Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Legend of the high seas suckers lawyer

There have been a few times that I had a good laugh at myself after I found myself being caught out by the spoof articles that were previously posted on the ILSA blog. I'd hate to find myself in this woman's position...

"Somali pirates began their careers by recording music at home, and later branched out into pirating DVDs" - before moving on to raiding the high seas.

This was part of a spoof article on humour news website hayibo.com, which a director of the self-proclaimed oldest intellectual property firm in the country - specialising in piracy - fell for hook, line and sinker.

Attorney Vanessa Ferguson, who specialises in anticounterfeiting and branding at DM Kisch Attorneys, quoted the tongue-in-cheek hayibo.com story as official "research" in an article.

The piece has since gone viral on social networking site, Twitter.

In her article, Ferguson suggests that it is indeed true that Somali pirates started their careers by illegally downloading music.

She writes: "I recently read a news update on hayibo.com reporting on modern day Somalian pirates, who have been dominating African news for some time.

"It came as no surprise when the author confirmed that many Somalian pirates operating off the coast of Somalia have admitted that they began their careers as international villains by recording music at home, and later branched out into pirating of DVDs, before moving onto bigger game such as tankers and passing cruise ships; in many cases using knock-off weaponry and fake US warships - according to a US Navy piracy expert."

The article went on to speak about "combating counterfeiting throughout Africa".

Ferguson could not be reached for comment as she is on maternity leave. Derek Momberg chairman of DM Kisch, said: "My response is: Oops!

"Looking at [the article], I'm sure she wasn't aware [the hayibo piece was a joke]. She did it just before she went on maternity leave and may have not checked her sources properly," Momberg said.

While Momberg said he was unsure where the article, which features the company contact details, was published originally, he believed it may have been used as "promotional material".

He said that the company's credibility would not be affected by the gaffe.

From The Times

0 Opinion(s):