Anyone following the sportclimbing scene on the Internets these days has probably encountered the red tag controversy discussion here, here, here, here, and now of course here.
Now the first impression I have is that this is a perfect example of pseudo-news on the web. Chris Sharma is feeling possessive about his project, a younger rising star wanted to have a go at it, then you stir in some video, a few blog posts and now there is news. However it does raise the interesting question of to what extent would a media-hungry climber "reserve" a route in order to make sure that video and photography was exclusively of him or her on it, branding it in a sense. While I don't think that's what Chris is doing, is it a possibility?
My 2 cents, if you're still reading this, is that Chris should let this one go. He has too much invested in the route based on this interview and would benefit from the competition and potential cooperation with other climbers. Speaking as someone who has benefited from other people's bolted projects, I feel that there are times when it is right to recognize the right of other people to try a project. While it is a lot of effort to bolt a climb, in the end, the route is what counts, not the FFA. And if you're getting bogged down in the project, leaving it alone for a while and letting others try it may give the incentive for eventual success. The equipper has the right to a period of active work on the route, for sure, but it may ultimately be in Chris' (or anyone else's) best interest to see what happens if others try it.
Update: Big Up has posted a lengthy and to my mind reasonable reply to the "controversy." One of the sad side affects of this fruitless debate is its overshadowing of Paul Robinson's success on Lucid Dreaming (V16?)Bishop, also nicely described at Big Up.
But wait, there's more here!
Finally, this topic is also addressed here. When will the Internet foolness stop?