We posted a set of images of the updated Sony Ericsson smartphone—Sony Ericsson p910i Updated - The Hermione. The source of these images, clearly someone inside the French arm of Orange, a European telecomm, is unknown to us and the image, mixed in with a set of future offerings from Motorola and Nokia, among others, consisted of little little more than a potential product shot and a short description. Gizmodo, being a blog about gadgets, posted it in order to spread the word of an interesting new development in the smartphone arena and to express our respect for the P-series phones from Sony Ericsson. We, like the other sites that posted this image, received a cease and desist letter, reproduced after the jump.
UPDATE - New letter added.
Our policy at Gizmodo is simple: we publish leaks. This is not to say that we will not sign non-disclosure agreements with companies that approach us with news. We are a news gathering organization and if a piece of news or even a rumor might pique our, and by extension, your interest, it will appear here. Long-time readers will recognize this often humiliating trait in our multiple attempts to nail down the future controllers for next-gen consoles. But news that percolates through the blogosphere is still news. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's intriguing, and sometimes it's quite boring.
Therefore, we encourage organizations who wish to send C&D letters to rethink the damage this habit does towards good-will and community relations. The next time C&Ded product appears on our radar, the community will think twice about its value. That is not something anyone wants. There is a lot of talk about chilling effects these days, and, not surprisingly, the effect goes both ways. We are here to produce interesting content on hot topics. Please don't squander the opportunity to make your products shine.
We are acting on behalf of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications International AB. On your web site you are showing today images regarding the Sony Ericsson "Hermione" mobile phone and related information regarding the product.
We hereby notify and inform you that the images as such and the related information with respect to the mobile telephone do constitute business secrets of Sony Ericsson. We additionally inform you that the images have only been published by violating secrecy and non-disclosure agreements. On the picture itself one can furthermore see the "confidentiality"-stamp. This means that any further disclosure of such images is illegal. In addition to that the images are under copyright protection and Sony Ericsson does not wanted them to be further spread.
For these reasons we have to ask you to immediately, but in any case not later than today, August 26, 4.00 p.m. Central European time refrain from showing the aforementioned images and any corresponding information on your web site. We have to ask you to immediately take the images and all related information off your web site and to furthermore inform us from which source you have received the images and the corresponding information.
Please note that should you not follow the aforementioned requests this very much would influence Sony Ericsson s attitude towards your web site and Sony Ericsson would not hesitate to enforce all their respective legal rights.
Thank you for your co-operation. Please be informed, that this letter and its content are confidential. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
G hmann Wrede Haas Kappus & Hartmann
A follow up:
On your web site you have published our letter dated 26.08.2005. As you can see from the letter itself, its content is confidential. May I therefore ask you to immediately take that letter, the images and the related information off your web site, however not later than
today, 27.08.2005, 12.00 a.m. Central European Time.
Should you not have followed my instructions by that time, I will advise my client to immediately take further legal steps.