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
    Anthony P, 16 Nov 2006 @ 11:05am

    Feeling the pinch

    Retailers all over are feeling the pinch from slowed sales and lackluster customer involvement. The best way to send a message to Best Buy - or any retailer for that matter - is to vote with your dollars AND let them know that you're doing so and why.

    Don't just stop shopping at Best Buy. Call their corporate office and tell them that you're not going to shop there and exactly why. It might also be a good idea to let your local store manager know too. They always funnel that sort of stuff back to corporate.

    Companies don't listen to people peeing in store corners or drunken, raging customers. The do listen to rational, normal people telling them "I'm going somewhere else".

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