Anyone know how NDAs generally work?
Do they usually expire or get lifted before the product is announced, or do companies purposely set the NDA expiration date after their projected announcement date and then lift it once the announcement is made?
I'm guessing the latter. It doesn't seem like they would lift an NDA until they release or announce the product.
So, if the NDAs expire in September, that would be the latest date for a release announcement?
You pretty much want the NDA/Embargo to be lifted coincidentally with if not slightly before the actual announcement. Example: Canon wants to announce something on date X. The NDA/embargo would be lifted at the very latest just before the announcement, but likely a day or more before.
The reason for this is if you want the biggest impact for your announcement, you want everyone who was under the NDA/Embargo - photographers, columnists, reviewers, etc. - to be crowing about your product at the same time as your announcement.
Yeah, as often happens, I don't think I was as clear as I should have been about what I meant. My point really was that if Canon tells those under the NDA/Embargo that "The embargo will expire in September" then it's a near certainty that it will indeed expire in September, because it would be very hard to put the genie back in the bottle and say, "Oh wait, we are now extending the embargo until Oct. 7."
On the other hand, if they tell those under the embargo that it will expire on, say Sept. 15, it is a lot easier to then notify everyone that "we are moving the release date up, so instead of Sept. 15, it will now expire Sept. 7."
I guess what I was clumsily trying to suggest is that if there is a CR3 rumor that the NDAs will expire in September, we can say with some certainty that the announcement will occur no later than September.
I work in the media and deal with NDAs daily.
The NDAs usually expire concurrent to the announcement, sometimes shortly before. Availability is a completely different issue. Canon isn't the only company that announces products months ahead of availability, nor the the only one who misses advertised shipping deadlines.
While it's not the norm, companies sometimes delay embargoes. I haven't worked specifically with Canon, but I work with a lot of companies that are of similar scale and play in some of the same spaces, as well as some significantly bigger companies. The media gets alerted late in the game; professional photographers, retailers, etc. will get an earlier look. If NDAs can change as far into the game as the media-alert stage, then I am sure they can change during the earlier stuff with pro photogs, etc. I've seen some sloppiness around NDAs from external PR agencies, but internal teams are pretty sharp, and I suspect anyone who knows about the 7D replacement (or whatever) right now is working directly with Canon. If Canon needs to move an NDA, it's not going to fall out of touch with those guys. Likewise, I doubt it will have trouble keeping in line those who were already going to honor the embargo in the first place. When the media gets involved, it's a mess, but at this stage, anyone who's been using the device is in a really select group. The reported retail demonstrations open Canon up to a bit more leak vulnerability, I suppose. Anyhow, leaks often come from someone inside the company, or from someone the person holding the NDA happens to inadvertently or ill-advisedly talk to, but less often (at least in my experience) from the person under NDA him/herself.