Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Apple ordered to pay journalists' legal fees

Apple has been ordered to pay more than $750,000 to lawyers who defended online journalists against the company's failed attempt to force them to reveal sources of confidential information, Bloomberg News is reporting. Apple, maker of the iPod music player, subpoenaed the e-mail provider of blogger Jason O'Grady, who posted information in 2004 about an unreleased Apple product. A state appeals court ruled May 26 that online writers, like traditional print reporters, are protected by the state's reporter shield law and the First Amendment right to free speech. The lawyers "succeeded in enforcing important rights affecting the public interest," Judge Kevin McKenney wrote in a Jan. 11 order. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based privacy rights group, will be paid $421,333 for legal costs and two other lawyers will get $328,981, Bloomberg reported.

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