Apple argued that the two sites, PowerPage and AppleInsider, are not legitimate news organizations protected by California's shield law for reporters, The Wall Street Journal reported. The judges overturned a lower court ruling that the sites misappropriated proprietary information on an Apple music-recording product with the code name Asteroid.
The two sites were backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"Today's decision is a victory for the rights of journalists, whether online or offline, and for the public at large," Kurt Opsahl, a lawyer for the foundation, said Friday.
A lawsuit against another Web site, ThinkSecret, is still pending.