* UPDATE. A man who worked for Intel posted a link to this story on DeFacebook, resulting in a whole shit storm of righteous indignation that I could report Woodget’s death in the way I did below.
Intel was celebrating the anniversary of some chip it once made. The Intel man on Facebook doubted that I had any evidence that the late Woodget had placed a writ my way. Well, he did. Woodget said, as he escorted me off the Park Lane premises that I could expect a writ the next day. And so it came to pass. I am sure he might have been a very pleasant geezer but he really went incandescent. I never saw him again after the event and VNU London lawyers tied Intel up in a Spycatcher like dilemma. The Intel man posting on Facebook said I had no evidence that he issued the writ. Well, there are at least six journalists then working at VNU and still living that can testify to that.
He might have been a very nice man. But this is not an obituary, just a memory – so stay your righteous indignation and if you want to write an obituary, why don’t you just jolly well go ahead and celebrate his life? Woodget seemed more interested in which of his customers had betrayed his corporation.
Intel’s John Woodget, according to very reliable sources, died in a car crash a few days ago.
Woodget. very famously, turned its European lawyers onto Dutch company VNU (Castle Despair) in the 1990s, four years or so after I started the Register. The first time I met him he was very genial indeed, because we were the press and that.
This happened at a very posh hotel in Park Lane, when I showed Mr Woodget – a very senior Intel executive – a roadmap one of its “partners” had showed to us. He went incandescent at the time and I had to beat a hasty retreat.
The next day, when I got into work, an Intel European lawyer, based in Munich, had totally misunderstood British copyright laws and, worse, had sent a fax to VNU but to the wrong address demanding damages and reparation.
VNU, which then was a Dutch company – and which subsequently bought the INQUIRER – told lthe European Intel lawyer to get lost. Apparently everything in Europe was controlled in Munich, which didn’t have a clue about British law, as senior VNU executive Tony Loynes pointed out to me at the time.
TechEye regrets that Mr Woodget is dead. I didn’t know him as a man, but it is true to say that when he sent the European lawyers on my case the day after I met him, I didn’t feel good. I kept my job at VNU and had already started the Register and then created the INQuirer.