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California judge says journalist shield laws don't apply to bloggers

[JURIST] Judge James Kleinberg of the Superior Court of California, Santa Clara County [official website] issued a preliminary ruling Thursday holding that three computer industry blogs - PowerPage, Apple Insider, and Think Secret - could not claim the same First Amendment {Cornell LII backgrounder] and California Shield Law [First Amendment Project overview] protections that allow journalists to refuse to reveal their sources. The weblogs had published alleged trade secrets about upcoming product releases from Apple Computer [corporate website]. Apple has demanded that the bloggers reveal the sources of their information [PDF complaint; additional case documentation]. A further hearing in the case is set for Friday. The outcome of the case is expected to have a direct impact on whether bloggers and other "online journalists" have the same privileges and protections as those writing for established newspapers and magazines. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and other activist groups oppose the Apple action [EFF statement]. CNET has more.

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