Thanksgiving Tradition: Bogus Legal Threats From Stores Against Posting Black Friday Prices
from the goes-well-with-Turkey dept
It seems like every year we get a story like this. The day after Thanksgiving is known in the retail business as "black Friday," as it's a huge shopping day. Many of the big chain stores hold massive sales on that day, which usually are detailed in newspaper circulars. However, there are a variety of websites that post the details of the sales well before Friday, and it seems to have become a Thanksgiving tradition for the stores to send out bogus cease-and-desist letters demanding that the info get taken down. This year, Wal-Mart has added a unique twist on the tradition: it's sending letters to various sites before they've even posted the info. The letters claim that the info is protected by copyright law, but that's not exactly true. Price information is considered factual information -- which (as we were reminded just this week) cannot be covered by copyright. Other information in the flyers could be covered by copyright, but just the prices are not. Just like in the past, it seems that these efforts are really just designed to intimidate these sites.