Lawyers don’t think enough about business considerations, it’s true. But the people whose job it is to think about business considerations need to do some thinking too. Then they can clue in the lawyers.Now, I grant that no population in the world is more renowned for their legendary marketing savvy than law professors. (That's why the law profession's "brand" is so universally beloved, after all.) But even a techie like myself, reading excerpts from Sony's letter to the Aibo hackers, can see why Sony's business people--not just their lawyers--might find publication of the hack worrisome:
What did Sony have to lose here? If the trick worked, it could only result in more pleased Aibo owners, and thus more Aibo sales. If it didn’t work, Sony wasn’t going to get the blame. And, who knows, Sony’s engineers might have learned something from the trick, too.
Of course, Reynolds and Lessig, both longtime opponents of the DMCA, didn't really oppose Sony's lawsuit because they stay up at night worrying about the interests of Sony shareholders. Their commercial advice to Sony is in fact based on their own personal preferences regarding the structure of intellectual property markets. And while they probably genuinely believe that their preferences are also in the long-term best interests of corporations like Sony, it might behoove them to show just a little bit of deference to the dedicated employees of a company that has for decades been spectacularly successful at a task (marketing consumer electronics) about which Reynolds and Lessig obviously know, for all their bravado, less than nothing.
Then again, what do I know about marketing? I'm no law professor, after all.