A 17 year-old soccer fan in Britain faces criminal investigation after finding unannounced PR images at his favorite team's public website. When he shared his findings with other fans—thereby "leaking" Norwich City's forthcoming kit redesign—the football club called the police. From the BBC:
Chris has apologised to the club, which said it would protect its intellectual property at all times. The teenager, from Norwich, managed to obtain the pictures from the Canaries' website as it was being updated.He did not hack into the website, but was able to take the images from a section of the site that was being worked on. Norfolk Police said they had started a criminal investigation into how the pictures were leaked.
Chris Brown is being treated like a criminal—already made to grovel and admit his error on television—because Norwich's clueless, spiteful PR people think that you can post stuff to a public website without it being found, and that it's the police's job to punish those who look under the curtain. [BBC via Charlie Brooker]
Update: The BBC updated its story to say that the police have ended the investigation, with all parties having
agreed the matter could be resolved through a 'face-to-face' meeting."
Update 2: In a statement, Norwich City has apologized for its "handling of the matter", and says the website was operated by the team's marketing company, not the team itself. But it still clearly believes that if there was 'malicious intent,' it would have been correct to arrest a kid for having "posted instructions as to how to access material" already published online.
What Chris Brown did is exemplary journalism, in a field where it rarely happens: thanks to his research skills and cleverness, he got the scoop on team news and broke it before anyone else. And all he had to do was post links to the team's own prematurely-published media.