Bloggers are journalists – at least according to a California appellate court. Last year its judges ruled that affording the writings of bloggers lesser protection than other types of journalism would undermine the very purpose of the First Amendment. Mac News Network reports that, earlier this month, a Santa Clara County Court ordered Apple to pay $700,000 in legal fees associated with the bloggers’ defense of Apple subpoenas. And they paid it!
Apple’s subpoenas demanded the names of the individuals responsible for leaking information to the bloggers relating to an Apple product named “Asteroid”. The award includes a 2.2 punitive multiplier, apparently to encourage Apple to lay off future bloggers. Even though last year’s ruling declined to use the word “blogger,” the decidedly “pro-blogger” opinion prompted Apple to promptly pay the award and dismiss the underlying lawsuit – albeit without prejudice. A timeline of the case can be found here.