“No Workable Test Or Principle That Would Distinguish ‘Legitimate’ From ‘Ill

Brian Zick

Take that, NY Times, WaPo, LA Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN - and FOX! And please take note, Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer, Dick Lugar, Lindsey Graham and Arlen Specter. Markos reports on "Another big ruling in favor of bloggers ." Friday, a California Appeals Court ruled that Apple could not compel several bloggers and website operators to reveal their sources, for news stories allegedly based on leaked information about an upcoming product. In it's press release on the ruling, the Electronic Frontier Foundation observes, "In their decision, the judges wrote: 'We can think of no workable test or principle that would distinguish 'legitimate' from 'illegitimate' news. Any attempt by courts to draw such a distinction would imperil a fundamental purpose of the First Amendment, which is to identify the best, most important, and most valuable ideas not by any sociological or economic formula, rule of law, or process of government, but through the rough and tumble competition of the memetic marketplace.'" --- Separate and apart from the significance of the case particulars, this is also extemely pertinent to the recently introduced federal "media shield" legislation, the so-called "Free Flow of Information Act of 2006" proposed by Dodd, Schumer, Lugar, Graham and Specter, which defines “journalist” explicitly: Sec. 3. Definitions. "the term "journalist" means a person, who, for financial gain or livelihood, is engaged in gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting, or publishing news or information as a salaried employee of or independent contractor for a newspaper, news journal, news agency, book publisher, press association, wire service, radio or television station, network, magazine, Internet news service, or other professional medium or agency which has as 1 of its regular functions the processing and researching of news or information intended for dissemination to the public." --- In other words, no scum bucket pro bono unprofessional bloggers. Perhaps next, the Senators will propose federal law to define "artist."

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