Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Best Buy Repeats Past Attempts At Unfairly Forcing Black Friday Prices Off The Web

from the cease-and-desist-just-for-the-hell-of-it dept

Back in 2002, we had a story about Wal-Mart forcing the site FatWallet to take down post-Thanksgiving sale prices, claiming they were a copyright violation. Of course, as everyone should know, you can't copyright facts -- and prices are facts. FatWallet fought back, challenging this abuse of the DMCA -- which forced Wal-Mart to backdown. The following year, other retailers, including Best Buy, Target and Kohl's threatened FatWallet again. Apparently, Best Buy learned absolutely nothing from the experience, as they've gone and threatened another site, BlackFriday, for posting the same information this year. Unlike FatWallet, however, BlackFriday has backed down and taken down the information -- even though they have no legal reason to. It's clear that Best Buy (whose lawyers clearly know better) are simply betting that in using a cease & desist DMCA claim, even if it's not valid, they can scare the site into taking the content down -- which is exactly what happened. That's a clear abuse of the DMCA, creating the famed "chilling effects." However, as it stands, there's simply no punishment for abusing the DMCA this way and there are few entities willing to actually stand up against such a misuse.

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  1. identicon
    Sick of all the crap, 16 Nov 2006 @ 6:29am

    I will not be shopping at either Walmart or Best Buy this holiday season. Walmart, for some reason, feels the need to dive into unnecessary and sensitive political issues like giving lots of money to gay activists, and Best Buy has done the same by removing "Merry Christmas" from their holiday advertising, lest they offend some stuck-up minority group members.

    The gays are destroying the traditional family, which is the backbone of our society for over 200 years (if it ain't broke, don't fix it), and the minority groups won't even let us observe our own holidays anymore. If I went to, for example, Israel, I'd expect to see Hannukah stuff all over, not Christmas. But I'm not in Israel, I'm in the USA, which was a country founded on strong Christian values, and last I checked, "Freedom of Religion" is still in our bill of rights. There should be no reason whatsoever for businesses to remove traditional holiday observations from their marketing. Any lawsuits to that end should be deemed frivilous and thrown out of the courts, because they certainly don't represent the majority opinion from the citizens of this country.

    Furthermore, I strongly disagree with companies that excersize such underhanded business practices as mentioned above. Any business that feels the need to misuse our justice system for stupid little reasons like this will get little to no support from me. Companies like this need to be taught lessons, and if we actively boycott companies like this, they will eventually get the message, because their sales will be hurting bigtime.

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