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
    Harry, 16 Nov 2006 @ 2:09pm

    "Some of you may bring up that BB and Wal-mart aren't competitors, but in many areas they are. In my hometown, they practically share a parking lot. To the wife who is buying a tv for dad, 1080p versus 1080i means nothing. The logic is "Who cares if it's a Sylvania (or Westinghouse) instead of a Samsung (or Phillips) when I can get one that is 3" bigger for $300 less?" These circulars all go out in the same papers, and bargain hunters don't care what the store name is. "

    Quite frankly people who shop like that are idiots. They buy inferior equipment to save some money and are the first ones to come back to the sotre and bitch and moan that the thing broke in 3 months and the store doesnt take returns more than 30 days after they bought it. They dont want to deal with the manufacturer and expect the store to eat the 400.00 they sent on the item because they were cheap. If you go buy Chinese garbage at WalMart, thats what you should expect to get.

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