I have been putting this article off for many reasons which I would not like to disclose but just recently I thought it was of importance. On January 6th 2005 we posted screenshots of Microsoft’s soon to be announced new OS from the site Neowin.net. During this time our site got linked from the famous Slashdot.org website which created a tremendous amount of curiosity from readers who would like to see it. On January 7th I received an email from Microsoft’s Internet Antipiracy team requesting I pull the entire story. In the letter enclosed it did state if I did not pull the story there would be legal repercussions involved. Since I wasn’t sure if this was a legit document I requested from the attorney’s to call me directly. Within one hour I received a call from them telling me that it would be beneficial for me to pull it. After speaking with them I pulled the story from our site.
Over the next week, I had noticed other sites posting the images and story in which I reached out again to Microsoft asking if I could repost the story. It was re-iterated that I do not and that if I were to they would proceed with the next steps. One site that stood up to Microsoft was Engadget.com. Engadget is one of my favorite sites and was following the case through Engadget’s communication through his website. Since Engadget has some relationship’s within Microsoft he was able to contact Robert Scoble who works at Microsoft was introducing Engadget to the folks in the Mobile group so they could work out whatever their issue article that Engadget cut a deal with Microsoft to keep the story up.
On January 27th I requested to speak directly to Microsoft about my letter in which I was told by the attorney in England he would relay the message and have someone contact me. On January 28th I received a call from one of Microsoft’s Attorneys is Redmond, WA explaining to me why the story needed to be pulled. I told her I don’t think I have an issue on why the story needed to be pulled but more on how this issue has been handled. Some of my questions were
1) The letter I received was extremely harsh and threatening. It spoke about copyright infringements and distribution of copyrighted software.
Quote Her response was that the letter is a generic letter that probably should have been revised before it was sent out. I was told that they would work on revising this letter since she agreed it was too generic. 2) Why was it ok for Engadget to keep the image and story up? Quote Her response was that through his conversations with the Windows Mobile group they felt the image he had up was not too compelling and that he could keep it up. I told her that if that is the case then Microsoft is selectively discriminating my site since I do not have a relationship with Microsoft and that if you enforce it for one it has to be enforced for all! Also if it wasn’t too compelling why did they send him the letter originally? 3) Why is Microsoft posting PowerPoint presentations on their site with information that unveils Windows Mobile 2005 information. but then threatening my site for posting my story? Quote Her response was that she wasn’t aware of this but wasn’t shocked that it could have happened. She would forward this information to the Windows Mobile group for their feedback.
As hopefully all of you can understand I feel very strong about this issue. My site was targeted and threatened to be shutdown with legal repercussions by Microsoft. For the past 5 years this site has done nothing but promote Microsoft’s products at my own financial expense! I have spent many hours outside of my fulltime job evangelizing this platform for what? To be threatened and bullied? I don’t think so Microsoft! Maybe a good suggestion is to pick up the phone and talk to me first before you threaten my community!
In conclusion Microsoft I would appreciate it that someone pickup the phone a contact me directly to resolve this.
Quote The statements made in this article are my own statements not the statements or opinions of any of the Editors or Moderators of this community.
Email I received from Microsoft
VIA EMAIL: Demand for Immediate Take-Down: Notice of Infringing Activity URL: http://davesipaq.com/news/004364/windows_mobile_2005_revealed CASE #: 35967 06 January 2005
Dear Sir or Madam,
Microsoft has received information that the domain listed above, which appears to be on servers under your control, is offering unlicensed copies of, or is engaged in other unauthorized activities relating to copyrighted computer programs published by Microsoft.
1. Identification of copyrighted works: Windows Mobile 2005 Copyright owner: Microsoft Corporation 2. Copyright infringing material or activity found at the following location(s): http://davesipaq.com/news/004364/windows_mobile_2005_revealed
The above material is being made available at the above location without authorization of the copyright owner.
3. Statement of authority: I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that the information in this notice is accurate and that I am authorized to act on behalf of Microsoft, the owner of the copyright(s) in the work(s) identified above. I have a good faith belief that none of the materials or activities listed above have been authorized by Microsoft, its agents, or the law.
We hereby give notice of these activities to you and request that you take expeditious action to remove or disable access to the material described above, and thereby prevent the illegal reproduction and distribution of this software via your company’s network.
We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Please advise us regarding what actions you take.
Yours sincerely, NAME REMOVED Internet Investigator on behalf of Microsoft Corporation One Microsoft Way Redmond, WA 98052 United States of America
Microsoft-Watch carries the story