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12.4.14

From Apple to HTC, the biggest tech companies still don't 'get' the Internet


This may sound very familiar - a fan learns something about his favourite brand. He gets to see something in advance and very excitedly wants to share this with everyone he knows. He posts on Facebook and Twitter, and uploads a video on YouTube. And then the giant brand that he loved starts to make threatening comments, and brings the might of its legal team to bear on the hapless fan.
The result? A lot of alienated fans.

What's sad is that one could be talking about just about any major company in recent times. In March, a YouTube user made a video showing the then under wraps "All New HTC One". How did the company's Senior Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon, react? He tweeted, "It's not going to be a good week for you, my friend." Faced with what seemed like the digital incarnation of Don Corleone, the leaker, Roshan Jamkatel immediately tried claiming that it was a fake video, but to no avail.

Apple meanwhile lost not one, but two prototypes across two years, and in the first case with the iPhone 4, had sent police to recover their lost phone from Gizmodo, and had threatened to pursue criminal charges, though they eventually did not.

It's not just the hardware firms that are doing this. FOX went to equally laughable lengths to prevent people from seeing a video of the new Family Guy game, which the company accidentally released early. According to a report on TouchArcade, one of the site's forum users legally downloaded the game when it appeared in the New Zealand App Store, and shared his impressions on video. The company first reached out to the user Hans Kasou and asked him to take the video down until the game was launched officially.

When Kasou did not respond, the company followed up with a copyright infringement claim, blocking his YouTube account, and took it a step further and shut down his Twitch channel as well, because he had briefly streamed the game there.
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