In a recent conference call, Clayton Woitas, CEO of Canadian energy behemoth Encana, called an analyst a "fucking asshole."
That was not very smart. But Woitas has already outdone itself. Now his company is trying to get all copies of the audio wiped from the Web. Have you guys ever even heard of Barbara Streisand?
The expletive slip happened on what would have no doubt been an otherwise dull event—a conference call on Jan. 14, with twenty of the company's executives gathered to discuss fourth quarter earnings. Media were invited to listen in.
An analyst asked if Canadian investment rules would prohibit the a takeover of Encana by state-owned enterprises.
"The answer would be no," an executive—whom BoingBoing identified as Woitas, replied. He added, under his breath: "fucking asshole."
Encana sent a takedown request to Chirbit, the audio hosting company a Globe and Mail reporter used to host the file. Here's the request Encana's legal team sent:
“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 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.”
Chirbit has refused.
BoingBoing's Rob Beschizza has done his part to help. He's copied the audio to his Soundcloud account.
An Encana spokesman made it clear to The Globe and Mail that the company is not backing down.
“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."
Good luck with that, guys.
Photo of Woitas via Encana.com