easyJet Wants To Sue Websites That Send It Business

from the is-it-illegal-to-help-someone? dept

I’m always amazed at people who get pissed off at anyone who makes their products more valuable — especially when they threaten to sue. Like the whole ridiculousness surrounding the Associated Press threatening a blogger for sending more attention its way, for example. The latest case is even more bizarre, as European discount airline easyJet is threatening to sue various travel websites that send it business. It’s difficult to see how this could possibly make any business sense for easyJet.

Now, obviously, some will claim (as easyJet does) that easyJet should have the right to only sell flights off of its own website. But if these other sites are merely scraping the content and then linking back to easyJet, then what’s the problem? These sites are sending more business to easyJet, and it wants to sue them. The lawyer quoted in the article discusses copyright issues (which again, seems to go against what the company should want) and also database rights — which is recognized in Europe rather than the US. But even if it’s true that easyJet has a legal right to block these sites, it still seems like a bad business idea to sue sites for giving you free advertising — especially when those are the sites people go to when they want to buy airplane tickets.

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Companies: easyjet

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Comments on “easyJet Wants To Sue Websites That Send It Business”

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Jake says:

I’m actually with easyJet on this one. According to a previous article on the subject (www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/25/easyjet_warns_expedia/), Expedia are sticking a substantial surcharge on top of the ticket price and occasionally failing to transmit booking information correctly; easyJet probably went down the database rights path because it was easier to prove than any other rule Expedia broke.

Jeffry Houser (profile) says:

I'm surprised..

This can be a tricky situation at times. And based on the other comments, it is not as black and white as techdirt made it sound.

I recently discovered someone was syndicating my podcast RSS feed, republishing it to their web site, and throwing Google ads around it. All of this w/o my permission.

Could this bring the podcast more exposure? Potentially! However it bugged me they took my content and threw ads around it. There was no ‘value add’ for listeners. The site had no contact info and a private registration. It took me a while to track down the ‘owners’. I was able to contact them through their “Private registration company” and they removed my feed [much to my surprise].

joe (user link) says:

Re: I'm surprised..

Next time, save yourself a lot of investigatory effort and replace surprise with certainty.

File a DMCA conforming complaint under that statute’s Safe Harbor provision with the offending site’s hosting company. The infringing material, and maybe even the thief’s entire web site, will come down BANG! without hassle because the host service wants to avoid the $250,000 fine for failure to do so “expeditiously. (That’s the word the law uses and it usually is interpreted as right now, no delay, no questions asked.)

No Fan of EasyJet says:

Maybe EasyJet has something to hide

Maybe EasyJet does not want Expedia knowing exactly how its website works. I had the experience of booking (from the States)a flight on EasyJet (in the presence of a third party who was watching the screen with me), and we had the date come back one day different than what we were both so very certain we had just entered. When I looked on their website for a means to contact EasyJet, I could not readily find one, so I had the immediate presence of mind to call my credit card provider even before the provider ever saw the charge go through. My credit card company told me that they were noting this as an immediately disputed transaction, but that I would still need to contact the vendor to have them reverse the charge which appeared minutes later in their system. So, I bit the bullet and called EASYJETs revenue generating customer service line (you pay by the minute)representative. When I spoke to the representaive to tell her what had happened, she said that she could not honor the internet fare over the phone, but could only sell me a seat that was nearly twice the cost of what I had found on line. and that if I wanted to cancel the ticket it would cost more than what I had paid for it. She was totally uninterested in the fact that maybe there was an error with the website, and clearly used this situation as an opportunity to increase revenue. On principle, I refused to pay more for the ticket and advised them that I would file a dispute with my credit card. My credit card company was extremely quick to reverse this charge once that I formally requested that they do so. So if anyone is wondering why EasyJet might not want another travel agency to book on its website, I personally have one possible explanation. Maybe EasyJet is afraid that Expedia might uncover what for me was nothing other than a booking SCAM.

For another EasyJet Scam, check this website:


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