Jun 02 2008

Learning the rules

Published by at 5:58 am under Blogging

Lori MacVittie misinterpreted my rant on an NDA slipped into a recent presentation I saw as “don’t trust bloggers” when what I really meant was “educate bloggers”. I don’t know how many bloggers would even recognize a Non-disclosure agreement or understand what it means. It’s definitely a lower percentage than in the journalist community. The same could probably be said of the term ’embargo’.

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Learning the rules”

  1. Tim Krabecon 02 Jun 2008 at 11:38 am

    In the age of new media and bloggers, based on what you said, the information could have already been disclosed by the time the NDA was on screen, via twitter or even just a quickie blog post, “I’m at an Adobe thing today here are some details more later”.

    1. I believe that the onus of the NDA, is on the company presenting the information. It is their responsibility to make sure that they have explained what they mean by the NDA, and what sections will or will not be covered by this.
    2. Once the expectations of set out it is the responsibility of the people who Signed the NDA to comply with it.

    — Tim

  2. MikePon 03 Jun 2008 at 4:24 am

    I dunno Martin, if you need to be told what a non-disclosure agreement means, I’m not sure there’s much hope for you. (I use `you’ in the generic sense, of course.)

    While there’s obviously some details that are going to be particular to any given situation, an NDA comes right out and says what it means. Thou shalt not discuss this information.

    We see NDAs all the time at work, but we’re techies and I’m the only weblogger (as far as I know).

    I agree with Tim though – if the company doesn’t explain what is and what is not covered by the NDA (even if it’s as simple as “you may talk about nothing we discuss here”) then they can’t really blame the journos or bloggers. And as you said previously, a unilateral declaration is no agreement at all.

  3. Tim Krabecon 03 Jun 2008 at 11:02 am

    MikeP it is my understanding, after some discussion with Martin, that the company in question did not mention that any of the information being presented was to be under NDA. This quote here implies that they company was not paying attention or trying to be able to say but it was under NDA as indicated on slide X “But I have to laugh sometimes when they pull stupid stunts, like putting the phrase ‘Under NDA’ in the middle of a presentation.”

    If I were to go to a presentation and they did not inform me before the presentation or stop the presentation and make clear that what you are about to see is Under NDA, you need to sign the appropriate Paper work or give me an opportunity to leave if I disagreed with the NDA there is nothing (IANAL) holding me to honor them saying this is NDA. And once the presentation is under NDA access to the room should also be controlled, make sure people who have not signed/agreed to the NDA are not permitted.

    But to slip in a slide or mark on a slide that this presentation (part way through) is under NDA is just wrong, and probably un-enforceable, except by possibly black balling the person. Assuming the person is a blogger, who while the presentation is underway breaks out a phone and does a micro blog or a twitter of some interesting information from the (not disclosed as NDA) presentation, only to find out after the post/twitter has been sent that the company considers this information under NDA, but failed to disclose this before any information was presented. The would probably go after the blogger for violating the NDA, when IMHO it was their fault.

    — Tim Krabec

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