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
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2006 @ 9:31am

    see, thing is.. with best buy.. it is not-so-much like a grocery store...
    if you are putting an item on sale, it is probably because you either:
    have a surplus of the item because they werent selling, and you kept having more shipped to you... or maybe you got a boatload at a great price.., that or you just need to get rid of the slightly old/becoming outdated item... and putting it on sale, will help you do so.. giving you space for newer, more in-demand brand/items, etc etc.......
    not so that when you come in, and SEE monitor xyz on sale, you MIGHT want to buy highly overpriced usb hard drive, and highly overpriced other misc item..

    so.. if someone were to extend your advertising for you..
    in turn, helping you sell your surplus/less desired stock, you should be praising them, not trying to f*ck them in the @ss (gay pun not intended, but its there anyways, just the way I talk/write)

    my $0.02

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