In what is certainly a surprisingly aggressive move, HTC France has undergone legal action against a French HTC enthusiast website called HTC-Hub. According to the site in question, they have seriously pissed off the Taiwanese manufacturer by publishing an unboxing video of the HTC One S roughly a week before its official release. In addition, the French division of HTC went as far as to seize the handset from HTC Hub via a court order. This entire affair is without precedent in the smartphone blogging world.
In case you weren’t aware yet, it has become much of a tradition for smartphone manufacturers to send out review units of their upcoming devices to smartphone bloggers, many days before the actual release of a phone. The reason why you never see smartphone reviews popping out long before the device hits the market is because, when issuing demo units to bloggers, manufacturers force bloggers to sign embargo agreements that basically mean they cannot post any information regarding the smartphone until a certain date and hour. This is the same model that major video-game reviewers know inside-out.
As reported by HTC-Hub bloggers, when they have contacted HTC’s PR agency in France (called Hopscotch), official representatives informed them that review copies of the HTC One S will not be available until its release date next week. Inpatient and well connected as they were, the guys at HTC-Hub were able to get their hands on an HTC One S smartphone without going through official channels, meaning they did not sign an embargo agreement. Unfortunately for the people behind HTC-Hub, HTC filed charges against the blog only a few days after they’ve published an unboxing video (it wasn’t even a review video for that matter).Obviously, this entire problem could have been avoided, if it wasn’t for the communication problems that PR agency Hopscotch showcased. Infringing videos can be taken off following a single email, but as it turns out, that email never really came. Why take this matter directly into court is a question nobody has the answer for, but it sure seems like HTC and their PR agency seriously overreacted this time. Why can’t we all just get along?Did HTC do the right thing by going directly into court? Did they overreact? Let us know what you guys think in the comment section below!
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