So that's how Engadget gets its exclusives! When Engadget managing editor Ryan Block showed up five minutes late to a multi-outlet press event with Microsoft Xbox exec Peter Moore, he must have seen blogger Andru Edwards filming the interview. But when Andru later posted the video on Engadget competitor Gear Live, Ryan sent Andru a little note. Andru quotes on his blog:
Hope you're well. Saw your video; needed you to know that Chris, Vlad, nor I consented to being filmed by GearLive (nor anyone else), and would appreciate being removed and not named. Thanks!
Seems fair, but it's actually not — U.S. law doesn't require consent for appearing in non-defamatory, non-commercial (i.e. non-product-endorsing) video, especially when the subject knows he's being recorded.
Andru, confused at Ryan's request, e-mailed a Microsoft representative, who replied:
Hi Andru - after doing a quick check, there is no reason for you to remove the video. You are free to keep it on your site. Thanks for checking in with me on this.
But then Andru heard from Jason Calacanis founder and manager of Engadget owner Weblogs, Inc.:
Why would you run that video without our consent?
It's one thing for a blog editor to go overboard on consent requests. It's quite another for an executive overseeing over 100 bloggers — an executive who's worked in media for over a decade — to make that mistake.
But it's doubtful that this is some devious move to kill Engadget's competition. Every blogger gets overprotective now and then, and it's probably just a big misunderstanding. (Granted, Andru's legally in the clear as long as Ryan knew the video was being recorded.)
Still, as nice as Ryan seems, did this need to go all the way to his boss? Why does the public editor of a leading tech blog care about one little video?
Updates after the jump.
Engadget Upset At E3 Video Appearance [Andru Edwards weblog]
The Bleeding Edge 013: Interview: Microsoft's Peter Moore [Gear Live]
UPDATE: Ryan defends himself on Digg:
I did not request Andru pull his video completely, I requested he pull references to Engadget, Joystiq, and our appearances from his video. I don't see anything wrong with this. He's free to use Moore's answers to my questions, that's totally cool, but I didn't consent to being on his video, which was taken during an exclusive session with Moore. Can someone please tell ME why I'm not allowed to ask to not appear in someone's video without having previously consented?