Brian says it could (or should) mean the death of the press release. But will it? I doubt it (and so does John Furrier). That’s because the issuing of press releases happens for a whole host of reasons, apart from just the need to fulfill federal disclosure requirements, otherwise known as SEC regulation FD. Lots of companies will happily push out meaningless press releases, with no “social media” features such as links or audio/video clips, either because they are blissfully unaware of what they are missing, or because they know that lots of papers and websites will run them verbatim anyway (which they will).
But that’s not the only reason I’m ambivalent about the launch. Adam Ostrow put his finger on it in a Twitter message, in which he said that he never bookmarks things any more — he either remembers something, or searches for it, or asks someone else if he can’t remember the details. It has occurred to me over the past year or so that while I religiously bookmark things, often dozens of them in a single day, I rarely go back and look them up. If I’m writing about something and I remember some details, I type them into Google and eventually track the page down.
So what does Hasbro do now? It’s not clear that the new game trespasses on anything legally protected. It doesn’t have a similar name, the board looks different and there are some different rules. Obviously, the concept of spelling out words and earning points is the same, but that’s not the kind of thing that trademark or copyright law is designed to protect. As a patent and trademark lawyer explained to Caroline McCarthy of CNET’s The Social, the idea of a game can’t be legally owned — only the real-world expression of that idea.
One of Duncan’s theories (which he tosses out there almost as an aside) is that Mike Arrington’s friendship with Gabe has something to do with it — both because TechCrunch’s posts show up even when Duncan argues they really shouldn’t (because they have no links to them), and because he believes that Mike has something to do with his lack of presence on Techmeme. Why would that be? Didn’t Duncan used to write for Mike? He sure did, and Mike and the rest of the TC team said lots of nice things about him when he left to start Inquisitr — although Mike’s post doesn’t seem to turn up any more at the old link.
Chris Sacca, former Google head of Special Initiatives turned angel investor, has some thoughts about his investment in Omnisio (hat tip to MG Siegler at VentureBeat for that link), and Rashmi Sinha of Slideshare has some thoughts about the deal as well.