Monday, December 17, 2007

Another Does Case....12/29

There is another aspect to the lawsuit. Essent does want to know who contacted me with 'tips'. Another 'Doe' case was in the media and finalized last year. That was the Apple vs Does, based on another blog and its sources.

May 26th, 2006

Huge Win for Online
Journalists' Source Protection

EFF Arguments Secure Reporters' Privilege for Internet News Gatherers

San Jose - A California state appeals court ruled in favor of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's) petition on behalf of three online journalists Friday, holding that the online journalists have the same right to protect the confidentiality of their sources as offline reporters do.

"Today's decision is a victory for the rights of journalists, whether online or offline, and for the public at large," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl, who argued the case before the appeals court last month. "The court has upheld the strong protections for the free flow of information to the press, and from the press to the public."

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."

The case began when Apple Computer sued several unnamed individuals, called "Does," who allegedly leaked information about an upcoming product to online news sites PowerPage and AppleInsider. As part of its investigation, Apple subpoenaed Nfox -- PowerPage's email service provider -- for communications and unpublished materials obtained by PowerPage publisher Jason O'Grady. A trial court upheld the subpoena.

But Friday, the court said that O'Grady is protected by California's reporter's shield law, as well as the constitutional privilege against disclosure of confidential sources. The court also agreed with EFF that Apple's subpoena to email service provider Nfox was unenforceable because it violated the federal Stored Communications Act, which requires direct subpoenas of account holders.

"In addition to being a free speech victory for every citizen reporter who uses the Internet to distribute news, today's decision is a profound electronic privacy victory for everyone who uses email," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "The court correctly found that under federal law, civil litigants can't subpoena your stored email from your service provider."

EFF worked with co-counsel Thomas Moore III and Richard Wiebe in this case.

For the full decision in the case.

For more on Apple v. Does: http://www.eff.org/Censorship/Apple_v_Does/

While this is a California case, if you will note, the our appeals court utilized the Cahill decision in their call.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

So where do we go from here? Personally, I'm glad the appeals went the way it did. That case didn't change anything. We still have the same problem locally in that the health care industry, one which was booming just before Christus bought out LP Mac, is on the down and out. What does it take to start an hospital district? I'm sure Titus may have some problems, but it looks better than what we have. Is a district a taxing entity or what?

Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe that the courts ruled in favor of the 'does' in that case. There were instances of documented release of trade secrets.

Here at least, the blog is dealing with opinion, and personal observations. How can those be proved false?

Attaching financial loss? Were any services changed? Any physicians leave? Reimbursement policies of insurers? Advertising from competitors? Management or policy changes (Ho boy)! Publicity not from the blog?

Frank, I'd say, from a purely non-professional point of view, you have some mitigating factors. ;-)

What in the Cahill? said...

is Cahill the same as the Stored Communication Act?

I think it would depend on what they leaked--if it was just PR stuff (Coming in 2008! i-thingy with this & that features!) or if it was technical stuff that could be used by the competition. The latter I would think would not be so easy to dismiss.

fac_p said...

Full tech specs....frank

fac_p said...

Doe v Cahill is a Delaware case that set a standard for having to prove the allegations sufficiently prior to releasing billing information of an anonymous blogger. (Sound familiar?)

The thing about this case is, with all the publicity, everything will be scrutinized by not only Texas law schools, but nationally. (See the blog list on the left column of the main page.) Count on all decisions being reviewed as they happen. Talk about an open court!

Anonymous said...

To those who wish to infringe on free speech, the true remedy of speech that you do not like, is...... more speech, not less. From the BOR

That was the best line of the whole article and sums things up rather nicely.

Anonymous said...

The talk is that Derald is leaving to go to PJC. Gee, one wonders what with all the skills he learned at e$$ent, what the main focus of his responsibililty will be - perhaps it will be in the pneumatic dept.

Anonymous said...

The talk is that Derald is leaving to go to PJC. Gee, one wonders what with all the skills he learned at e$$ent, what the main focus of his responsibililty will be - perhaps it will be in the pneumatic dept.

8:26 PM


Not exactly sure what that means, but Derald is a good guy, one of the nicest guys I know. While he was with the hospital (even long before Essent took over) he was just trying to do a good job for his employer. Some might find it curious to believe there are those who simply do their job, the best they can, without getting in the middle of all the extraneous bullshit.

If your comment was a dig at Derald, you either don't know him, in which case you look like an idiot, or you're just an a_shole. I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate someone casting aspersions on your cart-pushing ability at the local super store.

Anonymous said...

7:34 AM,

I couldn't have said it better myself. I've know Derald since McCuistion was still in operation, and he's good at his job. Perhaps he got tired of trying to spray-paint turds & pass them off as gold nuggets for Essent- as a PR guy, part of his job was to put positive spins on the hospital.

There comes a time when it's either impossible or soul-killing to keep doing so. What Essent has is chicken-s*** that even the best PR firm would have trouble turning into chicken salad.

Those of you bashing Derald Bulls are hitting raw nerves of those who know and like the man. Were I you, I'd save that misguided wrath for Duckboy, and don't talk about what you don't know.

Anonymous said...

Amen!! Derald is a good guy. Whoever is bashing him, obviously does not know him.

What in the Cahill? said...

Thanks for explaining Cahill to me, Frank. I figured it was a legal precedent of some kind.

They released tech specs and that was upheld? Wild.

I think the 8:26 poster was saying that Derald has had to specialize in blowing hot air working at E$$ent--not his fault just what he had to do to do his job. Unfortunately a lot of good workers are doing things that they wouldn't do any where else but PRMC.

Anonymous said...

Talked to Derald. With new doc in tow, he verified he would be leaving PRMC just after the first of the year.