Lawyer/writer Stephanie Rabiner asks that question in a piece for Reuters.
[I]t’s possible that Muto violated one of New York’s computer tampering laws. That law prohibits the “unlawful duplication of computer related material … [that] wrongfully deprives or appropriates from an owner an economic value in excess of $2,500.” Gawker reportedly paid the Fox Mole $5,000 for his posts and the accompanying videos.
But remember, Fox News had no intention of releasing or selling the videos. It’s therefore arguable that Muto didn’t appropriate or deprive the station of any economic value.
What’s more likely than a Fox Mole criminal conviction is a Fox Mole civil jury award.
What do you think will happen? Will Fox News press for charges? Criminal? Civil? Comments are open.