April 01, 2003
The Honest Thief: April Fools

The Honest Thief, previously mentioned, turns out to be a promo for a book, not a new company as the WSJ (IP reprint) and CNet reported in February.

"Well, guess what April Fools! The Honest Thief file-sharing venture was no more than a publicity stunt.

Our goal was first and foremost to get some attention for our book: The Honest Thief. Secondly we wanted to confront the public with the practice of honest stealing: the tools that everybody uses to have success. Very few people will openly admit that they use these tools. In this respect our campaign was an attempt to create success to get our message across: everybody, in one way or another, is an "honest" thief.

Whether we have failed or succeeded, we hope that people won't forget the honest part of honest stealing."

Update 04/03/03: Wired reports on this, including this: "Paul Grabowicz, director of the New Media program at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, said that this hoax joins a long list of schemes perpetrated on the Net. 'It's common human behavior that's suddenly distributed over a global network. Instead of a couple of suckers, you could potentially get millions. I don't care how good a reporter you are or how reputable a media organization, you can get snookered by one of these things. Reporters really need to be on their guard.'"

Posted by Mary Hodder at April 01, 2003 11:02 PM
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