BEIJING, May 29 (Xinhuanet) -- A ruling from an
appeals court in California has dealt a blow to Apple computer's efforts to find
out where online journalists get information of company products.
The case began when Apple Computer
sued several unnamed individuals, called "Does," who allegedly leaked
information about an upcoming product to online news sites. Apple had
successfully argued in a trial court that the publishers be forced to reveal
But the three-judge panel in San Jose on Friday
overturned the trial court's ruling, saying that online and off-line
journalists were equally protected under the First Amendment to the U.S.
The ruling also states that Web sites are covered by
California's shield law protecting the confidentiality of journalists'
If upheld, the ruling could have a far--reaching
impact in California courts on other writers who publish electronically,
including bloggers who regularly post news and opinion online without the
backing of a mainstream news operation.
Apple did not comment on the ruling or the
possibility of an appeal. Enditem