My Thoughts: Jason vs. Molly, cNet vs. Engadget

I received some email about Jason Calacanis’ post about cNet trying to take down Engadget, in response to Molly Wood’s Buzz Report. For those that emailed me I told you to just wait a couple of days and watch this space, you’ll get my response. Here it is. See, I was waiting on something I knew was going to happen.

I knew there was no way the Xbox 360 was going to be launched without Engadget posting some pictures they weren’t supposed to post. They have a history of doing this, so why shouldn’t they do it this time? They state they can’t mention how they got the pictures but they are posted (crappy quality pictures at that), it’s spoiled the launch suprise that many people are working hard to implement and now me and thousands of other people have this ugly picture of the Xbox 360 in their minds. As you can see from the comments most people think its ugly.

What sucks about this? There are legitmate sites that are respecting the NDA and aren’t posting anything until they are able to do so…because they respect the law. I’m not saying Engadget isn’t legitimate. I’m saying if someone took those pictures and broke their NDA to do it, then Microsoft should go after them with every legal means possible and if that means suing Engadget in the process, so be it.

But nothing ever happens to Engadget when they do this. They can receive legal letters to take something down, and they don’t, but nothing happens to them. Yet other sites better take it down when requested otherwise legal action will happen. What’s up with that?

That’s what Molly’s talking about in her column, and she’s right – things need to change. Like yesterday. If there is no respect for an NDA, why have one? Even the playing ground – either enforce NDAs or get rid of them.

Of course it could be that Engadget did nothing wrong, no NDA was broken and the person taking the picture had the full right to take it but just wants to remain anonymous. That’s fair – that’s having an “in” high enough on the ladder…hey sometimes it’s all about how you know. Sometimes the garbage man who happens to be on a site that no one thinks about that happens to have a cell phone and access to a sensitive area is a gold mine (no I’m not saying that’s the case – but it’s a possibility).