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« Secure Instant Messaging | Main | Paying Citizen Journalists »

April 08, 2005


Joe Buck

I suspect that big media ignored this one at first because they thought it was just about bloggers. But it appears that the judge's decision would reply to any journalist, and if it stands, the mere allegation that a trade secret has been exposed would be enough to force a reporter to reveal sources or go to jail. Such power would allow corporations to block almost any press investigation into corporate malfeasance: they tell a judge that the reporter must have been leaked trade secrets, sue to find out who, and let the courts do the rest. A company scientist leaks a suppressed study showing that a product kills people to the press? Not so fast; that's a trade secret, bub.



Alex in  Los Angeles

Not Hysteria, just a recognition that laws matter, and bad law can have unintended consequences. Better to be conservative in the question of giving corporations legal bludgeons in the name of Trade Secrets.

I would much rather make corporations uncomfortable than worry about journalists not having the space (protection from harrasment) to do their job in really important cases. Check out the movie the "The Insider" with Russell Crowe to see a case where a tobacco corporation nearly blocked a 60 minute story by threatening "tortious interference" in an NDA case.

Cases like that are infuriating, and laws should not encourage such belligerence against the efforts of a citizenry to be an informed one. Which is not to say Apple doesn't have a case, per say, just that in deciding this case a judge should not set sloppy precedence.

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