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The saga of the leaked fourth-generation iPhone continues to unfold, but now the story's less about the phone itself and more about Gizmodo, the Gawker Media blog that drew massive amounts of attention and Web hits by showing it to the world. Recall that last week, Gizmodo's Jason Chen appeared in a video on the site, holding and handling an unreleased version of Apple's smartphone. It had apparently slipped through Cupertino's fingers by way of an absent-minded engineer at a bar.
To those who might have a notion that Gizmodo is protected by California's 'Shield Law'—Think again: Journalist shield laws are about journalists being able to protect sources who may have committed crimes. They’re not a license for journalists to commit crimes themselves. Gawker is making an argument that is beside the point. They’re arguing, “Hey, bloggers are journalists.” The state of California is arguing “Hey, you committed a felony.”