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Toys 'R' Us Wins Suit Against Amazon

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the don't-wanna-grow-up dept.

157

theodp writes "Having prevailed in its bitter lawsuit against Amazon.com, Toys 'R' Us will create a new and independent Web site. A NJ judge found Amazon breached its agreement and ordered the two companies to sever their partnership Thursday. In a 131-page opinion, the judge termed Amazon's attempts to throw out e-mail evidence on the grounds that Internet communications lack reliability 'incomprehensible' and took a dim view of the testimony of some Amazon execs, including CEO Jeff Bezos' candor and 'rather childlike' explanations."

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TRU/Amazon Bargaining (4, Interesting)

airos4 (82561) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841291)

I always wondered why for what was supposed to be Toys R'Us online presence, you could generally find the same crap cheaper through the same website. Interesting to hear; interesting how long it will take TRU to get their act together and start selling themselves.

RE: credability of internet evidence (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841299)

I agree somewhat on the lack of credibility point, it's extremely easy to fake emails.

Re: credability of internet evidence (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841355)

The article is horrible (it ends in the middle of a sentence!), and it is impossible to say exactly what Amazon was claiming regarding the emails. It talks about Amazon claiming hearsay, and then talks about the judge saying things about the realiability of internet communications. Either the author of the article or the judge seems to be using a non sequitur. It just makes no sense.

And she repeatedly complained about the ambiguous use of language in memorandums, contract agreements and discussions, concluding that "the language as drafted whether intentional or inartful gave Amazon the words to play the game their way."

If the language was so ambiguous, wouldn't it also give Toys 'R' Us the "words to play the game their way (emphasis added)"? And what does she mean about memorandums and discussions. I didn't know memorandums and discussion had to be written and spoken in accurate legalese. If the article is accurate (and I'm interpreting it correctly) it sounds like the judge is siding with Toys'R'Us just because they entered into a bad contract!

Again, the article doesn't tell us much, but it looks like Amazon has good grounds for an appeal. The judge can't just throw out a contract because its a bad deal for one side. And the judge can't allow hearsay, which it sounds like she's done. I mean, it sounds on the one hand that she is chastising Amazon for wanting to (rightly) exclude hearsay, and on the other hand is chastising them for the quality of that hearsay!

Re: credability of internet evidence (4, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841519)

The judge can't just throw out a contract because its a bad deal for one side.

It certain circumstances, where a contract is unfair, a judge can declare it invalid. However, in this case, the judge didn't "throw it out", he found that Amazon.com breached it.

Re: credability of internet evidence (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842066)

The way that contracts work, if Party A drafts a contract to enter into agreement with Party B, should there be any ambiguity the contract is interpreted to the benefit of Party B as they did not draft the contract. This protects parties from being take advantage of by ambiguous statements made on purpose. If there is room for interpretation, then the contract could benefit Party A or Party B. Since Party A drafted the contract, it would be unfair for the ambiguity to benefit them.

But IANAL

Re: credability of internet evidence (1)

mencik (516959) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842239)

The judge did not say the internet emails were not reliable. RTFA. In the article, it says:

She said she found it "incomprehensible ... that a corporation dealing primarily in Internet commerce finds Internet communications to lack reliability."

What she found "incomprehensible" was that a company dealing in internet commerce could claim that internet communication is not reliable.

What this shows, is that the judge really doesn't understand the internet, and all the different applications and protocols. Clearly there are ways to secure e-commerce transactions, and just as clearly, email can be faked.

and they are (4, Funny)

doubtless (267357) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841302)

naming the new site Amazon'Rn't Us.com

"rather childlike"? (3, Funny)

The Original Yama (454111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841315)

I would have thought that Toys R Us, with its years of experience in marketing towards children, would have more childlike explanations. Oh well :)

Re:"rather childlike"? (2, Funny)

Winlin (42941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841667)

Actually, they have more giraffe-like explanations :)

FRTFA (3, Funny)

anagama (611277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841328)

131 pages? Screw RTFA!

Still up, though (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841329)

You'd think that as soon as the judge permitted the dissolution of the relationship, all mentions of Toys 'R' Us would be gone. But the Toys 'R' section [amazon.com] of Amazon's site is oddly still up at this hour.

Re:Still up, though (3, Informative)

itzmejoey (621061) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841418)

The dissolution will take months to resolve. No way in hell it's going to be an instantaneous "flip the switch and they're gone" type of thing. The amount that TRU brings in each month online is not pocket change (I deal quite a bit with their web-based transactions), so they're not about to just shut web sales down. They are, however, working on their own site, which should be up sometime this summer. I fully expect the partnership to continue until there's an alternate channel.

contract (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841340)

I didn't realize that Toys R' Us was in a lawsuit with Amazon. Seems back in 2000 they agreed to work together in the online world with a 10 year contract. Toys 'R Us thought they had an exclusive contract with Amazon, but when Amazon started selling things from other retailers Toys 'R Us wanted out (understandably). Amazon tried to force them to stay.

Rather lousy thing to do if you ask me. Good business is about building mutually beneficial partnerships, not about beating up your neighbor and taking his lunch money. If I owned a company I would be wary of doing business with Amazon.

Re:contract (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841388)

But as a customer, you should love them for it because it creates a competitive marketplace and allows you to buy the product from the best seller.

Amazon allows other companies to compete with their own products also.

If you ask me, Toys 'R us just doesn't understand the long term strategy of trying to create sales lift by aiming to provide the customer with the best price. The idea is that in the long run, the sales lift created by the competitive marketplace will out pace the loss from having competitors on the web site. I guess Toys 'R Us just doesn't have the wal mart mentality.

Re:contract (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841549)

I guess Toys 'R Us just doesn't have the wal mart mentality.

Wal*Mart is eating their lunch. It really doesn't matter how low TRU prices stuff, They'll never sell as many toys in July as December. Meanwhile, Walmart can sell just as low and brings in traffic all year long to buy standard items... plus a toy or two for their mouth-breathing, can't-be-bothered-with-contraception child. (Now you know the real reason they won't sell RU 486 :)

Re:contract (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841713)

"their mouth-breathing, can't-be-bothered-with-contraception child. (Now you know the real reason they won't sell RU 486 :)"

What are you talking about? Where did this comment come from? ??? RU486 kills a living person, doesn't stop conception!

Re:contract (0, Flamebait)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842919)

A blastocyst is not a living person, and if you think it is, you are an ignorant fuck. Yes, if you're offended, you deserve it.

Re:contract (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842016)

I don't think most parents would bring their kid into a TRU because it would just be too much trouble. Unless they are actually planning on buying something, I don't think most people go in. I know that kids should be able to understand no means no, and just because you're in a toystore, doesn't mean that you're getting a toy. But that isn't in general the way things work for most kids. Parents bring their kids to walmart because they have lots of different things to buy. TRU is kind of a specialty shop that you don't go to unless you specificly need an item and they have the best price. Which isn't very often.

Re:contract (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842468)

Well, or if you've dragged them around to the other stores in the super-strip-mall (Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, etc) and want to reward them for good behavior just by letting them *go* to the toystore, even with no buying involved.

How well I remember surviving endless clothes-shopping in a regular (non-strip) mall, on the promise that I'd get to go to K*B afterwards.

That would be the main reason I'd see parents bringing their kids in.

Re:contract (1)

SocietyoftheFist (316444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842735)

You've got that right... I only went to malls for the toy stores and video game/computer stores. I hated every other store my mom dragged me in to.

Re:contract (1)

the_rev_matt (239420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842585)

I would argue that kids who can't behave themselves in Toys R Us are unlikely to be able to behave themselves in any store that has toys. And this is the fault of the parent, not the child. I have a 2 year old daughter who is quite well capable of being a pain in the ass about something she wants, but she also has learned the hard way who is in charge.

In my experience, it's far less painful to go to Toys R Us than Wal-Mart specifically because you're not having to deal with the hordes of people. And as long as you do price comparisons online ahead of time, you can go get it when it's on sale at TRU and beat the WM price as well.

Re:contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842741)

"but she also has learned the hard way who is in charge."

Way to go, tough guy.

Re:contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841861)

Good business is about building mutually beneficial partnerships, not about beating up your neighbor and taking his lunch money. If I owned a company I would be wary of doing business with Amazon.

And that is why you don't own a company of consequence. Business is about making money, not being some kind of 'good neighbor' to competitors.

TRU tried to do their own website. Like many back in the day, they FAILED. Miserably. They probably bought into the same song and dance about how easy it is to copy Amazon. With very few alternatives available, they paid Amazon for a first class web presence and they agreed to the terms.

I worked at 'zon back then. There was never any exclusivity, whether from a business process perspective or in regard to the technology to support it. Oh sure, amazon was extremely shrewd in their biz practices and with partners.. ACN, "tab a day", oh the stories I could tell..

Reputation is more than epsilon (5, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842243)

And that is why you don't own a company of consequence. Business is about making money, not being some kind of 'good neighbor' to competitors.

While it's true that every business looks out for #1, I think you overstate the case in the opposite direction of the grandparent post.

Businesses have cultures and characters, just like people. And partners/allies approach businesses taking these into account; the reputation of a company can create revenue or costs accordingly. Those revenues and costs may not be the determining factor in every or even most situations, but they are real.

"Who steals my purse, steals trash, but he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed." Of course Shakespeare put these words into the mouth of a scheming liar. Their truth is situational: it depends on your purse, and how much you need your reputation. If you're a poor tribal clansman, it is very true. You don't have material wealth worth mentioning, and you are mutually dependent on others like yourself for survival and defense. If, on the other hand, you're Louis XIV, you have no friends -- only rivals who have revealed their hands to various degrees. You're reputation is relatively unimportant, as people are tied to you by law and custom. Your purse is relatively more important becuase by it you maintain those laws. No one expects you to keep your word; your actions are like the weather. People can predict them in a general climactic way or a short term by scanning the horizon for fair or stormy weather. But nobody takes you word for what the weather will be at the end of next week.

Businesses exist along the same continuum, from small consultancies whose only real asset is their reputation up to the Sun King of all businesses: Microsoft. Within it's sphere, Microsoft wields unchallengeable power. Nobody who allies themselves with Microsoft today seriously believes that Microsoft won't issue a writ of execution later on if it suits them. This is the natural course of any entity which has untrammelled power backed by money. Other companies who are trying to work in the margins of Microsoft's domain cannot afford to act this way; it's not that they wouldn't; they're just not in a position to. If a company is going to draw customers away from Microsoft, then it has to convince those customers that it's trustworthy. Lack of trust and affection may very well hinder Microsoft's plans outside its core businesses, for example in the music field, where customers do not feel the weight of compulsion.

Amazing! (3, Insightful)

seebs (15766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841368)

So, a company which spams, files frivolous patents, files lawsuits based on an allegedly "purely defensive" patent portfolio, pretends to oppose the current patent system while systematically abusing it, and is consistently "the worst neighbor we can get away with being" as a matter of policy...

Failed to act in a forthright manner?

Amazon? DECEITFUL? HOW CAN THIS BE?!?

Oh, that's right. They've been like this since day 1.

What amazes me is the number of apologists who will do anything but admit the plain reality. Amazon sucks. We would be better off with pretty much any other company replacing them.

Re:Amazing! (4, Informative)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841383)

We would be better off with pretty much any other company replacing them.
See SCO, see Sony, see Infinium. You're a little bit ignorant to be playing the "I can run a company better" game. Plz suggest an equivalent company rather than making false blanket statements.

Re:Amazing! (2, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841486)

Okay, you managed to think of three other evil companies.

How about, say, Powell's, B&N, Tattered Cover, Borders... There are less-evil companies.

Anyway, where's the false statement? Amazon are lying scumbags. They have been abusive and evil since the day they came into play, they have dramatically harmed the state of the art in patent law, they have spammed... Why should we tolerate them just because Sony's nasty?

Re:Amazing! (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842277)

Can you, or someone else, please explain with examples why you have such a negative feeling towards amazon? I haven't really been paying attention to their business practices, but then again I haven't looked up much info on them either.

I know personally that I have never been spammed by them. I have actually never had any qualms with them. I find that they offer much better prices for textbooks than college bookstores and the company has saved me hundreds of dollars that way. Free shipping is nice too.

btw... Borders, one of your less evil companies, is also teamed up with amazon [amazon.com] .

Re:Amazing! (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842717)

I hate them because I went for an interview and they turned me down - ha, explain that one away!

(Actually worked out better for me anyway)

Re:Amazing! (1)

DikSeaCup (767041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842874)

I hate them because I went for an interview and they turned me down - ha, explain that one away!

Um, you suck?

Sorry - you left yourself open to it and I couldn't resist.

Re:Amazing! (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842501)

Unfortunately, Borders uses Amazon for their online sales.

However, having worked for Borders, I definitely see them as overall un-evil. I never felt like I was trying to "sell" things, just helping the customers. Unlike another bookstore I could mention (*cough*Booksamillion) - worked there for exactly one day, couldn't take their "YOU MUST SELL DISCOUNT CARDS!" attitude.

Re:Amazing! (2, Informative)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841386)

Darn, I did not know that amazon was that bad, anyway there are some other options like Barnes and Noble [barnesandnoble.com] , and in some cases, if you look in google you can buy the book almost directly to the author/publisher.

Now that you say all that, I remember sometime in the past my brother bought something like 5 CD's from Amazon (we have always bought CD's to them easly), unfortunately none of them arrived and after two months he tried to contact Amazon but of course he did not got any kind of reply, so his $100 were stolen by Amazon.

After that, we changed to CDUniverse to buy CD's (we continue to preffer having the complete plastic product w/booklet, I personally rip them to OGG-6). Although I have not bought from them in a long looong time (it is sad, as I really want to buy some Cd's but, I find that they are too expensive...).

Re:Amazing! (1)

mejesster (813444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841468)

If you never received a product, you should have contacted them, your credit card company and the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. You have nobody to blame but yourself in this circumstance. Moreover, I've ordered many a CD from amazon including rare imports as well as foreign import DVDs and never had ANY problems that were not resolved with a minimal effort on my part.
I'm not saying they're nice people or they are the most ethically oriented company out there, but they ARE a damn good online retailer.

Re:Amazing! (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841516)

Yeah, unfortunately mine was an international order (as I am from Mexico) and we tried to contact Amazon. Their only response is "Your case is being investigated".

That plainly sucks.

As for the BBB I am not from USA, so I do not think I can get there and comply.

Re:Amazing! (3, Informative)

Aokubidaikon (942336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841570)

I'm from The Netherlands. Once I ordered 4 DVDs from Amazon.com (US Site). When the DVDs failed to arrive I contacted Amazon. They send replacements immediately, no questions asked. Other than that, only good experiences with any Amazon site - and I've used four different ones in total.

Re:Amazing! (1)

pmc (40532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841702)

I've never had any problems with them. I had a power supply die after about four months. After fruitlessly trying to get a warranty replacement from the manufacturer I contacted Amazon UK, and the sent out (after a bit of a mix-up) a replacement power supply (but the model up from the one I had) to fix the problem and refunded the original purchase as apology for the mix-up.

Re:Amazing! (4, Informative)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841601)

I don't agree/believe you.

My personal experience in ordering from Amazon from 3 continents (Australia/Asia(India)/North America(USA)) has been pretty good in past 6 years.

I chose expedited shipping even if it costs more. I have ordered Star Trek Calendars from Sydney, Software Architecture books from USA and India, Audio CD's and Movie DVD from USA and each time they have delivered on time and correctly.

The only time i faced an issue with them was their e-book store when i ordered Star Trek DS9 (post DS9 series) ebooks and i was somehow unable to download one of the three e-books.

I complained to Amazon and they promptly refunded my credit card with the WHOLE bill amount for all 3 ebooks.

I trust Amazon far better than Overstock; even though their items are slightly overpriced by 2-10 dollars. You get prompt delivery unlike Overstock.

Re:Amazing! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841847)

I am one of those evil people that buy used books and used music CD's only and Amazon's used selection blows away 99.997% of all used or bargian book stores in technical books.

When I can get a book that is 3 months old and normally sells for over $59.95 for $1.99 with $4.99 shipping because the cover is a tad dirty I'm going to do it. Most technical books are horribly overpriced and the publishers know it. Am I hurting the little guy? Maybe. But I would rather buy my 5-10 SQL books for around $100.00 total than spend nearly $500.00 for them.

Same goes for music. I have not paid more than $3.99 for a CD for over 3 years now because I refuse to buy new. And I get the joy of hurting the RIAA by buying used. :-)

Re:Amazing! (1)

Milican (58140) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841970)

Sorry to hear about your brother. In hind site I'm sure he would have contacted Amazon earlier.

While we're throwing out anecdotal evidence I'll throw out mine. I've had nothing but good experiences with Amazon. I originally boycotted them for many years (maybe 3 - 5) because of their frivolous patents. Then I decided to give them a shot.

I do alot of online shopping and I now order hundreds if not thousands of dollars of merchandise from them. I have not had a single problem. In fact, I'm an Amazon Prime member and I love how I can get my computer books the next day from them for only $3.99 (plus the yearly $79.99 membership fee). The website is well layed out, the website learns what I like, I love the wishlists, and the reviews. When I go to shop I start at Amazon, and then branch out.

Also, if you're looking for a cheaper way to buy CDs try joining BMGmusic.com [bmgmusic.com] . Once you count the free CDs they give you you pay somewhere between $5 - $7 per CD with shipping. Not a bad deal at all, and if you sign up a friend (*cough* your alter ego *cough*) you get four free CDs and only pay a few bucks shipping. Then you can make your high quality rips, and not be encumbered by stupid DRM.

JOhn

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842365)

Amazon is easily the best retailer as far as I'm concerned. They lead in convenience, selection, shipping (free shipping never takes more than 3 days for me) and recommendations. I wish other companies were half as good for just managing your orders. While the customer services sometimes needs an extra reply, I always got the result I was looking for in the end. The only thing I can fault them on is some of the pricing (particularly on DVDs).

Shananigans!! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842609)

If the story is true, it's your brother's fault for not contacted them _properly_. I worked there for a year or so, and am fully aware that they make it as has as possible to find the phone number, but it's not too hard to email them. You just can't randomly send off an email to refundmymoney@amazon.com and except to get a response. Those that actually contacted them properly don't have these types of experiences. When I was there, Amazon would throw money at customers to make them happy. "Didn't get your stuff? Here's ten bucks."

And yes, they are horribly corrupt. And incompetent. I've seen it myself.

Re:Amazing! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841399)

Shut up you stupid bandwagon jumping idiot. Most of those things you listed are inherent to corporations that are trying to gain a competitive advantage in their respective markets. If you were smart enough to start a company, you'd do the same thing too.

And no, I don't agree with the spam comment. If you never use Amazon, you don't ever get an e-mail from them. Unless you're confusing those with third-party affiliate e-mails which are against the Amazon Associates program TOS.

I love how Slashdot is filled with idiots like you who are too stubborn and set in their ways to see that, at the end of the day, a corporation is just a group of people trying to make the most money. The one-click patent deal is just the posterchild that sparked the movement of nerds and geeks like you to jump on the bandwagon and pick a company to be the scapegoat of pent up anger.

Re:Amazing! (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841521)

And no, I don't agree with the spam comment. If you never use Amazon, you don't ever get an e-mail from them. Unless you're confusing those with third-party affiliate e-mails which are against the Amazon Associates program TOS.

And even if you do order from them, you don't get spam (unless you count order confirmations and shipment tracking as spam...)

Re:Amazing! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841561)

That's not true. If you have an Amazon account, you occasionally get 'updates' touting special offers on products they think you'd be interested in. It's opt-out rather than opt-in, so I can see how some people might class it as spam.

Re:Amazing! (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841605)

NO. NO.

Amazon NEVER spams you.

As a user of Amazon for past 6 years and having ordered items from 3 continents, i have NEVER had a single SPAM mail from Amazon.

Amazon may have abused Patent law, but then who hasn't? MSFT? IBM, Kodak?

Amazon may be many things, but a spammer? NEVER.

Re:Amazing! (1)

IcerLeaf (586564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841857)

My experience is much different. Every holiday season, Amazon spams my inbox at least once a week. I never tell any online (r)etailer they can email me. I always uncheck every last box that says "Yes, please send me annoying blather about our promotions," or "Yes, please send my email address to all your corporate buddies so they can sell me crap too." Yet every year I have this fight with Amazon. Every year, I find that my privacy settings have been magically reset. Every year, I have to send Amazon volumes of hate mail to get them to stop emailing me. It is a blatant, it is wrong, and I wish someone would sue their socks off...

/me sticks quarter into Zoltan machine

Oooo... My wish is granted!

Re:Amazing! (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841938)

Amazon still try to spam me regularly - I haven't bought anything from them in years.. After giving up trying to stop the spam (tried *everything*) I eventually made a rule that forwarded their junk direct to spamcop.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841740)

In all the years of using amazon, I don't remember receiving one spam. Maybe I opted out when I joined. They've never failed to deliver a product either. Like most online companies, they make it very difficult to find a phone number to call so, if you run into a real problem you will probably be in e-mail hell but, hey, they are nothing special in that regard.

For those suggesting CD Universe and other stores, you miss the point. On Amazon, you can get everything from a car stereo to a book, to a camcorder, to whatever. When you add in all their small affiliates (could be as small as a one-man shop) selling used and discounted products through amazon, you have quite an incredible super store. This makes amazon a one stop shop and the prices are generally among the best you can get anywhere. Or, look at it this way: amazon is an alternative to wal*mart--which hasn't seen a dime from me since 2001.

Re:Amazing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841822)

I think Amazon as spammers is very old news. Before I'd used Amazon, I knew people that referred to them as Spamazon. They'd ordered from amazon and starting getting spam. But this was rectified by 1999 at the latest.

What's the statute of limitations on being a spammer?

Re:Amazing! (1)

localman (111171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841454)

On our way :)

Re:Amazing! (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841763)

spams
Not come across that myself. Never received an email from them to any email address other than the one I provided to them. The emails I do receive are in accordance with my preferences.
files frivolous patents
That's subjective
files lawsuits based on an allegedly "purely defensive" patent portfolio
So far as I'm aware, they haven't sued anyone since the One Click fiasco five or six years ago. At that time, their patent portfolio wasn't been sold as "defensive". I note the FSF's boycott of them ended in 2002 [gnu.org] as they'd stopped suing people. It is probably true that their current patent portfolio is defensive.
pretends to oppose the current patent system while systematically abusing it
Ok, I think you're repeating yourself, and you're also guilty of over-simplifying. They did fund a stillborn attempt to get evidence overturning process and software patents. It was nice that they did it, but it demonstrated in the end that the situation wasn't as clear as any of us would like. Amazon responded, I think rightly, by building their patent portfolio, as you need to if you want to defend yourselves against patent claims by other groups in the same climate. The question is, if Bezos et al had had evidence handed to them on a plate that "frivilous" patents can easily be over turned, would they be worried enough to build themselves a defensive portfolio?
is consistently "the worst neighbor we can get away with being" as a matter of policy
I've not come across any examples of bad neighbourliness, at least, not since the One Click fiasco.

Now, on the other hand, you have to consider:

1. Amazon is one of the most innovative and inventive companies on the 'net. From popularizing online commerce in the first place by creating one of the first safe, solid, buying portals, they've introduced a large range of concepts that have been copied and relied upon from everyone from Yahoo Shopping to Apple iTunes Music Store. My favorite feature is the integrated reviews system, largely uncensored (Yes, you can find an example of someone who had their reviews removed, but a quick look at the majority of products will find bad, scathing, and even insulting, reviews in abundance) and an excellent system to evaluate products.

2. Amazon has one of the largest catalogues around, as a matter of policy. If they've found it exists, and it fits their categories, it has an ASIN. Even if they can't sell it, marketplace sellers can be very specific about the item they're selling, meaning buyers can be fairly confident about what they're getting.

3. Amazon has excellent customer support. I've never had an issue unresolved by them. I rarely have problems in the first place. I've never met anyone who had a problem with them. They also act as an "honest broker" between third party sellers and buyers, and a reliable one, which is more than can be said for Paypal.

These three facts between them are why, in the absense of current bad behaviour I do buy from Amazon. Of all online retailers, they're the most useful. Their inventive and innovative streaks do deserve support. And I can trust them.

What amazes me is the number of apologists who will do anything but admit the plain reality. Amazon sucks. We would be better off with pretty much any other company replacing them.
*Any* company? Heh. Good luck buying "War and Peace" from Staples.com...

Anyway, that's simply nonsense. They have no major competitors on the "We sell everything front", with the possible exception of eBay/Paypal. There are the aggregators/portals like Yahoo Shopping, but there the consistancy and reliability of the information is awful. Then you have other companies that specialize in a particular field but don't necessarily have that wide a range.

Right now, my only major beef with Amazon is that the classical music search sucks. Your complaints, for the most part, are either outright bogus or apply to the company half a decade ago. I'm not going to boycott Amazon over its search feature though.

Re:Amazing! (1)

Bill Kilgore (914825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841782)

Amen! Great post. For crying out loud, if you don't like Amazon, don't shop there. There's absolutely no reason to call for their elimination or whatever. I've also had nothing but good experience with them, and I've been shopping regularly from Amazon since they were only a bookstore (ca. 1997). I've never had a problem that wasn't cleared up nearly instantly.

Re:Amazing! (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842732)

Nice one Jeff, I didn't find your explanations at all childlike - self serving yes, but not childlike.

Typical. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841381)

The dumbing down of these kinds of things just give more room for the media to maniupulate the story. Nothing to see here.

The REST of the story... (5, Informative)

PoconoPCDoctor (912001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841391)

While looking for work a year ago, I attended a job search seminar - one of the persons I met there was a former executive at Toys R Us - he briefly summed up what killed the Toys R Us business model - Walmart.

Walmart simply sucked away any profit margins the Toys R Us Franchise once had - especially during the biggest toy buying season - Christmas.

According to him, going online with Amazon was a desparation move to gain some profitability back from Walmart - managed by Toys R Us execs who had not a clue about managing an online store.

Re:The REST of the story... (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841734)

My dad (europe based) was phoned up by a boilerhouse stock operation in america offering him shares in Toys R us, it came arround christmas time this offer too. Sounded fishy even then.


Re:The REST of the story... (1)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842206)

According to him, going online with Amazon was a desparation move to gain some profitability back from Walmart - managed by Toys R Us execs who had not a clue about managing an online store.

Yeah, seriously... Anybody else remember the year before TRU partnered with Amazon? Their massive failure to do their promised holiday shipping was a well-publicized disaster.

Without a doubt they'll do better now.

Re:The REST of the story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842470)

The New Zealand company they outsourced part of their online operations to, OrderWare, couldn't see the
problem with rounding down to "box count" individual item shipments (usually came to ZERO) or
partial shipments (always undercounted) for billing purposes, while (in the same web app) actually
shipping the item count. DUH! Talk about a "stuff just falling off the back of a truck" 3-way
reconciliation disaster waiting to happen! Supply chain experts, my eye.

Re:The REST of the story... (1)

WolfZombie (918513) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842643)

what killed the Toys R Us business model - Walmart.

It is interesting to see a process go round full cycle. Back in the day, Toys R Us killed the local toy stores business model. Goes to show that a business model has to evolve with the times in order for a company to stay profitable.

It will be interesting to see what business model takes over the Walmart's success.

Re:The REST of the story... (1)

planetmn (724378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14843066)

Exactly. There is always a bigger fish in the ocean that will eat the current one. I make it a point to not shop at Walmart. I hate them, the stores are filthy, they only carry crap, and if you look at studies, the prices aren't actually cheaper.

But the interesting thing is, Toys R Us didn't have a typical Toy Store business model, they had a Walmart business model. They never had people who just knew the product and could help out, they just had a large selection and rather than low prices, just slightly lower than the local toy store.

But I'm amazed at the people who love Walmart. There are so many people who buy virtually everything at Walmart. I try to convert them to Target (I personally like Target, they seem to be better, give a lot more to charity and don't seem to run over the little guy - at least as much), and I drive out of my way to go to Target rather than Walmart, but people just won't change. All the negative PR, and still, what I hear is "yeah, but they're cheaper."

Having moved to a new area, I've been searching for the local places, the hardware store, the toy store, the book store, etc. and they're out there. But there are so few of them now, and you have to pay such a premium, that most people don't even bother.

Brick and mortar retailers light bulb comes on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841459)

A lot of brick and mortar companies didnt have an infrastructure in place to handle a large ecommerce presence several years ago. Amazon did so they all just went with the Amazon portal thing. Today most companies are far more aware of the web, technologies etc.

Eventually you will lose control of your online business to Amazon. I wondered when one of these companies would come to that realization. Web presence is no longer just a trivial thing. Wonder whos next? Target?

In other news: Shopping online unreliable! (5, Insightful)

PC-PHIX (888080) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841482)

Amazon's attempts to throw out e-mail evidence on the grounds that Internet communications lack reliability

Wah?

I hope I am not the only person that thinks this is a total contradiction!

Yes, shop online with us... Sure, purchase goods using the Internet... Absolutely, we can email you a new password/invoice/receipt number... Use email to communicate for business purposes - you must be F&*king crazy!!!!

If I tried to explain why, in this day and age, when running an entire business empire online, I considered "Internet communications" unreliable, I think my efforts would end up "incomprehensible" too!

spoof? (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841574)

Can't tell from the article if it applies, but I can sure think of a few reasons why e-mail is not the best evidence.

Does the livedoor mess make it into the English news?

Re:spoof? (3, Insightful)

rkcallaghan (858110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841614)

Can't tell from the article if it applies, but I can sure think of a few reasons why e-mail is not the best evidence.

I was thinking about this, and you know, Google gets a lot of flak for the storage-archive-nothings-ever-deleted thing; but could this be at least one positive side for most people?

I mean, really, it would be pretty preposterous to suggest that most people are capable of hacking and forging email on Google's servers, complete with Google's logs and metadata on the message transmission. Compared to a company's (or a person's) own private servers, it seems having a reputable 3rd party involved would add legitimacy in this case.

Thoughts?

~Rebecca

Re:spoof? (0, Offtopic)

Magada (741361) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842258)

Yes. I think your post incites to an offtopic discussion and should be modded "troll". I have no points at the moment, or I would.

Re:spoof? (1)

yasth (203461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842556)

In this case I think Amazon is very happy they don't have a trusted third party involved. For most businesses, a trusted third party is going to bite them more often then not. (After all, if the turned over emails show no evidence of say sexual harassment, you can't get a conviction on vauge intimations of unreliability) So more or less the burden of proof works against keeping unimpeachable records. (After all, a company is not going to depend on anything external that isn't in a contract.) Kind of sad really.

Re:spoof? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14843221)

Can't tell from the article if it applies, but I can sure think of a few reasons why e-mail is not the best evidence.

I can't. "On May 1, 2005 I sent an email to Amazon outlining the following: ..." Amazon's response, "Yeah, we got emails from them, but we deleted them all so they couldn't be used against us, um, I mean because the Internet is unreliable."

When both parties have the email stored, one as a sent message and one as a received message, I'm curious as to why you think that would be too unreliable to be considered in court? Especially since both would agree that a message was sent and received at that approximate time, and only the contents would be under contention. It isn't about one rougue email being evidence to hold someone, it's about an ongoing email conversation of verified emails (assuming they talked on the phone occassionaly about the emails) where the content of the verified emails is what is the issue.

Re:In other news: Shopping online unreliable! (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841612)

I don't feel that it is a contradiction, just incomplete. Without feedback and do-overs the Internet would be horribly unreliable. Email is unreliable, too many things can happen to it between the sender and the receiver, including being blocked by blocklists. Web pages are magnitudes more reliable because you know whether the operation that you just attempted has worked, and can go back and correct or rtry if it didn't work.

Re:In other news: Shopping online unreliable! (1)

Mannerism (188292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841762)

From the article: "[Judge] McVeigh also rejected Amazon's efforts to defend itself by asking her to throw out e-mail evidence that may have included hearsay. She said she found it "incomprehensible ... that a corporation dealing primarily in Internet commerce finds Internet communications to lack reliability."

Actually, your honor, I'd say that a corporation dealing primarily in Internet commerce would be an excellent judge of the reliability of Internet communications. As a consumer, I'm rather glad that they take a dim view of its reliability and apply the appropriate security measures -- measures to which the e-mails in question were probably not subject.

No, email *IS* unreliable (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842028)

it's simple to spoof an email, I can send mail as jonathan@pcphi...com any time I want to. I can also alter mailbox information, mess about with mail headers, make it say anything I want it to.

Sending sensitive information over email is as sane as sending it on a postcard... encrypt and sign it people...

 

Re:No, email *IS* unreliable (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842859)

it's simple to spoof an email, I can send mail as jonathan@pcphi...com any time I want to. I can also alter mailbox information, mess about with mail headers, make it say anything I want it to.

You can. But then you also have to make sure that it is the pcphi...com smtp server that actual do the delivery to my email server, otherwise the email will be thrown out of court because of invalid received by: lines. Even if you fake all received by: lines, some of the last lines should have been written by my email servers, which should have made a note where the connection came from. And if the last outside connection didn't match the pcphi...com smtp server...

And you can change your mailbox, but then my copy of the mail would be different from your copy of the mail. And since I'm a company, I make backup, and all the backup (verified) email have the same email content (up to the point when I received the email, of course).

Agreed, email is not legal evidence (1)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842081)

If I tried to explain why, in this day and age, when running an entire business empire online, I considered "Internet communications" unreliable, I think my efforts would end up "incomprehensible" too!

How's this for comprehensibilty?:

I could fake a mail from you to Saddam Hussain stating that you would like to assasinate one of your political leaders for one hundred billion dollars. (hello to the security people now joining us, calm down, it's just an example). This email chain has dates and times.

Now, try and prove to me the following: a) you didn't write it at all, b) it is exactly as first sent, c) the message was never sent in the first place.

Computer logs are even less reliable than eyewitnesses. And eyewitnesses are pretty unreliable as well...as any lawyer/judge/cop.

Re:Agreed, email is not legal evidence (1)

westyx (95706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842127)

You can fake an email, but you're unlikely to be able to fake conversations, where both sides have copies and backups of the emails.

Re:Agreed, email is not legal evidence (1)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842976)

How's this for comprehensibilty?:

I could fake a mail from you to Saddam Hussain stating that you would like to assasinate one of your political leaders for one hundred billion dollars. (hello to the security people now joining us, calm down, it's just an example). This email chain has dates and times.

Now, try and prove to me the following: a) you didn't write it at all, b) it is exactly as first sent, c) the message was never sent in the first place.


I'd drop 8 years of outbound emails all signed with one of three PGP keys on the table, and drown you in a proponderance of the evidence.

This is exactly why I sign even trivial emails.

Where's the Judge's Decision? (1)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841543)

Where is the judge's decision that attacks Bezos and the position that Amazon took?

I'm hoping to read it, because I'm leery of articles that paraphrase this stuff -- I always like to read the original source.

My fellow American (2, Insightful)

Josh teh Jenius (940261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841565)

If I may be deadly serious for a moment: my pals and I have sent each other "spoof" emails as practical jokes for years now.

Am I the only one who finds it extremely dangerous that email is accepted as "evidence" in 2006 by people who can't begin to understand "this tech stuff"?

Yikes.

Re:My fellow American (2, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841631)

I see nothing saying that Amazon said they didn't send/receive the emails, only that they claimed email was an unreliable communication method. Compared to the instant communication of phones, it IS unreliable. We had a situation at work this week where I was working with a programmer in another company and one of the emails either didn't make it, or wasn't seen. A week went by before anyone complained. We finished the project that day.

Unreliable communications is not an excuse for breaching a contract. It's up to BOTH companies to use reliable communication. If Amazon thought email wasn't reliable, they shouldn't have used it. The should have insisted on a more reliable method.

Re:My fellow American (1)

dodobh (65811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841633)

The technology for validating email has been present for years. GPG, PGP, S/MIME...

Re:My fellow American (1)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841990)

Yes, you are. If you're going to use email for business, don't be surprised if it comes back to bite you in the ass.

Re:My fellow American (1)

turbohappy (927938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842606)

Video can be faked pretty handily and it still seems to be a gold standard of proof. I've been concerned about THAT one for years now.

Re:My fellow American (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842618)

Ironically, last time I spoofed an email, as a joke, it was supposedly from Jeff Bezos, "responding" to a complaint about Amazon from a co-worker, which started off as a reasonable response but got steadily more ridiculous as it explained how virtually everyone involved in the thing he was complaining about had just been fired.

That said, while spoofing emails on a one-off basis is clearly possible, it becomes more difficult to claim that the system is unreliable when you start talking about email threads. Then you're looking at a bunch of people responding to one-another. If the co-worker had responded to the email, and I'd put Jeff's real email address on the Reply-To: line (which, needless to say, on the off-chance he took it seriously before I had a chance to set him straight, I set to my own address), the fact it was fake would have been revealed immediately. The email thread would have been something like:

From: C. Oworker

Amazon sucks! You did X and Y and Z and...

From: "Jeff Bezos"

Dear C. Oworker, I'm sorry to hear about the problems you had with your recent order. I've ordered an investigation and in the mean time, I've fired everyone involved, and informed all of our competitors and other potential employers of these people how incompetent they are...(etc)

From: C. Oworker

Wow! You're the best. Thanks for dealing with my issue in such a thorough manner.

From: Jeff Bezos

I think you've been had. I never sent the email you quoted. You need to contact the FBI.

Such a chain would not be the case if the thread was genuine. Certainly, Bezos wouldn't respond to a reply to a bogus email with, say, "You're welcome. We always do our best to have top notch customer service" or something like that.

Bottom line is... (1)

ursabear (818651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841668)

Twofold:

We R Toys thought they were getting an exclusive wrap on all the toy-sales-hookup at Amazon.com; Amazon.com thought it was picking up brand recognition from We R Toys.

In the end, Amazon.com was selling toys from other mechanisms, and We R Toys wasn't kicking the profits to the moon with the joint adventure.

In the end, both parties (IMHO) have lost something here. Instead of just agreeing to void the contract and going their separate ways, they had to fight it out in an ugly and public way. Interestingly enough... of the many folks to whom I have spoken (over the past few years), at Christmas time, they didn't even know they were actually buying the toys from TRU - they thought they were shopping at Amazon.com. It's interesting how that whole deal morphed out.

End of the super bargains - Screw you Amazon (2, Informative)

NXprime (573188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841722)

I'm happy for Toys R Us because basically, and I think a lot of other people thought this too, is that I was buying toys from Amazon.com. So at least they get thier brand identity back. It was nice you can return the stuff to any Toys R Us store, though.

This does suck in a way as it'll be the end of the crazy super bargain deals where Toys R Us has a 33% off each item (3 item minimum) and an Amazon.com coupon for an additional %20 off that amount. It was a killer deal back in September where I got the Star Wars Lego Imperial Star Destroyer (reg price $300) for like 55% off. I'm going to miss those kind of deals. *sniff* *sniff* :).....

However when my apartment office recieved it and showed it to me I could actually see the lego box a few feet away since the box lid tape was completely torn off. That was a scary moment, but it wasn't damaged. They also sent another large lego set WITHOUT ANY BOX WHATSOEVER! Just slapped a sticker on it and shipped it.

So you know, I hope to god Toys R Us can ship things better than these bastards. I don't ever want the apartment management seeing what I got. So good riddence to amazon.com. Oh and don't even get me started with how I bought japanese jpop cd bootlegs from their zShops and didn't know about it for 9 months!

Re:End of the super bargains - Screw you Amazon (2, Informative)

Aagfed (958473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842878)

you can return the stuff to any Toys R Us store Actually, at least here in Ohio, Toys R Us is falling on exceptionally hard times. In a fifty-mile radius there 1 (one) TRU store open anymore, and only 1 (one) Babies R Us left. All of the others, at least the ones located near malls, have closed. Which actually makes me wonder: why is K B Toyz still around?

Editor needed at MSNBC.COM (2, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14841733)

According to the ruling in the case, Amazon.com has 14 fulfillment centers operating 24 hours a day except for Christmas and New

Reuters contributed to the story.


New Year's? New locations? New York? New London?
Someone needs to RTA before they publish it.

Re:Editor needed at MSNBC.COM (1)

rfunches (800928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842004)

It's a widespread problem across the entire MSNBC.com website. The site is crappy anyway, and the way they place the ads sometimes breaks the page (ad covers text) ***even*** when using IE.

Re:Editor needed at MSNBC.COM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14843169)

"the way they place the ads sometimes breaks the page"

Disabling JavaScript often fixes it. (And, yes, why they're using JavaScript for page layout...?)

Toys R Us Kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841747)

CEO Jeff Bezos' candor and 'rather childlike' explanations.

I guess he should stop acting like a ToysRUs kid now.

Actually, the relationship with TRUS was complex (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14841967)

(Disclaimer: I'm a former Amazon employee who worked with a group that had a close relationship with TRUS)

I think the TRUS relationship was weighing heavily on both companies. Amazon doesn't like to sell toys directly, as they're very difficult to manage in a supply chain -- they're bursty, vulnerable to all kinds of trends that are difficult to predict, and very fragile to ship. TRUS' technical staff was often frustrated by the weird working relationships imposed by our respective corporate bureaucracy. And finally, it really cramped Amazon's ability to create new products and services, since we were constantly having to consider whether a new feature would ruffle TRUS' feathers.

I think both parties are better off with a divorce. It's quite a risk for TRUS to create a new online store from scratch, but they've got some good people who've had several years of experience working with Amazon. I wish them the best of luck.

Re:Actually, the relationship with TRUS was comple (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842083)

I also agree that this is a good move. I've been very frustrated with the TRUS "store" within Amazon. Countless times I've wanted to buy something only to find out that TRUS was selling it, which meant I also had to pay shipping AND tax. Maybe now Amazon will sell video games directly.

Everybody wins. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14842744)

Amazon most certainly will start selling videogames directly now.

As another former Amazon employee who worked on the TRU projects, I can say that Amazon's customers are likely much better off without the TRU partnership.

Here's why:
- Dozens of merchants will now sell toys directly in the Amazon.com toy store, driving prices down and options up.
- The selection will increase. More merchants equals broader selection.
- Amazon can create new features and form new partnership without TRU around it's neck.

When I was there, we couldn't even sell Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon (some of, if not *the* bestselling products in the industry at the time) because Toys R Us lost money selling 3 dollar products online, which was a consequence of the way the contract was written.

Amazon was making bank off this relationship. My impression was that Amazon was spending *far* less than the $50 million per year that TRU was paying. I could never count more than about a dozen people working directly on the project (myself included). There were probably a bunch more in the warehouse and lots of operational expenses there, but I couldn't say.

TRU, on the other hand, was losing money the whole time. They blew it when they negociated the contract and both sides knew it.

The new toysrus.com, whatever it will look like, will never be able to compete with Amazon on price and selection because of Amazon's multiple merchants strategy. They'll have to compete on brand, for better or for worse. Good luck to both of them.

What they should have done all along is give toysrus.com their own site, a la target.com (which is run by Amazon). Then have TRU sell product on amazon.com/toys as just another merchant.

Barring that, by breaking up, everybody wins. Amazon gets to sell whatever they want, TRU stops bleeding money, and the customer gets a better Amazon toy store and another option in toysrus.com.

Re:Actually, the relationship with TRUS was comple (1)

Rageon (522706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842627)

Maybe you can answer this for me. I worked for Amazon for about a year. I always wondered why they charged so damn much for shipping the T.R.U. stuff. I mean, it was like $.75 a pound or something crazy.

Mall Stores (1)

scottennis (225462) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842030)

Anyone want to lay odds that Amazon starts opening mall stores?

Good (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842380)

Maybe now Amazon will start stocking Toys R Us type stuff themselves, instead of forcing me to go with third-party sellers. I have Amazon prime, and would like to use it for video games and the like, but can't because Amazon never stocks the stuff themselves. (And Amazon prime only works with items Amazon sells themselves.)

Anyone been to bricks & mortar Toys R Us latel (2, Insightful)

MrNougat (927651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842472)

I have. Their stores pretty much suck. The only reason they still exist is momentum and because WalMart beat down all the competition. I think their own in-house internet presence may just be the end of them.

goodbye toys r us, hurry along! (1)

datachasm (958692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842480)

good, im glad Toys R' Us is leaving the Amazon site... free shipping from amazon is always nice, and toys r us did not offer it. they also lock out sellers from anything they offer online. i collect boardgames so this is good news to me, hopefully soon i will no longer have to spend $100 to get free shipping... lol

Candor of Jeff (1)

VeryHotTopic (954703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842728)

I'm glad that Jeff showed candor. Very good.

"Incomprehensible!" (1)

cnerd2025 (903423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14842812)

That judge may get upset when someone starts sending emails from his email address. Of course, I don't know what kind of information is in the emails, but it is entirely possible to send false emails, even fraudulent ones. Just login to an insecure SMTP server and you're set. Not that I recommend anyone do this, by the way. It can both be unethical and illegal, unless you have permission to use the server and the permission of the owner of the address. Still, emails are highly suspect to problems, and email should always be considered an "insecure medium."

Re:"Incomprehensible!" (2)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 8 years ago | (#14843227)

That judge may get upset when someone starts sending emails from his email address. Of course, I don't know what kind of information is in the emails, but it is entirely possible to send false emails, even fraudulent ones. Just login to an insecure SMTP server and you're set.

How do you fake all the headers (included the one that are added by the recipients email server)? The Received By: line will have incorrect information up to the point where the email leaves your control.
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