I may have spoken out of turn the other day in my marginally articulate rant: Apple's Anti-Blogger Suit Sucks. Apparently, the blogger vs. journalist issue was not what Apple was hot about. The judgement in Apple's favor was about violation of trade-secret law. John Gruber of Daring Fireball fame set me straight.
it is illegal to induce someone to spill the beans on a trade secret they are legally obligated not to reveal. It is also illegal to publish or share information which you know to be a trade secret, regardless how you learned about it. It’s not a question of whether Think Secret’s reporters are “journalists”, or if they are, whether they are good or bad journalists. It doesn’t matter because there are no special exemptions under trade secret law for journalists.However, danah boyd posted a compelling analysis with a different take on the whole thing today that raises another important issue:
they ruled that no one (digital or paper) journalists have the privilege to protect their sources when trade secrets are involved. In other words, the rights of companies trump the First...the reason that the First exists is to protect powerful systems from oppressing the people under their structure. In other words, it's OK when information from inside the government is leaked because it's a matter of checks and balances. But there are no checks and balances for corporations right?Both of these posts are well worth checking out.