Microsoft gags tech news bloggers

Reported on Neowin this afternoon:

After an exclusive story here at regarding future Windows Mobile Technologies, Microsoft Bloggers across the world syndicated the news and each received legal threats to take down the material.

Bloggers who follow Microsoft technologies are calling on Robert Scoble as a way of contacting Microsoft and are questioning Microsoft’s legal threats.

The posting in question was syndicated by Engadget news shortly after Neowin was forced to pull the post. Smartphone site Modaco also received a similar threat after syndicating the news.

Bloggers are taking a similar approach to that of Nick dePlume, calling on the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) for clarification. Nick is currently fighting against Apple in a lawsuit the company filed against his site Think Secret. Think Secret posted what Apple termed "trade secrets" on the site. The outcome of this case will effect blogging in a huge way.

Neowin | Microsoft Bloggers Angered By Legal Threats

Additional Commentary: What’s particularly interesting about this is the discussion on Neowin about their story and Microsoft’s subsequent action. When I looked tonight, the comments to the post were varied in opinion, ranging across the spectrum of strong criticim of Neowin for publishing their story and then taking it down only when the lawyers came knocking on the door, to equally strong criticism of Microsoft for its ‘bullying tactics.’

Update 22 Jan: It looks like this legal spat has drawn back into direct conversation mode for one tech news blog thanks to the efforts of Robert Scoble (who surely is one of Microsoft’s most influential employees). A post by Jason Calacanis – whose Weblogs Inc publishes Engadget, one of the blogs served with a legal gag order by Microsoft’s lawyers – outlines how Scoble enabled Calacanis to speak directly with the Windows Mobile Technologies Group at Microsoft "so we could work out whatever their issue was."

It’s interesting that Engadget’s post is still on its blog, unlike Neowin’s which they took down. Engadget’s post may or may not remain posted, depending on the outcome of whatever the issue is with Microsoft.