Wednesday, December 08, 2010, 12/08/2010 10:10:00 AM

No Trade Secrets Claim Against WikiLeaks


In a discussion of the prospect of a WikiLeaks prosecution, the New York Times considers – and then rejects – a possible trade secrets angle.

The article notes that “intellectual property law criminalizes the unauthorized reproduction of certain kinds of commercial information, like trade secrets,” but goes on to note that “those categories do not appear to cover government documents, which by law cannot be copyrighted and for which there is no ordinary commercial market.”

The article also quotes Duke Law School professor, James Boyle: “If you had large-scale dissemination of a private-sector company’s records, there might be some kind of argument there similar to commercial espionage.”

Interestingly, WikiLeaks is purported to have a cache of Bank of America documents for release which could, at least theoretically, pose a trade secrets issue.

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