Hey, Microsoft, Welcome to teh Social!

Drew "Rocketboom" Baron has backed out of a Microsoft Zune launch partnership. He hints at a couple of reasons (including some cryptic stuff about Microsoft's behavior towards him in the past), but the main complaint is that Microsoft put some non-disparagement restrictions around use of their Zune logo on the Rocketboom site in conjunction with the launch.

Naturally, this hits Scoble, etc, etc, and ripples through the blogosphere. Carl "Blackfriars" Howe's post, for example, says:

Come on, guys. An End User Licensing Agreement for a logo? I thought Microsoft wanted publicity for Zune.

Props to Drew for recognizing an attempt to gag bad reviews in advance. Those efforts always backfire, and this one appears to be proving that rule. And given that Engadget's latest screenshot of Zune installation errors are reinforcing Microsoft's reputation for buggy software, Drew seems to have been appropriately leary of being able to say only good things about the Zune experience.

I don't know whether Baron (or, for that matter, Blackfriars) is being fair. I'm sure every company has standard, boilerplate langauge stating that their trademarks can't be used to "disparage" the company. But, fair or not, it's teh social.


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