Friday, January 15, 2010

Is Gawker's "Apple Tablet Scavenger Hunt" illegal? Probably. - By Ben Sheffner - Slate Magazine

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The First Amendment guarantees journalists the right to print just about anything they want. But one thing it doesn't do is give reporters a free pass to break laws that the rest of us have to obey. And that's true even if obeying them would impede their newsgathering activities. Scribes on the crime beat can't speed to the scene of a shooting and park in a handicapped spot to make sure they get the story first. Investigative reporters can't trespass onto company property or steal documents to expose wrongdoing. As the Supreme Court first put it in 1937, and re-affirmed in 1991, "The publisher of a newspaper has no special immunity from the application of general laws. He has no special privilege to invade the rights and liberties of others."

Is Gawker's "Apple Tablet Scavenger Hunt" illegal? Probably. - By Ben Sheffner - Slate Magazine

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