Jason Kottke (of kottke.org) is apparently being strongarmed by faceless but monstrous corporation Sony over his leak about Ken Jennings’ loss on Jeopardy Tuesday.
Perhaps this should not come as that big a surprise coming from a company so integral to the RIAA, but this goes even farther than that. Kottke doesn’t have a whole lot of details on his site about the actual communications with Sony, but the fact that there are communications even after he complied with their requests implies that they are threatening to take matters further than a simple request that the information taken down and something similar not done again.
From the little bit that I know about copyright law, I believe a company must protect it’s copyrighted material because failure to do so can be seen as giving up rights to the said copyright. In other words, (in my understanding) a company has to protect it’s copyrights with some arduousness or it can lose them just by not doing so.
Sony requested the audio be taken down, and thus, were protecting their copyright. If they are considering taking this to another level though, one of lawsuits and settlements and all those lovely words that corporations seem to love, then the backlash against them should hopefully be swift and massive.
Obviously there are still a lot of legality questions about whether or not a website or blog can be considered journalistic, and this affects the right to post something like that. Maybe someday this will be clearer, but to me, that is not the question here. The question is one of a company that is so big they have lawyers whose sole job is to search and destroy the consumers using their products and have done nothing more than infringe upon their copyright in such a way that probably helped Sony make more money from publicity on the internet.
Does Sony really think fewer people watched the Jeopardy episode because they read on Kottke’s site ahead of time about the loss? If they really do think that then I eagerly await seeing what will happen to a company that approaches 21st century life with a 20th century attitude.
If they don’t think that, then they are just abusing their power and their ability to have armies of lawyers on permanent staff, which is clearly even worse.