The Motley Foolis Tim Beyers has joined the chorus of mainstream journalists criticizing Apple for its lawsuits against PowerPage, AppleInsider, and Think Secret. Mr. Beyers, the Fool who usually takes a pro-Apple position when it comes to covering AAPL, condemned Appleis stance that bloggers are not entitled to traditional press protections in a piece titled "Still Not Thinking Different."
At issue is Appleis attempt to gain access to the e-mail records of the above-mentioned Mac sites after they published stories about unreleased products -- the definition of what has come to be known in the Mac community as a "Mac rumor site."
The case is currently before the California Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District, where Jason OiGrady of PowerPage is appealing a ruling from a lower court that granted Apple the access it desired.
"My biggest problem with all this is the startling hypocrisy," wrote Mr. Beyers, asserting that Apple and other tech companies have used leaks in the past to garner publicity through the press. "So what this all really means is that reporters canit publish leaks that arenit first approved by the subject of the story. Thereis a phrase for that, Fool: spin control."
He added, "You want to engage in that, Steve [Jobs]? Fine. But first you have to stop pretending you have the moral high ground on this issue and call off the lawyers. And then you have to open your checkbook. Youire going to need to do this the old fashioned way -- by hiring an army of PR consultants."
Apple has received a lot of mainstream commentary over this legal battle. Some journalists and editors have sided with Apple on the grounds that online sites large and small donit follow the same procedures as traditional media outlets like magazines and newspapers.
More, however, have taken positions in opposition to Apple on the grounds that traditional press protections should be extended to new media. The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) is defending PowerPage and AppleInsider in the case.
Though Mr. Beyersi editorial is among the first on this subject we have seen from a media outlet that focuses on the stock market, the reality is that Appleis overriding wave of positive coverage from all forms of media has continued uninterrupted -- even from some of the same commenters criticizing the company.