Apple sets a major legal precedent for amateur journalism.

31 January 2007

A major precedent has been set in following Apple losing its lawsuit against Apple Insider and O'grady's Power Page. In those lawsuits, Apple sued to uncover the identities of the people who leaked information about an audio playback device that Apple was going to release at some point (I think it was supposed to be the iPod Nano - I don't follow Apple news), and stated that amateur news sites and writers are not covered by the laws that protect professional journalists. The court, however, decided that there is no reliable test that can be used to distinguish legitimate news from illegitimate news. The court also decided that there was no way to differentiate a rumour site from a legit news site, and so the sites should be treated the same as the website of a major newspaper. Now, this doesn't technically cover weblogs or anything like that, even though they can be used for journalism just as much as Mac rumour sites can be, but I think that this legal precedent could be extended to cover them just the same. In the next year or two, I think that there will be a case that will test just supposition.