Apple gets tech support in court

The potential conflict between trade secrets and First Amendment rights intensified earlier this week as Intel, Genentech and the Business Software Alliance filed court briefs in support of Apple Computer.

Apple wants to subpoena e-mail records from a Web site that leaked confidential product information. The briefs, filed this week in a California appeals court, support a tentative ruling by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg. Kleinberg ruled that Apple could subpoena e-mail records of Macintosh enthusiast site PowerPage, which leaked confidential information about a music hardware device code named Asteroid, one of Apple's upcoming products.

Following the judge's decision, however, the digital-rights advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation asked the appeals court to overturn Kleinberg's ruling, saying it would infringe on PowerPage's First Amendment rights. EFF represents three online journalists whose records are being sought by Apple in the case. Intel, Genentech and the software alliance contend that innovation would be hampered if it were legal to obtain trade secrets and post them on a Web site.

News source: C|Net News.com

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