Apple Computer's assault on the practice of journalism...

I am a huge fan of Steve Jobs, Apple Computer's CEO. I wasn't much of a fan when he was Apple's self-styled visionary in the early 1980s, but since then he has proved himself many times over.

I am a huge fan of Steve Jobs, Apple Computer's CEO. I wasn't much of a fan when he was Apple's self-styled visionary in the early 1980s, but since then he has proved himself many times over.

Next Computer, Mr Jobs' venture after he left, and then returned as Apple's CEO, was almost a failure.  But he managed to turn it around and meld it back into Apple and in the process, improve both organizations.

Then when Mr Jobs returned as CEO, he continued to reinvent Apple many times over and the PC industry - with his innovative computer designs and integrated software/hardware suites.

Then, Mr Jobs had the genius of marrying an MP3 player (IPod) Mr. Jobs should stop this legal action now before it is too late. with an online music store (ITunes) with a computer (Mac). This is a profitable trinity that is easily one of the most innovative moves in the short history of the PC industry, and one that will be studied in text books for many years.

Mr Jobs is Silicon Valley's Babe Ruth: he has hit more out of the ball park than anybody else in my 21 years in covering the Silicon Valley beat.

But I have to I disagree with him in his prosecution/persecution of journalists for being journalists. Last year, my modest little online news magazine, Silicon Valley Watcher joined the Amicus brief--the friend of the court's brief that challenges Apple's persecution of online news sites for revealing Apple's "trade secrets."

These "trade secrets" don't seem like trade secrets. One of the online news sites being persecuted revealed the shocking news that Apple would combine Firewire support with Garage Band (two Apple technologies). This was revealed just days before an Apple conference event. This was not a nefarious trade secrets divulgence that hurt Apple!!!

Nothing good can come from the pursuit of this legal strategy for Apple - or for our society. Mr Jobs should stop this legal action now before it is too late, imho.

Any attack on journalism is an attack on free speech and Mr Jobs should not strive to create new precedents. Because if his lawyers are successful, then his legacy will include a WikiPedia entry that most would likely avoid...

Here is some more info from SVW./>

In a San Jose court room Thursday morning Apple Computer's lawyers will launch the next stage in efforts to muzzle journalists and to remove some of the protections journalists have from prosecution.

Silicon Valley Watcher is part of the Amicus brief in support of the defendants in the Apple v Does case. SVW stands firmly against Apple's moves which we are certain are detrimental to society and its need for high-quality media.

Here is more information from Derek Slater, an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) whose lawyers are in the front lines of this fight.

Court Case to Determine Rights of Online Journalists

Arguments Set for April 20 in San Jose

San Jose - On April 20, EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl will argue Apple v. Does – a case with broad implications for journalists and their right to protect the confidentiality of their sources – before a San Jose, California, appeals court.

Apple Computer, Inc., has sued several unnamed individuals, called "Does," for allegedly leaking information to online reporters about an upcoming product code-named "Asteroid." As part of the suit, Apple has subpoenaed Nfox, the ISP for PowerPage publisher Jason O'Grady, demanding that the ISP turn over the communications and unpublished materials O'Grady obtained while he was gathering information for his articles. Apple has also been granted permission to issue subpoenas directly to Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) clients PowerPage and AppleInsider for similar information.

The trial court held that if a journalist publishes information a business claims to be a trade secret, this act destroys constitutional protection for the journalist's confidential sources and unpublished materials. EFF and co-counsel Thomas Moore III and Richard Wiebe have appealed, asking the appeals court to correct the error and restore the well-settled constitutional protections for a journalist's confidential information.

"The California courts have a long history of supporting and protecting freedom of the press," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "We are looking forward to the opportunity to ask the Court of Appeal to correct a ruling that endangers all journalists."

Apple v. Does (O'Grady v. Superior Court)

April 20, 9:30am

333 W. Santa Clara St. Suite 1060
San Jose, CA 95113

For more on the Apple v. Does case



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