Apple has given up trying to force bloggers to reveal their tipsters after losing an appeal in the US.

The company won the first round of a legal battle over leaked photographs of an audio breakout box, called Asteroid, that appeared on Apple Insider and Power Page; the decision was overturned on appeal.

That ruling gives bloggers the same right to protect their sources as traditional journalists.

According to a report by the BBC, the appeal case was won with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which argued that if Apple was successful, the ruling could compromise all confidential information given to journalists.

The court didn't agree with this point, but online journalists deserved the same protection as print journalists.

It's understandable that Apple wants to find moles who break their confidentiality agreements.

The astonishing amount of information leaked on to the internet before products are released usually steals the thunder from any big debut. Analysts and pundits sound off on speculated specifications and features before they've seen the actual products.

However, the ruling means that the tip-offs to journalists are unlikely to stop any time soon.