MEDIA WATCH: Mike Rowe incident a worldwide exploit

Seventeen-year-old high school student and budding entrepreneur Mike Rowe received vast media coverage and garnered millions of web hits on his fledgling namesake website, www.mikerowesoft.com, when he alerted the press of Microsoft's hard-line, copyright-infringement legal actions against him. The media quickly picked up on the Canadian teen's stance against the software giant, turning a small legal incident into a global media event.

Seventeen-year-old high school student and budding entrepreneur Mike Rowe received vast media coverage and garnered millions of web hits on his fledgling namesake website, www.mikerowesoft.com, when he alerted the press of Microsoft's hard-line, copyright-infringement legal actions against him. The media quickly picked up on the Canadian teen's stance against the software giant, turning a small legal incident into a global media event.

Most frequent messages: 1. Tech giant backing down after criticism mounts 2. Microsoft overreacted, took trademark a bit too seriously 3. David taking on Goliath in cyberspace 4. Microsoft looking for an agreeable and legal PR exit 5. Microsoft must pursue trademark challenges aggressively Based on 106 articles from global print media outlets and internet websites from January 17-22, 2004. Evaluation and analysis by Cymfony, Inc.

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