Did you see the De Beers ad in the NY Times spoof? Now you will.

It’s shocking how many big companies still don’t have a clue about the Streisand Effect.  The latest comes from De Beers.

A couple of weeks ago, a spoofed version of the New York Times was handed out in New York.  They printed thousands of copies, headlined with “IRAQ WAR ENDS” and dated July 4, 2009.  It was kind of funny, everyone had a laugh, and by now we’d forgotten all about it.  Except for De Beers.

Buried in the online version of the paper is a fake De Beers ad.  It wasn’t remarkably funny and didn’t get much attention.  However, De Beers is now sending the legal dogs after it.  Oddly, they’re going after the domain registrar for the site rather than the people that created the ad.

As TechDirt points out, the registrar is clearly protected from this type of action, and the ad is quite clearly a protected parody.  The only thing that’s going to happen is that:

A — More people will see the ad that De Beers wants removed.
B — De Beers comes across looking like a cocky, out-of-touch company.

Nice move.


  1. But going after the registrar isn’t THAT dumb. The DMCA will require the registrar to pull the content. Then the original creators will have to prove that it’s parody, doesn’t infringe copyright, and get it reinstated. You could be looking at weeks of downtime for them (an most likely their whole site).

    In addition, small time satirists won’t have pockets deep enough to defend against something like this.

    What is stupid is bringing the attention to the issue at all. Now it will go viral.

Speak Your Mind