by Mike Masnick

Re-Code.com Is No-Code.com As They Shut Down

from the chalk-one-up-for-WalMarts'-lawyers dept

Last week's Salon article about re-code.com's satire site offering printable barcodes at whatever price you wanted, combined with Wal-Mart's threatening of the site received plenty of attention. Various blogs and newswires all picked up on the story, and now re-code.com has shut itself down. The 26-year-old art student who runs the site has realized that he might be in over his head, as hundreds of high-priced corporate lawyers swarm around him. I still wonder what is actually illegal about the site? Clearly, using such a barcode to change a price is illegal. However, that site is not illegal. Anyone could go out and make their own barcodes, if they wanted to. There's nothing illegal about making barcodes. Using them to set your own prices, however, is a different story. This is, once again, a strategy of "security by obscurity". Wal-Mart's thinking appears to be "if we hide the information on our security weaknesses, then we can pretend they don't exist".

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  • identicon
    David, 18 Apr 2003 @ 6:03am

    No Subject Given

    Since on the product you are seeing an obtuse bar-code, and not a clear price, bar codes could even be looked at as a way of "protecting" or "hiding" the price... does this make the website a DMCA violation?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nathan hactivist, 20 Apr 2003 @ 7:52am

    what law did we break?

    we got shit for having the site up and got more shit for taking it down

    funny thing everyone seems to forget is that it was a fucking 1 layer database table in MySQL and a PHP script that makes bars out of numbers (all from openly published info)

    was it illegal? we don't think so, but after some details i can't talk about right now including the involvement of the FBI, we were aware that legal/illegal doesn't matter any more at a certain point.

    we were up against wal mart, kellogg's, sears, price chopper, and the FBI, and who knows who else was invovled

    wal mart was using scare tactics but from my perspective i have seen friends and kids i work with go to jail for NOTHING before. we had the press on our side at first but were losing it to misunderstanding and misquoting. we couldn't control the press so we only saw it getting worse.

    we exposed a major flaw in their system - one they cannot afford to fix, so it made more sense to them to come after us.

    in my opinion, we have served our purpose - mock sites will pop up soon i suspect - meanwhile we are still under investigation and i am just trying to finish up a semester of school.

    thanks for following the site, we will have a new video up by monday morning

    even though we had to pull our video, the news did a great job of explaining the procedure entirely


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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