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Retailers Swing DMCA To Stop "Black Friday" Sale Info

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the wham-wham-wham dept.

The Almighty Buck 792

zoid.com writes "It looks like a few of the big retailers have sent out DMCA notices to a few of the consumer deal sites. So now they are claiming that sale prices are covered under the DMCA. I would like to know what part of the DMCA states that you can not share the price of merchandise. Also, why would they want to stop this free advertising?"

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Even the DMCA can't stop this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716862)

o guo a oui e u * g oea t s e a * g e a t s e i *
g ia u a u g
oaoo \o i \ e e ai \a o
e| a a i a u \ i eo aua | u a
t|o o `a a e | ue e : u t
s`u u i o ii a\| |e a s
e \ | a i / e\\\ ue-u__ \uu i e : e
x \ ia\/ oae-o~~ i ~--__| \ au x
* i \_o~ ua i eu u ~-_\u a | u *
g au_ o \o u uiua------a u_____o|ai |o g
i e a e \_iu___//e_e___euoo_(__;o \ |o o
a o o eu u__) ______ (_i____; | i ua a
t ao /\ | C a_ai)a \ (____u; |aaa u t
s uoo\|uo C__a___)20721 i (oa_; o ai s
e |o ( _C_____)a___ee_i //i_ao/aaui \ o
x e | u |__ \\__e_oi_ie// (__/ | x
* u \ \____) `e--- i-u | a*
a e | \_ e o ___\i /_ ii ei o _/o| g
o u o e u / e uu | \ i o |oo
aee | o |u / au e\ \ oa eu a
ui | e e / /ao |oa e | \ ie iat
s |o / o o \__e\___/ | a i |s
e | a a / / o u | a| | uiuaue |e
x | | u | o |u ox
*ugue u t o a xi* geo a i suo x * g oaa t s e x *

fp? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716869)

First fast post?

You beauty !

First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716875)

And my first slashdot post ever!

Let's hear it for the idiotic anonymous cowards!

first post? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716876)

those dogs!

DMCA rules (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716877)

bow down to your corporate overlords and submit.

Your ass is ours.

Yet another reason... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716879)

why the DMCA is WAY TOO broad in its scope. And another reason lawyers need to educated themselves on technology.

Re:Yet another reason... (4, Insightful)

SexyLinuxMan (541640) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716926)

I don't think lawyers needed to be educated, it is supposed to be broad. the broader the damn law the more they can say what is covered or not covered by a law. This is a growing trend in alot of new laws that are being passed in the US. A broad law allows a company to save their own asses when shit hits the fan or come down on people when the law does not really apply to them.

Re:Yet another reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717084)

"Black Friday list" = "stores I will not spend my money at anymore".

Re:Yet another reason... (3, Informative)

joebagodonuts (561066) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717114)

Why would a lawyer need to be "educated"? The broader the scope, the more chances for litigation. More money for he lawyer. Seems to me that from a lawyer's point of view, this is great in it's current form

fb?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716885)

OMG! my fist one???

Copyrighting Prices (4, Funny)

program21 (469995) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716889)

It seems that prices are copyrighted. It's just a matter of time before someone like Walmart sues anyone whose prices end in .99.

Re:Copyrighting Prices (2)

Greedo (304385) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716908)

Two words: "prior art".

(And yeah, I know you were being sarcastic.)

Re:Copyrighting Prices (4, Funny)

ryochiji (453715) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716986)

How 'bout "2 cents"? Is that copyrighted?

Just my 2 cents...do'h!

Re:Copyrighting Prices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717067)

Prior art is only for patents. We're talking copyright.

Re:Copyrighting Prices (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716975)

That would almost make sense if it weren't for the fact that Walmart is virtually the only store that doesn't end their prices in the ubiquitous .99. Instead Walmart is the oddman out with prices like "12.64" and "13.28".

First Post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716893)

Woohoo!

Sorry (4, Funny)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716899)

"I would like to know what part of the DMCA states that you can not share the price of merchandise. "

Sorry , I would show you but that would volatile the DMCA....

Volatile the DCMA (4, Funny)

abulafia (7826) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716939)

Sorry , I would show you but that would volatile the DMCA....

Hey, I'm all for it!

I Love SexyKellyOsbourne! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716900)

o guo a oui e u * g oea t s e a * g e a t s e i *
g ia u a u g
oaoo \o i \ e e ai \a o
e| a a i a u \ i eo aua | u a
t|o o `a a e | ue e : u t
s`u u i o ii a\| |e a s
e \ | a i / e\\\ ue-u__ \uu i e : e
x \ ia\/ oae-o~~ i ~--__| \ au x
* i \_o~ ua i eu u ~-_\u a | u *
g au_ o \o u uiua------a u_____o|ai |o g
i e a e \_iu___//e_e___euoo_(__;o \ |o o
a o o eu u__) ______ (_i____; | i ua a
t ao /\ | C a_ai)a \ (____u; |aaa u t
s uoo\|uo C__a___)fuck! i (oa_; o ai s
e |o ( _C_____)a___ee_i //i_ao/aaui \ o
x e | u |__ \\__e_oi_ie// (__/ | x
* u \ \____) `e--- i-u | a*
a e | \_ e o ___\i /_ ii ei o _/o| g
o u o e u / e uu | \ i o |oo
aee | o |u / au e\ \ oa eu a
ui | e e / /ao |oa e | \ ie iat
s |o / o o \__e\___/ | a i |s
e | a a / / o u | a| | uiuaue |e
x | | u | o |u ox
*ugue u t o a xi* geo a i suo x * g oaa t s e x *

Re:I Love SexyKellyOsbourne! (0, Offtopic)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717086)

Why the hell does Slashdot even have filters? They annoy me (short comments often submitted in under 20 seconds), and I often post more than twice in two minutes, and I've even hit the 50/day limit once.

And yet it lets stuff like this through.

copyright? (5, Informative)

dirvish (574948) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716907)

I am really confused as to how this is a copyright violation. Clearly, this is just another example of the DMCA being a stupid law that is out of control.

We have been given DMCA notices regarding the posting of "Black Friday" sale prices from the following companies: Wal*Mart Target Best Buy Staples While we believe that sale prices are facts and can not be copyrighted, We have made the business decision to comply with the dmca notifications. Our reasoning for this is very simple - Our mission is to serve consumers - If we were to choose to fight this battle, It would require more resources than are available - and we would no longer be able to serve consumers. I fully expect this story to be making news sites as early as today. Part of the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions state that in order to qualify for safe harbor protection, we must have no knowledge of the infringing activity. If we become aware of the removed content being reposted on our site, We have no choice but to remove the content, or forfeit our safe harbor provision. I respectfully ask your cooperation on this matter. On a further note - We have been, and will be in further contact with the EFF, as well as ChillingEffects.org.

I am glad to see they are going to get the EFF [eff.org] involved. Hopefully they will be able to knock some sense into these corporations.

Re:copyright? (5, Informative)

TheGreenLantern (537864) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717006)

If I'm understanding this correctly, the problem the companies seem to be having is that sites like this FatWallet are getting the holiday sale prices in advance of the so-called "Black Friday" (Friday after Thanksgiving). Presumably the retailers are not only worried about losing sales in the sort term to people who will wait for the sale prices, but they're worried about competitors finding out this information and undercutting them on the items in question.

Of course this begs the question "How does this information get out in the first place", the answer to which is of course "Greedy employees giving their friends/relatives a heads up". Easier to wave some lawyerin papers at a few web sites than to take care of the problem internally I'd guess.

DMCA, or something else? (1)

DCheesi (150068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717037)

So how does this relate to the DMCA specifically? It sounds more like a trade secrets issue to me.

This isn't a DMCA issue, this is a copyright issue (5, Insightful)

djembe2k (604598) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717062)

The issue in this case isn't the DMCA at all -- that's just an enforcement mechanism here for the redistribution of something to which somebody is claiming a copyright. The issue is whether or not the claim of a copyright is valid. Even if the DMCA didn't exist, another mechanism could probably be found for enforcing this particular copyright claim.

Probably the copyright claim is bogus itself, but it is common practice for the big corporations to use the threat of legal action to make small fries do what they want, even if they know they would lose. And that isn't a DMCA issue either -- that's a problem with the way capitalism leverages the legal system.

I'm not sticking up for the DMCA, but this case is really, ultimately, about something else.

Re:copyright? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717071)

I am really confused as to how this is a copyright violation. Clearly, this is just another example of the DMCA being a stupid law that is out of control.

I don't think Copyright or the DMCA applies. Their lawyers are just trying whatever they can think of to scare people into doing what they want. It's total bullshit. (hard to say really, since I can't read the text of the notice and IANAL)

I very much doubt you can copyright something as short as a price. A price *list* maybe, but if you're only giving excerpts then it's fair use.

Grrrr (1)

MCMLXXVI (601095) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717113)

While I am glad to see it on news sites, I am sad that they gave in so easily.
What we really need is a HUGE public trial where someone like this stands up against these huge companies. If people keep giving in the "average" people will have no idea how crazy this law is.
I have learned that bullies back down most of the time when they see someone has the courage to stand up and say "No you are not going to tell me what to do" I think these companies would back down also after their lawyers told them that if this goes to court they are not going to win and look really bad to the public.

Too bad they won't fight (5, Insightful)

nesneros (214571) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716909)

I can understand FatWallet not wanting to fight this, but I sure wish somebody would. Until there is enough momentum from the accused, we won't see any real progress on seeing the DMCA changed or overthrown.

Can someone elaborate (3, Informative)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716913)

Could someone fill me in on what this is all about...I am not sure what's meant by "Black Friday" sale info?

Re:Can someone elaborate (4, Informative)

Nidhogg (161640) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716958)

The Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving. Traditionally the biggest shopping day in the States.

Re:Can someone elaborate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716962)

"Power Corrupts,Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely, leaving one person(group)in charge is absolutely corrupt"

yeah, thanks for explaining that. You might need a diagram for the American market in a few years though, the way your country is headed right now.

Black Friday...Start of Christmas Shopping (3, Informative)

FirstNoel (113932) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716985)

Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. It's seen as the beginning of the Christmas Shopping season. The retailers see it as their best retail day of the year.

I tend to stay away from Malls and shooping centers on that day. Those places are like zoos.

Sean D.

Re:Can someone elaborate (4, Informative)

Orne (144925) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717079)

The Thanksgiving holiday (a United States holiday dedictated to giving thanks for the harvest) occurs every year on the last Thursday in November. The following day (Friday) is normally a work holiday, so that workers can have a 4 day weekend. So, having that friday as a holiday means a lot of people have the day off with nothing to do, so they go out shopping.

In the past, that was also the day when stores would bring out their Christmas merchandise; that is why Santa rides in the Thanksgiving parades, to symbolize the arrival of the Chrismas season. Of course today, Chrismas shopping begins October 14th, don't ask me why.

On top of that, stores now offer many sales that day, so it draws out more people to go shopping. When people shop, they buy, which means earnings for the stores. When a business is balancing their accounting, the term "in the red" means that they are losing money, and "in the black" indicates that the business is profitable. Over this weekend, many department stores do so much business they go from losses to profit, thus they are now "in the black", which results in the name ... Black Friday.

The worst part (2, Interesting)

zaffir (546764) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716916)

is that Fat Wallet is complying with the demands.

Re:The worst part (2)

TheGreenLantern (537864) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717044)

They really don't have much choice. It's either comply, or bankrupt everyone associated with the site piling up legal bills against some of the richest companies in America.

Re:The worst part (2)

fobbman (131816) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717054)

Can you afford to fight the lawyers from Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Staples?

I didn't think so. Fat Wallet is in touch with the EFF, though. We'll see what happens.

Re:The worst part (2)

Sethb (9355) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717101)

Yes, honestly, defend yourself. Go before a judge, explain what happened, and you might win. You probably won't, of course, but there's a chance you will, especially with something like this.

Do you really think that those companies would want the negative publicity of filing a lawsuit over something this dumb?

If I was at Fatwallet, I'd risk it on this one. The line has to be drawn somewhere.

Way to go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716922)

I would comment, but that would be breaking the DMCA! ;)

Why? (5, Insightful)

Bish.dk (547663) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716923)

Also, why would they want to stop this free advertising?

Why? Because their prices are not competitive of course. In that case it's not advertisement on such a site.

Black Friday (5, Informative)

flogger (524072) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716933)

For those that don't know...

"For those who aren't thoroughly familiar with the "Black Friday" phenomenon (the name of the Friday after Thanksgiving, so called because many retailers operate in the red until the holiday shopping season, which starts that Friday, kicks them into the black)"

This was of course stolen from some random search on google.

Re:Black Friday (2)

jmu1 (183541) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717001)

Good Mourning, Black Friday!

Break down the wall!

No kidding, it's really like that out there on "Post-Thanksgiving shopping hell" day

Make that...Black Saturday (4, Informative)

sagwalla (551658) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717095)

Don't forget Buy Nothing Day 2002 [adbusters.org] !

"If enough jammers turn their disaffection into resistance for just one day, November 29 could mark the delivery of a landmark social message."

This is actually good (5, Insightful)

runenfool (503) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716940)

These foolish abuses of the DMCA by companies around the country will be the downfall of the law as they show its amazing potential for abuse.

When its something geeky like DeCSS its a little more abstract for customers than 'hey, what can't I find out about the sales?'.

Sometimes things have to hit rock bottom before people do anything about them.

damn (2, Interesting)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716941)

That is quite stupid. Prices cant be copyrighted as they represent amounts of legal tender which cant be regulated. Imagine someone suing you for having money because they copyrighted the 20 dollar bill...

Re:damn (4, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716969)

>> Imagine someone suing you for having money because they copyrighted the 20 dollar bill

Well, the treasury dept already has a problem with me using 20 dollar bills I printed myself.

What ever happened to fair use?

It's all about Control (1)

X!0mbarg (470366) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716942)

They don't want to give anybody ELSE control of prices, distribution, or even discounts.

Talk about Control Freaks!

So many Freaks, so few "sharzeez"...

Black what? (4, Informative)

Greedo (304385) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716947)

For all the non-US folks here (or at least those of them who are ignorant of this fact), Black Friday is the shopping day after the American Thanksgiving holiday. Biggest shopping day of the year for retailers.

Re:Black what? (1)

DCheesi (150068) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717013)

I'm from the US but I still had no idea what this meant. Of course, I don't work in retail, but to me black friday sounds like one of those stock market crashes or something.

Re:Black what? (2, Informative)

giverson (532542) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717046)

Biggest shopping day of the year for retailers.

Nope. At best it's the fifth biggest shopping day of the year. The two weekends before Christmas are the biggest.

More information is here [snopes.com] .

First line says it all... (4, Interesting)

eples (239989) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716952)

While we believe that sale prices are facts and can not be copyrighted, We have made the business decision to comply with the dmca notifications.

But then again, you have to realize that the first newspapers in this country were nothing more than prices of goods and services each day - they were called "price currents".

With that in mind, it's clearly not copyrightable.

loss-leaders (4, Interesting)

dirvish (574948) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716953)

Are they doing this to prevent massive sales of loss-leaders? Is that what FatWallet does...find all the loss-leaders?

Re:loss-leaders (3, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717047)

So what? Loss leaders need to be sold to be effective... That's the whole point, you advertise your loss leaders like crazy, then push people to buy more profitable items once they are in your store/on your site.

Pure speculation on my part (4, Insightful)

jockm (233372) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716955)

The issue here may be if the prices were general knowlege or not. If they were leaked prior to publication, then that might fall under the relm of copyright violation.

If the prices were published, then I have trouble seeing how it could constitute a violation

Re:Pure speculation on my part (3, Insightful)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717045)

IANAL, but I think in my jurisdiction, if they were not published, then it would not be copyright violation, but trade secret law that comes into play, or something like that. Copyright is for something that is published.

Could lead to lost sales... (5, Insightful)

gorillasoft (463718) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716957)

Whenever I check out the price comparison sites, I won't bother looking into a vendor that isn't listed or won't let itself be listed. Most people have a general idea of how much the item they are looking for will cost anyway. Based on that, you can usually find a great price from multiple people, so why bother looking up the prices of the few who won't be listed? It seems that they may lose sales from people like me who won't spend the extra time it would take to look them up individually.

As for how the DMCA relates to this, it's obviously just a way for the companies to make an excuse for delisting their prices. They think that not having the prices public will help them stay out of price wars or other competitive practices, but it's not like this would stop secret shoppers [secretshopper.com] or anything.

which? (3, Insightful)

faded1 (520891) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716966)

I am sorry but with all of this recent new found blind patriotism in this country it makes it really difficult for me to understand how exactly we have "freedom" anymore... which countries do not recognize the DMCA again? Anyone want to sponsor a refugee seeking political asylum?

Re:which? (1)

micro_SUXX (623137) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717034)

I agree - another refugee here seeking asylum! I guess my response to Corporate America is - f**k your products, I don't need them. If you're going to make consumerism painful I'd rather NOT participate. I'm taking my "Fat Wallet" and going elsewhere. T

i'd like to copyright the price of my stock. (1)

Undecipherable (263082) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716972)

where's the SEC in all this?

i'd like to copyright the price of my stock.

Re:i'd like to copyright the price of my stock. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717077)

Well, if you know what the price of your stock will be *tomorrow*, and you publish that info somewhere, I definitely think you will be in deep doodoo with either your employer or the SEC. Dunno if that falls under the DMCA.

Fair use (5, Informative)

mmarlett (520340) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716977)

It's called "fair use" and journalists use it all the time. If you say something in public, I can quote you as saying it. You can quote me. If you have a corporate name, I can use it in my publication to identify you. If you have a logo, the same. If you say the sky is red and someone else says it's yellow and a third says it's blue, I can quote and identify them all. These companies, of course, aren't interested in "fair use." They are interested in making it as hard as possible for consumers to compair prices. Too bad they don't have a leg to stand on.

just be careful of whose namy you throw around (1, Troll)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717066)

Im scared of those ninjaburgr people.

fatwallet.com deals (1, Troll)

asv108 (141455) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716979)

I love the "deals of the day section" where they advertise a 256 meg stick of PC 2100 for $99! What a deal! Pricewatch has them for under 60 shipped [pricewatch.com] . Gratned that's generic, kingston is available for $67, but this company should be sued for offering crappy deals, not DMCA violations.

Hip, Hip, Hooray! (5, Interesting)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716980)

Three cheers for the retailers involved in this legal action. This is exactly the kind of absurd example we need to get that crappy old DMCA repealed once and for all.

Seriously, anyone else as jazzed about this as I am?

Re:Hip, Hip, Hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717088)

>This is exactly the kind of absurd example we >need to get that crappy old DMCA repealed once >and for all.

How many times has this been said already? Yet still we see the DMCA in effect. How many more 'examples' of its stupidity do we need? It will take more than absurd examples to end the DMCA, it will take legislative action - something which no one seems willing to do.

How is this possible (2)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716981)

I must be missing something here - how can prices be copyrighted? If BestBuy can claim a copyright to the price $199.99, and some other business advertises some other item for sale at the same price, that the BestBuy copyright has been violated?

By re-printing information that is freely available to anyone who walks into a Wal-Mart, these folks are committing some sort of offense?

Prices charged to the public at large are not trade secrets, nor are they be covered by copyright.

This is absurd.

FatWallet shouldn't have complied. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4716988)

As many people in many different forums have said before, we need somebody to stand up to the DMCA.

This particular fight could easily be won. Prices simply are not copyrighted.

Hell, these companies are probably just bluffing anyways. If anyone is has any copies of the material in question, please email it to me at jb@deadinternet.org. I'll host it.

This is great! (2)

r_j_prahad (309298) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716993)

I am loving this! Proof positive, absolute incontradictable evidence of that famous old saw "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". How much longer until they claim that it's illegal for us to possess ears and eyes? Are we to be eventually be legislated into buying movies we cannot view, and music we cannot hear? Will I be required by law to buy these things which I am forbidden to experience?

Keep screwing over your customers, and soon maybe you won't be having any.

Re:This is great! (1)

lynx_user_abroad (323975) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717076)

Are we to be eventually be legislated into buying movies we cannot view, and music we cannot hear?

Imagine how the deaf feel about having to pay the RIAA Tax on the purchase of every CD-R?

Re:This is great! (2)

shaldannon (752) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717118)

couple thoughts...

I like Frank Herbert's revision of the old saying: "Power corrupts. Absolute power attracts the absolutly corruptible."

Also, so many sheeple^h^h^h^h^h^h^hcustomers will pay anything to anyone for whatever they want, that whether the big retail stores are screwing them or not, they just won't know or care.

Boycott!! (3, Interesting)

Col. Panic (90528) | more than 11 years ago | (#4716999)

We have been given DMCA notices regarding the posting of "Black Friday" sale prices from the following companies:

Wal*Mart
Target
Best Buy
Staples


SCRRAATCH!! off the shopping list. Looks like everyone is getting a thinkgeek tshirt [thinkgeek.com] for Xmas this year.

Grandma would look pretty cool look with </geek> on the back :)

Re:Boycott!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717068)

Get your shirts from copyleft.net instead.

They actually donate money to free software projects.

Buying from thinkgeek just puts your cash in the pockets of va software board of directors.

DCMA (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717002)

few laws were passed with as much support on both sides as the DCMA. not to troll or anything but how the hell do /. people thing they are gonna get this repealed.

Because... (3, Funny)

di0s (582680) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717003)

I would like to know what part of the DMCA states that you can not share the price of merchandise.
Because the prices are encrypted, see...

$2.99 at Wally-world is actually

!Ðy*ëùB~`ß½f÷û-- >a3^Úæn--OE&"æÝ5?v|ç(TM)ÍgNÊùÜ6Õgoó
America:
The land of the lawyers,
The home of the DMCA

We should change the land of opportunity to read: "We'll see you in court".

The Prices are for Public Consumption (5, Informative)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717007)

At a particularly low period in my life, employment wise, I had to to market survey research. A lot of this consisted of going into stores and counting products and recording advertising info for different products. I also would have to go into stores like K-Mart and fill in reports about what items they stocked that fell under certain categories. This including counting the items on the shelves, marking the variations (for example, 12,24, & 36 exposure rolls of the same film), and, of course, recording prices.

K-Mart was not too thrilled with the situation, especially about the prices being recorded. Although I don't remember the name of the case now, there had just recently been a case where a manager of a competing store had gone into K-Mart and recorded a number of their prices on his own list. K-Mart evicted him from the site and he sued. The court ruled for him, saying K-Mart, as a retail store, was inviting the public into their store. They could not invite some people and not others. They may not like what he was doing, but he had the same right of access as any customer who might be comparing prices.

It seems the same would apply here -- they are publishing the prices for public consumption and comparison. That means for ALL the public. It doesn't seem right that they can say some people can print the prices out and share with friends or compare with other sites and othe people can't.

Re:The Prices are for Public Consumption (2)

kawika (87069) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717091)

Yes, they invite the public. However, their store is private property. They can ask you to leave any time they want, for any reason. If you want a lesson on this, go into your local shopping mall and stand outside one of the stores with a "this store sucks" sign. Then try to use the "you invited the public" argument.

Does it really hurt anything? (1)

DumbRedGuy (218259) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717009)

Maybe a little off-topic...

I go to those sites and they are great for saving money, and they totally hooked me up for last year's Black Friday Sale.

I went in and bought the items a few days before. Then, I went back to the store during the Big Sale, and said "Gee, it looks like all my stuff is now on sale, can I get a price adjustment?" Either way, I'm in the store (I actually make an extra trip).

Is getting up at 4:00 in the morning to wait in line that much better than buying it a day before? A lot of times the sale items are in limited quantities, so they are gone after a handful of people enter the store.

That'll teach them pirates! (2, Funny)

DougJohnson (595893) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717010)

those damn pirates^H^H^H^H^H^H^H paying customers. They're STEALING! Nothing could be more clear or simple. Our MSRP is explicitly covered in the DMCA, under Section 115b, Subsection 26777, Paragraph 12, Sentance 17.5; where it states, and I quote "Thou Shalt Worship No Idols Other than Me". And of course, clearly again in Section 666, "You want the truth? You can't handle the Truth"

We don't come free, we don't even come cheap

What??? (1, Redundant)

pagercam2 (533686) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717011)

What is "Black Friday???" Slashdot needs to require some basic level of documentaion to every story, the story and the site reference give no details so this story is a waste to almost all of /. readers. DCMA sucks but thats hardly news at this point.

for your nfo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717016)

the DMCA isn't this broad of a law. Large corporations are using the dmca as an excuse.

We need to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717024)

... sue them for anti-competitive practice! Simply not advertising a sale price isn't anti-competative, but to be sending out noticies that you can't advertise prices it!

Their Loss (4, Informative)

tezzery (549213) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717025)

I use cnet price comparison as well as pricewatch.com very often.. any store not wanting another site publishing their prices clearly isn't competitive to begin with.. I say it's their loss.

Price fixing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717026)

What is the difference between this and price fixing?

taggat

Dear Sir, (5, Funny)

shortbus mutiny (615608) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717030)

We regret to inform you, that on the course of our investigations we noticed that you were using the number "49.95" on your website. As you well now by now, this is also the price of the new exciting action game, "School Shooting 2". Our sales prices are our intellectual property and thus protected by the DMCA. We request that you remove all references to our sale price from your website and send a reply stating that you have done so. You may however, change the number to 49.96, as we have nothing for sale at that price. You may not use the number 49.94 however, as that is the new sale price for the game "Sweatshop Tycoon". We look forward to your compliance, and don't think about posting this letter to the web, as it's copyrighted and protected under the DMCA as well.

Happened at DVDTalk too (4, Informative)

weeeee (196575) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717032)

Locked DVD Talk Black Friday Thread [dvdtalk.com]

In this case Target was the company that sent the DMCA notice and the thread was shut down im ediately.

Don't buy (2)

ejaw5 (570071) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717043)

If the retailers dont want their advertised prices posted, then why shoud we as the consumer go out and buy their products? I say they can keep their stuff, even though the price may be tempting.

I just started looking at fatwallet yesterday from a link posted by someone on a slashdot discussion. Are the "BlackFriday" lists supposed to be kept quiet within the stores and someone leaked them out? Or are they publicly announced in circulars?

What about me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717052)

Does this mean if I tell a friend on AIM about about a good deal on hard drives I can go to jail?

If they can copyright prices (2, Interesting)

skintigh2 (456496) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717053)

then what can't they copyright? They are basically claiming that thye haven't copyrighted what they wrote, but have the copyright to fundamental facts.

Does this mean Reuters could sue every news station that says "Reuters has reported that..."?

Can a movie producer sue a critic who gave away the ending?

Obviously this is yet another example of big businesses using their weight to crush those in the right with lawsuits they can't afford to fight (called a SLAPP - Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation).

Good thing we have so many republicans in office now who want to take away even more consumer rights including the right to sue big businesses.

More rights being trampled on (2, Interesting)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717060)

Is it me or is anyone else noticing how we, the country and society I mean, are regressing into a aristocracy where the top 1-2% of society is making rules for the rest of us? I think I should start learning russian. The Gov'ment wants us to spy on each other, want cameras everywhere, want to know my spending habits and locations. Isn't this is what the Soviet communists had/wanted, complete authority.

Da, commrad, ya Sovietsky!

P.S. What's with the USA wanting to get rid of a dictator in Iraq, but are growing one right here in the country!

P.S.S. I think they are watching me right now, with the DCMA, Patriot Act, and Security Bill in their back pocket, they can take me down any moment!

I have a fascinating question... (0, Troll)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717064)



Who the fuck cares about DMCA. Its a huge wank party worth about as much discussion time as a doorknob.

giFTcurs [sourceforge.net] .. P2P that actually works. By the people, for the people.

I don't think this falls under the DMCA... (2)

Maul (83993) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717065)

I don't think that sale prices fall under the DMCA.
I don't see how a price can even be copyrighted.

Furthermore, if retailers don't want their sale prices going public, why do they make huge newspaper inserts?

Obviously, sites that post this information making it "too easy" for consumers to find the cheapest prices. Stores probably count on consumers to be too lazy to find the cheapest price, and this makes it easier to do just that.

However, this is all publicly available information. Anyone with a couple hours on their hands (which many people have on Thanksgiving Day) can go through all the ads and find the cheapest prices in their area.

Re:Understandable (1)

themurray (78325) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717069)

The use DMCA against pricing should be fought tooth and nail, since it is bullshit!

Contact real media (1)

quinto2000 (211211) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717070)

"Hi, Ron Lieber from the Wall St Journal here I'm working on a story about the use of the DMCA to crack down on consumers swapping Black Friday sales data on web sites. If anyone would like to air their feelings on the subject, please call me at 212-416-4974 or send me an email with your phone number and I'll call you. Thanks, Ron"

Here are some great deals (1)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717074)

Here are some great deals, straight off their web sites!

walmart.com:
LEGO Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets - $69.77

target.com:
Audiovox Personal CD Players - $23.99-$27.99

staples.com:
HP OfficeJet 4-in-1 Machine -$149.98

bestbuy.com:
Sony Mavica MVC-CD400 Digital Camera - $649.99

Could This Be... (3, Funny)

Zech Harvey (604609) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717075)


...security related? I mean, I don't want to sound like I'm pro-DMCA, I'm not. But couldn't companies use the DMCA to control their information so there won't be dangerously large crowds that will show up on the busiest shopping day of the year? If the masses get too hyped about what is coming out, then riots may be a result. They might not want to release any information until the last minute and cause uncontrollable masses to drive up profit. If this was their intent, it would be better, if instead of using the DMCA, they were to cooperate with each other and public forums to release information, strategically plot and coordinate sales over a longer period of time, and discourage mass/riotous consumer behavior. Then again, sometimes I think that human decency cuts into their bottom-line.

I know it sounds a bit unbelievable, but considering I worked at McDonald's (I seem to work for all the unpopular zaibatsus, heh) during the huge Beanie Baby frenzy and saw little old ladies get knocked over, nothing surprises me when it comes to consumer greed.

Courts wait (4, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717078)

I think that this will help the eventual court case against DMCA. The more ludicrous uses that it is put to the more exhibits that can be brought to bear in getting it overturned.

Till that day happens, of course, it will continue to suck.

The "Free Market" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717083)

Welcome to the New America, with new and redefined freedoms.

Trade Secrets (1)

Student_Tech (66719) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717097)

I saw something on this in a comment board I think yesterday. THey might consider that information "trade secrets" and colud probabbly be handled under normal laws instead of hauling the DMCA up just because it is on the internet.
If I made a paper and distributed it like a newspaper to people with the information, I would likely still be violating trade secrets but they not the DMCA, still doesn't mean they won't charge me with something under some other law.

IANAL and my little minirant likely confuses people and will be picked apart by people who are knowledgeable.

You are only allowed to part with your money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717105)

Try taking pictures inside a store... even if it is of someone else. Many stores will have employees tell you 'it is illegal to take pictures'. Hahaha, perhaps they should cut off peoples hands at the door, just in case they want to paint what they see later.

You are all just cattle, don't try to resist.

You can't copyright facts. (5, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717106)

If the site were serving scanned images of advertizing flyers, they might be in violation of copyright law, but if they're just reporting pricing facts, how can it be a violation?

The advertising copy from some flyer containing a blurb-type phrase might be copyrightable, but the fact that some store at some address is selling some item for some price is not copyrightable.

WHY DCMA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4717109)

I see that they don't want their SUPER SALE OF THE MILLENIUM prices to leak so not to give informationin advance to their competitors.....
as if they didn;t know!
OH BOY

Now I'm a little curious (3, Interesting)

iceT (68610) | more than 11 years ago | (#4717115)

How do these sites GET their news? I figured that the companies themselves 'leaked' a lot of this information..

Individual things here and there are typically reported by the individual.. but where do they get the BIG news from companies like Dell, or Best Buy?

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