disagree with you and Apple on this matter. If a "sixpack blogger" (your definition) is not a journalist, at what point does a blogger become a journalist? Rocketboom is distributed as a daily video program by TiVo, do you consider rocketboom.com to be journalism? What about Slate.com? Was Joshua Kucera's (now defunct) blog considered journalism? When a newspaper starts publishing a "sixpack blogger's" blog as a daily feature, does that blogger then become a journalist? Is the writer for a school district (printed) newsletter considered a journalist, what if the local paper reprints an article form the newsletter? If a "sixpack blogger" wins an Edward R. Murrow Award, is he still not a journalist? Was Richard Saunders a journalist? [Richard Saunders published Poor Richard's Almanac, and was a pen name for Benjamin Franklin, who might have been considered a blogger in his day]. I do not believe that defining what a "journalist" is, is as easy as you and Apple wish it could be.

What spooks me is (1, Insightful)

uncle_sum_ (968879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171780)

this quote:

Unlike the whistleblower who discloses a health, safety or welfare hazard affecting all, or the government employee who reveals mismanagement or worse by our public officials, (the Macintosh news sites) are doing nothing more than feeding the public's insatiable desire for information," Kleinberg wrote at the time.

so now the caveat to freedom of the press is: print what you like, so long as what you print is evidence of a health, safety or welfare hazard affecting all, or a government employee who reveals mismanagement.

Must.. Crush... Word... Of... Mouth!!! (0, Troll)

sauge (930823) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171788)

Heck, Apple can't have any of that word of mouth that might actually excite the market about their products! How could they keep that 4% market penetration with all those people talking about their products?

Difference between bloggers and press (1, Insightful)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171796)

I have a method, not exactly scientific, but very practica, to tell whether someone is a journalist or not.

If someone is able to obtain a press pass to an event by company A, company A considers them a journalist.

Further, if a blogger can get a press pass at MacWorld or WWDC, more power to them- they are journalists.

Otherwise, they are not, and they don't have a company behind them to protect them from lawsuits.


$0.02

Re:Difference between bloggers and press (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171863)

The first part of your idea is one thing, but the last part worries me. Specifically "Otherwise, they are not, and they don't have a company behind them to protect them from lawsuits."

That certainly runs right down a slippery slope where big money, and ONLY big money, controls the news. I know most distribution is done by huge media conglomerates now, but keep going that way and you run the risk of the entire news spectrum being filtered through the veil of money and government collusion.

Nope... (1)

g00p (792095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171832)

"Yahoo! Allegedly Helps Beijing Arrest a Third Reporter"

Okay, if Online organisations have the right to prosecute "real life" journalists, AND online journalists, why can't online journalism have the same rights? - perhaps not the best argument towards the case...However, the raw fact of it is, no one can police the internet, no matter how hard they try.
Fair enough they can arrest one person for "breaching" or "leaking" certain information, but whos there to stop the next person. Every second we breathe someone is publicising so called "secured" information. Give journalists their rights and maybe they might think twice about fucking you over!

Heh (1)

Kylere (846597) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171836)

For all their die hard fanboys no one ever noticed a "do no evil" line in Apple's corporate plan.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171875)

Yes, free speech supressing, patent suing, drm backing Apple can do no wrong. No sireee. lalalalalala

Definition of Journalist from Wikipedia (2, Informative)

skinnygmg (964698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171845)

A journalist is a person who practices journalism, the gathering and dissemination of information about current events, trends, issues and people.

Reporters are one type of journalist. They create reports as a profession for broadcast or publication in mass media such as newspapers, television, radio, magazines, documentary film, and the Internet. Reporters find the sources for their work, their reports can be either spoken or written, and they are generally expected to report in the most objective and unbiased way to serve the public good.

Depending on the context, the term journalist also includes various types of editors and visual journalists, such as photographers, graphic artists, and page designers.

Origin and scope of the term In the early 19th century, journalist simply meant someone who wrote for journals, such as Charles Dickens in his early career. In the past century it has come to mean a writer for newspapers and magazines as well.

Many people consider journalist interchangeable with reporter, a person who gathers information and creates a written report, or story. However, this overlooks many other types of journalists, including columnists, leader writers, photographers, editorial designers, and sub-editors (British) or copy editors (American). The only major distinction is that designers, writers and art directors who work exclusively on advertising material - that is, material in which the content is shaped by the person buying the ad, rather than the publication - are not considered journalists.

Regardless of medium, the term journalist carries a connotation or expectation of professionalism in reporting, with consideration for truth and ethics although in some areas, such as the downmarket, scandal-led tabloids, the standards are deliberately negated.

Unbelievable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171887)

A company like Google gets chided for "doing evil" by providing its services in China, but Apple is defended for trampling first amendment rights. Just more evidence that the Slashdot crowd has become nothing more than rapid, stupid, fruity Apple fanboys.

OK, Jason, we'll suffer your argument... (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171900)

So in your world, "traditional journalists" - let's say the editor of the New York Times or the Washington Post - would just as readily publish what they reasonably expected was a trade secret covered in an NDA so they can scoop some blogger? They wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole. They'll report on your reports and let you dance.

And let's stop arguing over the "chilling effect" this case could have on people who are already bound by contract to shut the hell up about whatever it is they're keen to tell you.

I've signed Apple NDAs, and there's nothing worth breaking to the world that I'd risk going up against lawyers who work for a company with so much cash they invented a brand new investment firm to handle it.

Bloggalists (1)

ZenKen (963177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15171986)

Bloggers are just like journalists, only without any sort of journalistic integrity. Oh wait....

Big deal, or bigger deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15171988)

I have for a while believed that I see a trend where major companies tries to go around the normal press protection by attacking internet media. Maybe they have a point sometimes, there is a whole lot of crap published on the net that would never be printed in a "serios" publication, but nevertheless I find it alarming. Why? Simply because if they manage to get the law systems to treat different media in different ways I believe that it won't be long until the tighter rules (that protects the interets of big companies) will be used also for media that are serious in their journalism. Every day the balance of power shifts a tiny bit more in favour of those who have money.

ANOTHER APPLE STORY!?!?!? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15172003)

Seems like there are at least 10 Apple related stories on Slashdot's front page daily. Remeber when this was an actual tech site that had stories about interesting new technologies and open source projects? Now it is only a marketing tool for Apple and its fruity fanboy cult.
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