Blogs, (Trade) Secrets and the Law

The case involving Apple Computer and Harvard undergraduate student Nicholas Ciarelli (who goes by the pseudonym Nick dePlume) may determine the limits imposed on what content blogers in the U.S. can publish. The case already raises many issues. For example, in what way, if any, should such limits be any different compared to those imposed on print journalists? (My own intuition says they should not be.) What are the limits on the protection of a journalist's sources? What if trade secrets are divulged? Does it matter that sources on the internet can be more easily anonymous? Since such sources can post anywhere anonymously, would hosting of a site that allows such postings become illegal? If not, would it still be legal if the site becomes famous and particularly focused by the nature of its evolution? In other words, if Ciarelli did not perform any editing but only provided an automatic site, would there still be a case against him? If not, why would personal involvement make it into a case?

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