On May 6, 2009 the Gartner Ombudsman blog had the following post Gartner External Use Policy: We Mean It where they called out a vendor by name for copyright violation. The violation was clear: distributing a research note without purchasing reprint rights. Frankly, this sort of blog post is only a slap on the wrist because what is the price that the vendor is going to pay? Lost sales? SageCircle doubts that an enterprise IT manager will not buy the vendor’s products simply because the sales representatives are handing out a research note.
Of course, Gartner would not do something improper like downgrade the vendor in published research like moving the dot on a Magic Quadrant down and to the left. But there could be other steps taken. Because we were curious about whether Gartner is willing to take further steps we left this comment on the Gartner Ombudsman post: “Besides this post, what other steps is Gartner taking to punish this vendor? Legal? Not permitting the vendor to brief Gartner analysts? Canceling the Gartner contract so the company can no longer talk with analysts via inquiry?” It will be interesting to see if Gartner is willing to take other steps to enforce its copyrights.
Even if this particular vendor does not pay a further price for this violation, vendors must respect all analyst firms’ copyrighted material no matter if the firm is a boutique, a small firm, or large firm. This even includes (more…)