A California court in San Jose on Thursday is scheduled to hear a case brought by Apple Computer that eventually could answer an unsettled legal question: Should online journalists receive the same rights as traditional reporters?
Apple claims they should not. Its lawyers say in court documents that Web scribes are not "legitimate members of the press" when they reveal details about forthcoming products that the company would prefer to keep confidential.
That argument has drawn stiff opposition from bloggers and traditional journalists. But it did seem to be sufficient to convince Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James P. Kleinberg, who ruled in March 2005 that Apple's attempt to subpoena the electronic records of an Apple news site could proceed.