The dance between consumer tech companies and bloggers is fraught with grand entrances, missteps and even broken toes, but the story Allen Tsai is telling over at Mobiledia essentially involves the company beating the crap out of the blogger in response to a company mistake.
On Jan. 10, Tsai posted a story about Samsung’s new M800 device, complete with official company press photos of the new phone. The gadget blogs picked it up, hailing the M800 as Samsung’s answer to the iPhone. On Jan. 17, Tsai received a cease-and-desist order from Samsung that not only instructed him to pull the post, but demanded to know the source of the leak that allowed him to get the photos and specs associated with the phone. The next day Tsai took down the post — and put up the C&D letter.
In the post accompanying the letter, Tsai says he gathered the Samsung photos from the company’s own press site, to which he’d had access for well over a year because he blogged about cell phones. He further infers that he gathered the details about the phone from FCC data as well as a recent Samsung press release on a similar phone. Samsung has not yet responded to questions about the case, but Electronista, which also published a story on the M800, didn’t receive a C&D letter. Is Samsung just going after the little guy? For the record, Tsai says he has never had a C&D letter sent to him before. Perhaps it should be regarded as a rite of passage in the blogging world. Or maybe Samsung is just trying to develop the same love/hate relationship with bloggers that has worked so well for Apple.