Gartner restricts usage of hype cycle graphics

gartner-hype-2009-snip
It’s that time of year when industry analysts Gartner publish their annual hype cycle report for emerging technologies.

Last week, Gartner did indeed publish this year’s report, the Hype Cycle For Emerging Technologies 2009 report, available for clients to purchase for $1,995.00.

But unlike hype cycle reports in previous years – which I’ve reported on each year since 2006 – 2009 marks a new approach by Gartner that restricts usage of the charts from the report under a policy of tighter copyright and protection of intellectual property, updated on July 31.

What this means is that, as I’m not a client of Gartner, I can’t post the latest hype cycle chart here in this post without Gartner’s express permission. This situation seems clear from a perusal of their revised copyright and quote policy. So other than the image snip you see at the top of the page, that’s all that will be here unless I get permission from Gartner.

[Update Aug 6:] I did get permission from Gartner to post the graphic, so here it is. A specific post to come at some point soon.

gartnerhype2009

That doesn’t seem to be stopping others, though, as you’ll see if you simply google for “gartner emerging technologies hype cycle 2009.”

It seems to me that Gartner haven’t got the balance right in protecting their intellectual property rights vs enabling legitimate third-party use of their imagery to support commentary and opinion about their research. I recorded some out-loud-thinking on this a bit earlier.

It’s fair enough to take steps to protect your copyright, as I mentioned before. And I respect Gartner’s right to that, which is why I haven’t simply gone ahead and used the latest chart.

But is this just too restrictive? Too rigid? Too controlled?

Would it not have been simpler for Gartner to enable casual use of the hype cycle chart in blogs and other online content that drives discussion and buzz about their research, recognizing that comment and opinion will be as wide and as varied as there are people with opinions, thus enriching the overall conversation about Gartner’s hype cycle?

How do you  see it?

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Brendan Hughes

    Hi Neville

    Typically, organisations are delighted when bloggers and others talk about their products or services. One would wonder what the point of this restriction would be given the efforts that would be required to police it. As you highlight, there are plenty of websites out there that have the image of the hype cycle reproduced. Are Gartner going to contact each of these website owners and ask them to remove the image?

    Gartner absolutely have a full copyright entitlement to their work and intellectual property. Nobody would dispute this. However a creative commons type approach here would be very beneficial for Gartner and more in keeping with the spirit of openness in the digital age. Allow people to reproduce the hype cycle but insist that attribution and a link to the full report (for purchase) on the Gartner website be provided.

    • neville

      That’s a very good suggestion re Creative Commons, Brendan, I agree.

      Gartner say in their post announcing the new policy that it’s to do with ensuring correct interpretation of the chart information:

      The reason for this change is that the graphic by itself lacks all the explanatory content, including market term definitions and even what labels like “trough of disillusionment” mean. It could therefore be misinterpreted if presented without context.

      I would have th0ught that this would actually present Gartner with a terrific engagement opportunity: get in discussion with people using the chart on thsir blogs, point out where explanations aren’t wholly accurate, add and contribute to that conversation.

      I think what Gartner needs is a Jeremiah Owyang . :)

  2. Mark Raskino

    Neville, Gartner is producing more specialized-domain Hype Cycle reports than ever this year (over 80,covering 1700+ technologies profiles). We release these in a wave of publication over a period of a couple of weeks and our public domain press release material does not proceed until after all of our clients have access. You are right to notice that one hype cycle chart – that for emerging technologies, often does see wider release. That is a tactical decision taken each year. Allow our PR department to do their work and by the end of the week I believe you will be happier. Thanks for your active interest in our research.

    • neville

      Hi Mark, appreciate your comment, thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, I noticed that you are publishing a huge number of hype cycle reports. And I do understand the policy (especially so re what you say about all of your clients having access first – wonder why that point isn’t clearly stated as part of your reason for the more restrictive policy: it’s a reasonable reason).

      I’ve requested permission to use the chart so I’ll patiently wait for a response (auto-responder email says up to 2 business days).

      The Creative Commons ideas seems a good one, don’t you think?

  3. David Locke

    There is a book, “HypeCycle,” that contains the generic hypecycle. That’s good enough for me. I don’t pay much attention to the specifics in the annual report, because I work at the front-end of the hypecycle where there is not data for any market research. The data is just descriptive of the pragmatist CIOs that I keep off my strategic roadmaps.

    The hypecycle is a category issue. Most software vendors ride the hypecycle without trying to effect it. The market leader drives the hypecycle. Fast followers have no need to deal with the hypecycle at all.

    The data in the annual reports cost Gartner quite a bit of money to develop. Gartner must earn their revenues from their efforts. Instead of just saying that the commons license would be better, tell Gartner where their sideband, multisided-market revenues can be found.

    The hypecycle has its own issues much like the TCO.

  4. Carter Lusher

    These are the same copyright restrictions Gartner has had for years. This policy is not aimed at bloggers or the press, but vendors. Gartner – like many analyst firms such as Forrester, IDC, etc – puts restrictions on vendors exploiting its content for marketing and selling purposes.

    Check with Gartner’s public relations team for permission. I have always found Gartner to PR to be very responsive to requests.

  5. Brendan Hughes

    Neville, It will be interesting to see what response you do get from Gartner on your response to reproduce their hype cycle. Do let us know, although I should have expected a response by now…

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