A leaked 56-page presentation spilled the details
of Microsoft's upcoming Xbox 720
game console, but what's even more telling is how Redmond's legal team is handling the situation. The document first appeared on Scribd and sat there for all the world to flip through, right up until Covington & Burling LLP, a law firm that represents Microsoft
(as well as several other clients) sent the site a takedown notice. Some viewed that as an admission of accuracy, and if that wasn't Microsoft's intent (which it wasn't), then it's going about things all wrong.
Since that time, Covington & Burling LLP have sent takedown notices to several other portals, demanding that websites hosting the massive document either remove it altogether or disable access to it. On what grounds? Copyright infringement related to Microsoft's "IEB Roadmap," which is the company's Xbox division.
While some of the details may change between the time the document was first written (2010) and when the Xbox 720 ships (likely late 2013), Microsoft is essentially (and unintentionally) telling the world that the leaked presentation is legitimate, and then going about the impossible task of putting the cat back in the bag. In this day and age of the Internet, you don't get do-overs.
Rather than wage a losing war against the Internet, why not release a statement saying that while the roadmap is legit, it was an early draft and details are bound to change? Or confirm or debunk certain specific elements, like the inclusion of a Blu-ray drive? If Microsoft wanted to, it could even go all out and formally announce the Xbox 720
, though it's understandable it would rather wait until a predetermined time for such a major event, especially as it tries to make at least one more holiday push for its existing Xbox 360 console.
There are a number of ways Microsoft could handle this; it just so happens that the current course of action is the least effective, and arguable the most counterproductive.