Apple – Good Guys or Bad Guys?

This post was written by marc on March 4, 2005
Posted Under: Law

Everyone hates Microsoft because among other things – we all know Bill Gates is the anti-christ, and we know about Microsoft’s monopolistic tactics and the companies they drove out of business like Netscape. So if Microsoft is the bad guy – does that make Apple the good guy? Not hardly.

Apple is every bit as evil as Microsoft – but they just aren’t as nig. I like to compare Microsoft to a lion and Apple to a cat. There really is no difference between a lion and a house cat except for size. The only reason your pet cat doesn’t say you is that you are bigger than it is. But if you were a mouse your pet cat would be seen entirely differently.

Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation is going to court to defend a mouse named PowerPage. PowerPage is a blog about Apple products and they are being sued because Apple wants to know who leaked information about upcoming products and Apple wanted to be able to tap the email of this reporter. Apple’s lawyers intimidated their hosting company into giving up the information.

So PowerPage moved their hosting to a different service who is not intimidated by lawyers and judges. PowerPage is now hosted by your’s truly. Yes – me. Someone who understands the law and laughs at threats from lawyers. I actually enjoy telling lawyers to go fuck thmselves. So Apple’s lawyers will not be getting any confidential information about PowerPage out of me.

At issue today is the question of who is a reporter and what constitutional protections do reporters have? Is a blogger really a reporter? Yes, absolutely they are. In fact the only real news source in the United States right now is from bloggers – especially in the area of politics. When it comes to getting the real news the traditional media is perhaps better at predicting the weather than bloggers are. But if you want to find the facts about how a Republican gay male prostitute became a member of the washingtom press corpse and made daily visits to the Whitehouse for two years – you aren’t going to see the other media whores talking about it. You have to go to the blogs.

Also at issue is if Apple can compel me as the host of PowerPage’s email to give it up to Apple. And it’s something I’m not willing to do, even if they get a court order.

Here’s what Apple thinks of your right to free speech as bloggers:
EFF’s Motion to Protect Blogger’s rights and ISP’s rights who hold blogger’s email
Apple’s Opposition to EFF protective order to protect blogger’s rights
EFF’s reply to Apple’s assult on blogger’s free speech rights.

And – like any other reporters you have to protect confidential sources. For example, I know that when the hotel workers in San Francisco go on strike that San Francisco prostitutes honor the hotel workers’ picket lines and refuse to fuck anyone in the hotels that are being picketed. That’s a story that you won’t see on the local television stations. Yet if I were asked how it is that I know that – I wouldn’t reveal my sources. (Hint – It’s not because I was staying in a hotel and a hooker wouldn’t cross a picket line to see me).

Blog reporters often are given news tips for sources who do not want to be revealed the same way that traditional media reporters get tips from inside sources who wish to remain annonymous. Often the reason a news source goes to a blogger is because the blogger often has a targeted audience and will be more interested in the story than the general public would be. In this case the news source probably chose PowerPage because they are a blog dedicated to Apple products and have an audience of Apple users and people who are specifically interested in Apple. Where the local TV stations might not cover it because they are dedicating all their time to Iraq and Social Security.

Just like any other reporters, you have to keep these sources confidential because if you don’t then word will get around that you squeal and no one is going to talk to you again.

At issue today is if the government is going to decide who is and who is not a reporter. If bloggers aren’t reporters then is Matt Drudge a reporter? After all – Drudge isn’t any different than any other online media. If CNN runs a blog then do the reporters for CNN blogs have different rights that the CNN reporters who do television?

If bloggers lose their rights then where does it end? When a private company like Apple can use the power of the law to oppress the free speech of bloggers then what protections will CNN reporters who write blogs have to protect their confidential sources? Once you cross that line then no reporter is safe. And when reporters arten’t safe then you end up in a situation that works like the Whitehouse press corpse where the GOP hires a gay mae hooker to pretend to be a reporter so that the president can call on him and pretend to be taking questions from the media – and the rest of the media just keep their mouths shut and let it happen.

So – we all want to support our good friends at EFF for going down there and fighting the good fight. If not for them then a lot of the online rights and freedoms that we take for granted wouldn’t be there. And the work they are doing literally today will ensure that when Apple comes for you that you will be able to tell them it ain’t gonna happen. And – if you are an Apple insider and you want to leak information about Apple to the media, I recommend PowerPage as the place to go, because I will not give your email to Apple’s lawyers.

Reader Comments

I often wondered why noone ever pulled monopoly or antitrust suits against Apple.

A monopoly is defined when a single entity controls all factors of production for an industry. Does Apple not control both hardware and software vendors?

Anyway, I would LOVE to tell a few corporate lawyers where to go.

Privacy is not ours unless we defend it!!!

#1 
Written By DougK on March 4th, 2005 @ 10:49 am

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  1. JurisPundit  on March 4th, 2005 @ 8:05 pm

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