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Blogs Given Same Special Rights as Press: None

A judge found against three blogs in a case brought by Apple Computer designed to uncover the source of news leaks from the secretive Cupertino computing giant. Watched by bloggers the world over, the ruling behind the decision poses less of a threat to the status of blogs than many have made out, instead attacking the basis of a California law that attempted to carve out additional press rights. The judge held that news vehicles - blogs or otherwise - don't have the right to hold secret sources that could not have given them information in any manner other than an illegal one. That area of law has proven very fluid in the past decade in the U.S., with more and more reporters finding themselves forced by judges to go back on promises of confidentiality or face jail. Some states, like California, made special laws to protect anonymous sources, but many of them haven't been well tested in the courts. The good news for bloggers was that their publications were not singled out for lesser protections. The bad news for bloggers is that the judge removed all protections for all publications. Lawyers for the three blogs said they would appeal the ruling.

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