easyJet Wants To Sue Websites That Send It Business

from the is-it-illegal-to-help-someone? dept

I'm always amazed at people who get pissed off at anyone who makes their products more valuable -- especially when they threaten to sue. Like the whole ridiculousness surrounding the Associated Press threatening a blogger for sending more attention its way, for example. The latest case is even more bizarre, as European discount airline easyJet is threatening to sue various travel websites that send it business. It's difficult to see how this could possibly make any business sense for easyJet.

Now, obviously, some will claim (as easyJet does) that easyJet should have the right to only sell flights off of its own website. But if these other sites are merely scraping the content and then linking back to easyJet, then what's the problem? These sites are sending more business to easyJet, and it wants to sue them. The lawyer quoted in the article discusses copyright issues (which again, seems to go against what the company should want) and also database rights -- which is recognized in Europe rather than the US. But even if it's true that easyJet has a legal right to block these sites, it still seems like a bad business idea to sue sites for giving you free advertising -- especially when those are the sites people go to when they want to buy airplane tickets.

Filed Under: business, copyright, database rights, promotions
Companies: easyjet


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  1. icon
    Jeffry Houser (profile), 28 Jun 2008 @ 3:57am

    I'm surprised..

    This can be a tricky situation at times. And based on the other comments, it is not as black and white as techdirt made it sound.

    I recently discovered someone was syndicating my podcast RSS feed, republishing it to their web site, and throwing Google ads around it. All of this w/o my permission.

    Could this bring the podcast more exposure? Potentially! However it bugged me they took my content and threw ads around it. There was no 'value add' for listeners. The site had no contact info and a private registration. It took me a while to track down the 'owners'. I was able to contact them through their "Private registration company" and they removed my feed [much to my surprise].

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