Mercury News Calls Apple’s Anti-Rumor Lawsuits "Misguided"

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Appleis lawsuits against Think Secret, PowerPage, and AppleInsider are "misguided," according to an editorial published Thursday by Appleis home town newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News.

The editorial said the sites perform the same function as traditional media outlets like print trade magazines and newspapers, and deserve the same protections as traditional journalists. Such protections, said the editorial, are "essential to a free press."

At issue is one lawsuit accusing Think Secret of publishing Appleis Trade Secrets that seeks to force the site to reveal its sources, as well as subpoenas issued to PowerPage, AppleInsider, and Think Secret in a separate case against John Does (unknown persons) also seeking their sources.

Appleis legal argument has heretofore been that these sites are not run by "journalists," and are therefore not eligible for protections granted to journalists.

"Itis a puzzling and misguided argument," wrote the unsigned author of the piece. "The Web sites have been writing about Apple for some time. The people behind them collect information that is of interest to the public and publish it for the consumption, primarily, of a throng of avid Macintosh fans. In other words, they perform a function that is little different from that of scores of trade publications, or even the business sections of major newspapers."

The piece concluded with, "If the judge rules against the Web sites, this is a case that ought to be appealed to a higher court."

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