I love it when old style management runs into the buzzsaw of web enabled PR. Consider Creative, makers of sound cards for PCs. Their latest cards have problems on Vista (shocker, that), and they've been slow to push out updated drivers. Enter the community of Creative users - one of them created working drivers for the cards.
Now, this is a good thing for Creative, as it gives them a working solution for Vista. An intelligent response might be something like "we can't support this community driver, but people say it works. So long as you willing to take the risk, it might be a good solution for you until we have an official one". An even better response might be a call to the developer, so you could see whether he could help accelerate the efforts your staff is making.
That would assume cognizance of the way things work now though. Instead, Creative's VP of Corporate Communications decided that using legaleze would be a great way of dealing with this, so - on a Friday, figuring the issue would die over the weekend he pushed this out:
Although you say you have discontinued your practice of distributing unauthorized software packages for Creative sound cards we have seen evidence of them elsewhere along with donation requests from you. We also note in a recent post of yours on these forums, that you appear to be contemplating the release of further packages. To be clear, we are asking you to respect our legal rights in this matter and cease all further unauthorized distribution of our technology and IP. In addition we request that you observe our forum rules and respect our right to enforce those rules. If you are in any doubt as to what we would consider unacceptable then please request clarification through one of our forum moderators before posting.
Yeah, there's a brilliant response. Let's see: your stuff doesn't work on Vista now. There's a community solution that people seem to be using. If they use it, they might keep buying your product. On the other hand, if you decide to go all legal on the community, you end up shipping a useless brick to customers.
Hmm - I don't know about you, but I'm not seeing the complexity here. This VP might well be one of the dumbest PR types out there, and - with morons like this in the mix, that's saying a lot.