Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Encana wants embarrassing audio file erased from the Internet

A lawyer for Encana Corp. is demanding the deletion of an Internet posting containing audio of an Encana executive swearing.

On Feb. 14, during a quarterly results conference call, microphones caught someone – Encana has not said who – muttering an angry expletive. The audible whisper followed a question from Canaccord Genuity analyst Phil Skolnick, who asked: "But in terms of new investment guidelines which were updated, do you think that prohibits a company like Encana from being acquired?"

The question was taken by chief executive Clayton Woitas, who answered: "The answer would be no." Someone then muttered an obscenity, ostensibly at Mr. Skolnick.

Story continues below advertisement

A Globe and Mail reporter posted a 19-second audio file of the question and answer to Chirbit, a YouTube-like web site for audio sharing. The Encana clip has now been played more than 16,000 times, as the link was passed through the corporate towers of downtown Calgary and beyond.

Encana apologized after the conference call. The swearing does not appear in a transcript of the call, nor in a company replay of the audio.

The company now wants the clip off the Internet, too. On Thursday, Chirbit founder Ivan Reyes said he has received a takedown request from Encana. Mr. Reyes has declined, citing fair use provisions in copyright law and a site policy directing that such requests be sent to the poster of audio.

Encana, in its request, says:

"Encana is the copyright owner of the Recording. It was expressly stated at the outset of the Conference Call that 'this conference call may not be recorded or rebroadcast without the express consent of Encana Corporation'," the letter states.

"The Recording has been posted without Encana's consent. The unauthorized use of this Recording clearly constitutes copyright infringement. ... Encana views this matter extremely seriously and requests that you respond to the undersigned on or before the close of business on Friday, February 22, 2013, failing which, Encana will have no other recourse but to take all actions as may be available to it to protect its proprietary rights."

Journalists regularly record conference calls to ensure accuracy in reporting.

Story continues below advertisement

In a statement sent to The Globe, Encana spokesman Jay Averill said it's reasonable for Encana to want it gone.

"I think any individual or organization that has something embarrassing broadcast over the web without proper permissions would make any attempt to have that content eventually removed as, understandably, we do not wish to have that clip living on in perpetuity on the web," he said.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Asia Bureau Chief

Nathan VanderKlippe is the Asia correspondent for The Globe and Mail. He was previously a print and television correspondent in Western Canada based in Calgary, Vancouver and Yellowknife, where he covered the energy industry, aboriginal issues and Canada’s north.He is the recipient of a National Magazine Award and a Best in Business award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨