Arresting your customers isn’t the best PR
Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on September 29, 2010
One of the great things about the Internet is accessible information. The point is that it is a network of interconnectivity… that’s why it’s called the INTERnet.
Many people still don’t get this. So sometimes old articles disappear. Which can lead to broken links.
The Chicago Sun Times has removed the articles about Samantha Tumpach, the 22 year old Chicago woman who spent two nights in jail for videorecording her sister’s 29th birthday party.
The family had decided to celebrate at the New Moon screening as part of the promotional Muvico Theatre Birthday Party package.
Ms. Tunpach camcorded the family party, including snippets of ads and trailers and the movie, all of which included her own running voice-over commentary. In total, less than four minutes of potentially copyright infringing footage was recorded in the theater. Although clearly not engaged in making a bootleg video cam copy of the movie, the young woman was arrested and spent two nights in jail before being released. She was charged on November 2nd, 2009, and charges weren’t dropped until December 11th, 2009.
Statements made by movie company executives in the articles I had linked to indicated they believed this arrest was justified under existing US law (DMCA).
The Press Association story about the New Moon Director trying to make it up to her is also gone. (Funny how that served to point up the corporate heartlessness.)
I don’t know whether the articles being expunged is a case of the Chicago Sun-Times not grasping the way the Internet is supposed to work, or if the embarassment factor (the theater chain, the movie company and the laws that allowed the arrest come out of this look very bad) had anything to do with it. Either way, my blog posts are left riddled with broken links as a result. Even the Wayback Machine can’t help (lending credence to the embarassment theory)
Fortunately TorrentFreak understands the idea that what goes up should stay up, so their coverage of this travesty is still out there. TorrentFreak: New Moon Pirate Camming Farce Comes To An End
If the traditional news media are going to take advantage if the Internet they need to get with the program. It’s a brave new world; vast amounts of digital storage is incredibly cheap; there is no good reason to expunge old news stories.
Today’s news is tomorrow’s history.
Leaving them online is far cheaper than the cost of maintaining an old-style newspaper morgue.
Taking controversial stories like this offline can leave a bad impression.