Apple lost a court appeal yesterday (May 26, 2006) which upheld the protection of the rights of bloggers to not have to disclose their sources. The decision puts bloggers into the same class as traditional journalists and further blurs the lines between bloggers and mainstream media journalists.
I think this is an extremely important victory for bloggers. I am happy to see bloggers protected. If bloggers are protected like traditional media it makes me wonder, do bloggers:
- Need to follow the same journalistic code of conduct?
- Need to check sources?
- Need to ensure that that they have permission before using copyrighted photos, documents, quotes, materials etc?
These are all things that concern me since I do not want the grassroots style of blogging to have to conform to traditional media standards. Of course the blogosphere is rejoicing the ruling for blogger rights. For a few perspectives from the blogosphere check out the views of Dave Winer, Doc Searls and Mike from Techdirt. Finally, for a related First Amendment ruling check out this previous item on Somewhat Frank.