Bloggers are waving the victory flag after a California Court placed Apple responsible for paying all legal fees that resulted from a lawsuit which they issued. This brings up First Amendment rights among other things, but also brings to light the fact that bloggers have the same rights as journalists.
You really don’t hear much about lawsuits against bloggers, but they happen more than you think. Robert Scoble offers some insight as to why this is:
Unfortunately you donâ€™t read about most of this kind of stuff â€” most bloggers whoâ€™ve talked with me have already been given a gag order. Break the gag order and theyâ€™ll increase their legal exposure and demonstrate that they arenâ€™t operating in good faith. Remember, libel gets worse if thereâ€™s malice. So, if thereâ€™s a potential youâ€™ve libeled someone, then going public about legal instruments can be used against you.
This lawsuit came after bloggers and other online journalists reported about an audio/video product which was code-named ‘Asteroid'(it’s under development). Apple claimed that this violated a California state trade secret law. After the legal battle, Apple was ordered to pay $700,000 in legal fees. Bloggers win, Apple loses.
There are several different sites talking about this (here, here, and here), and the number one thing that most people are saying is that hopefully this teaches some of the larger companies to think twice about going after bloggers and other online journalists. The court decided that bloggers and online journalists she be given the same Constitutional and state law protections as the traditional journalists, and as a blogger, I agree.
Apple has not appealed the decision, and paid the bloggers in full.