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Judge rules Apple can subpoena records of website that published product info

[JURIST] Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg ruled Friday that Apple Computer [corporate website] could subpoena the e-mail records of the PowerPage Macintosh enthusiast website. Apple has been engaged in legal actions [JURIST report] against PowerPage and other Mac fan sites alleging that they published trade secrets about new Apple products; the site owners have argued that they were protected from revealing the sources of their information under journalist shield laws and other First Amendment protections. In his preliminary and pointedly limited ruling Kleinberg sidestepped the issue of whether fan sites run by bloggers could claim journalistic protections, simply saying that "even if the movants are journalists, this is not the equivalent of a free pass." He also noted that the existence of a public interested in Apple products was not the equivalent of a public interest that could override Apple's legitimate interest in protecting its trade information. The text of the court ruling, which did not address the merits of Apple's case against the websites, is not yet available online. CNET has more.

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