Wal-Mart Threatens Site Over Black Friday Ad Deals

from the didn't-we-do-this-already? dept

Want to know how we know the holidays are coming? It's not the Christmas decorations already showing up in stores; it's the annual ritual of retailers threatening any website that posts the deals from their "Black Friday" (the day after Thanksgiving) sales circular prior to that day. Last year, Wal-Mart went beyond what others stores had done, in pre-threatening sites. In the past, companies like Target and Best Buy had simply threatened to sue sites after the ads went up. But Wal-Mart took it a step further and threatened to sue before the ads even went up, ignoring, of course that they don't own pricing data. The data on sales prices are not copyrightable and cannot be owned. Wal-Mart simply has no legal leg to stand on in demanding the data from the circular be taken down.

But why let that stop them? An anonymous reader alerts us to the fact that Wal-Mart is already sending the notices out to various sites, threatening legal ramifications if the sites were to post the prices prior to the date Wal-Mart makes them "official."

Filed Under: ads, black friday, copyright, facts, lawsuits, prices, trade secrets
Companies: wal-mart

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  1. icon
    John (profile), 6 Oct 2008 @ 6:01pm

    Can we stop with Black Friday

    I think this site is a good place to finally stop the idea of "Black Friday".

    From Snopes.com:

    Claim: The day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S.
    Status: FALSE

    "It's one of the busiest days in terms of traffic but not in sales.

    "The result is that Black Friday nearly always ends up ranking below the last Saturday before Christmas (or December 23, if Christmas Day falls on a weekend)...

    "According to statistics published by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the top shopping days for the years 1993 through 2002 were: [between Dec 19 and Dec 23]

    "For those years, "Black Friday" held the following positions in the ICSC's rankings of year's busiest shopping days: [#4 to #8]"

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