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
    Unknowledgeable Geek, 16 Nov 2006 @ 6:43am

    Re:

    I grew up in the US, I went to US schools my whole life. I never new that America was founded by a strong Christian belief. I thought it was Europeans that were escaping religious prosecution or all different religious origins. Let me add to the fact that I am Jewish, but I honestly don't care if people say "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas", it really makes no difference to me. But, don't spout out saying America was founded under strong Christian beliefs, because that just makes all of us Americans look like ignorant idiots, and I don't want to be associated with that.

    Now, on to BB. It is there company than can handle their ad campaign anyway they want. I don't think it is going to hurt them, I live right outside Washington DC, and if I want to buy an electronic device I don't have many options beside BB. I couldn't imagine living further from a city, because you have no choice besides BB.

    Regarding the cease and desist order, I agree completely with whoever said "any publicity is good publicity", that is all the lawsuit was meant for. The lawyers just found a way to talk about there "holiday" sales. Is it right, no. But to the same extent, who is the lawyer for this website, that so easily gave in to stupid demands? That is the real question.

    WalMart, I hate Walmart go to Target instead. Enough said.

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