World Cup lawyers go Boing Boing

bakermckenzie.jpgWhat have Baker & McKenzie LLP and King Canute got in common?

They both tried to turn back the tide. But contrary to popular belief King Canute tried to do so only to demonstrate that even a king’s powers have limits. The lawyers at Baker & McKenzie think they can actually do it.

The lawyers at Baker & McKenzie have sent a warning letter to Boing Boing saying they will be watching the site for illegal use of any FIFA World Cup video clips.

Had the lawyers engaged brain before fees they would have realised that firstly Boing Boing would publish the letter and secondly that it would act like a red rag to a bull and encourage thousands of other sites to do exactly that. Or maybe not so stupid – even more fees in tracking all those sites down. Although it is a wonder that the lawyers at Baker & McKenzie have time to do any law in between sending naughty emails.

The serious side to this story is that no single profession should be arrogant enough to think they can be the primary adviser to a client. Lawyers need to work alongside public relations professional who need to work with accountants. Had the lawyers at Baker & McKenzie taken proper counsel they might not have been so stupid.

I don’t read Boing Boing very often so thanks to Craig McGinty at Connected Media North West for the tip.

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About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • http://theblogconsultancy.typepad.com Drew B's take on tech PR

    Another internet-related blunder from the same law firm. I can't wait so see how many 'illegal' clips go online. Try typing "Peter Crouch" into YouTube… if Baker & McKenzie have their way they'll be suing a lot of people this summer.

  • http://strumpette.com Amanda Chapel

    First off, Baker & McKenzie did the right and responsible thing.

    That aside, I think it is far more telling the position you take Bruce. See… bloggers are a hare’s breath away demographically speaking from the various music copyright thieves. The subtle consensus is: It’s our net. We are bigger. You can’t catch us. It’s our world now and we will do what we want without consequence.

    Excuse me but Baker & McKenzie will provide the proper forum so as you and others can tell that noise to a judge.

    - Amanda Chapel

  • Anonymous Coward

    Amanda,

    Frankly, what you say is crap.

    Thank you for your attention.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/stuartbrucepr/ Stuart Bruce – Wolfstar

    Amanda, I wouldn't be as rude as Anonymous Coward but I think you're missing the point. I'm not defending any breach of copyright but actually pointing out that you have to behave appropriately for the venue. You act differently when you go to the theatre than you do if you go to a football match. Baker & Mckenzie don't know how to behave properly.

  • http://strumpette.com Amanda Chapel

    But I think you are missing the point. They hold the cards. They've got the law and money on their side. Public perception is not, and doesn't need to be, a priority. They are doing what they need to do to protect a client's interest. Actually, giving notice is what they are required to do.

    - Amanda

  • http://simoncollister.typepad.com/simonsays Simon Collister

    Amanda, if I push myself to my most pragmatic then I agree with you. You are essentially correct. But being essential correct never really got anyone any further than the status quo.

    You're right to question some elements of gung-ho web 2.0-ism, but if everyone said "phooey," (there's an Americanism!) "this whole intenet thing is a waste of time." then where would we be?

  • http://theblogconsultancy.typepad.com/techpr/2006/06/the_heavy_hand_.html Drew B’s take on tech PR

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    The heavy hand of FIFA

    Remember the law firm whose £150,000 a year IT lawyer repeatedly demanded his mourning secretary for £4 for a dry cleaning bill to get rid of the stain on his trousers she made with spilt ketchup? She was at her

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  • http://theblogconsultancy.typepad.com/techpr/2006/06/the_heavy_hand_.html Drew B’s take on tech PR

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    Remember the law firm whose £150,000 a year IT lawyer repeatedly demanded his mourning secretary for £4 for a dry cleaning bill to get rid of the stain on his trousers she made with spilt ketchup? She was at her