Friday, May 26, 2006

Victory for bloggers in Apple v. Does

In a victory for bloggers as journalists, a California appeals court today issued a decision preventing Apple Computer from forcing the disclosure of unnamed individuals who allegedly leaked information about new Apple products to online news sites. In a 69-page opinion in O'Grady v. Superior Court, the California Court of Appeal said that the trial court erred in refusing to grant an order protecting against disclosure of their identities.
"We hold that this was error because (1) the subpoena to the email service provider cannot be enforced consistent with the plain terms of the federal Stored Communications Act (18 U.S.C. §§ 2701-2712); (2) any subpoenas seeking unpublished information from petitioners would be unenforceable through contempt proceedings in light of the California reporter’s shield (Cal. Const., art. I, § 2, subd (b); Evid. Code, § 1070); and (3) discovery of petitioners’ sources is also barred on this record by the conditional constitutional privilege against compulsory disclosure of confidential sources (see Mitchell v. Superior Court (1984) 37 Cal.3d 268 (Mitchell)). Accordingly, we will issue a writ of mandate directing the trial court to grant the motion for a protective order."
Denise Howell has more analysis of the decision. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has background.

1 comment:

Christopher King said...

Oh, I have been exercising those inalienable rights, and the government and the NAACP have steadfastly tried to make me stop.

Before I was an Ohio Assistant Attorney General and a Civil Rights lawyer (wrongfully-suspended) I was an editor at a weekly and a cub reporter at a daily (Indy Star).

All the lies told against me back in the 90's are being exposed now, and a lot of people want nothing more than to shut me down.

But we got reams of video, and you can see some of it at

We bring cameras to the court for little people; check it out: