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

Wal*Mart
Target
Best Buy
Staples
OfficeMax
Jo-Ann Stores Inc.
KMart

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.

Man aren't they getting tough. Personally I do not think they have much of a good sale this year anyway. Secondly, I SAVE the posts of black friday...there you go big crappy sale Walmart, Bestbuy, Staples, etc....
Edit: Sunday 11/24. Fatwallet made the Washington Post, business section

Kudos, Chief Muckety Muck. We're all behind you!

And, if they successfully prevent you from posting the deals, I'm sure there will be other places to (cough) get them.

Link fixed now that Yahoo! group is gone.

I also printed that one GREAT big post with ALL the sale prices from ALL those stores plus the rest!! I've distributed them to my friends here at work and out of work!

Take that you big stupid corporations!!!

I hope that the EFF will agree to help you fight this and I completely understand your current position.

If anybody want to voice thier opinion I got this e-mail from the black friday Yahoo BF group :

"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 ***-***-**** or send me an email with your phone number and I'll call you.

Thanks, Ron"

ITS TIME TO REWRITE THE DMCA!!!!!

Here's a thought...take it one step further. Remove ALL POSTS that contain information about DEALS or PRODUCTS at those establishments <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> No reason why they should dictate how/when/why they get to enjoy the benefits of Fat Wallet readership!

How wonderful.

Thats like Linksys suing Best Buy because they are advertising their product in the Best Buy Circular.

Good job to those stores, its always a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you.


EDIT: Hey Chief, can you flip through them and see if they quote any particular sections of the DMCA?

Better yet, just put new threads stating these idiotic merchants are offering zero deals throughout the holiday season, so no need to shop there.

ridiculous
you would think they woudl realize that having the ads early allows us to plan our shopping for that day
*sigh*
so similar to the online music and the riaa...

Maybe I'm being too simplistic, but if I own a business, the whole reason I'm advertising is to get consumers into my store. So I send out mailings. I don't see the problem if somebody copies that flyer and posts it or redistributes it...that's just more consumers reached without me having to PAY to reach them. Maybe I have to worry that the re-distributed flyer is incorrect, but as it's not an "official" flyer it can't be legally binding. I'd just have to explain to the consumer about that. But at that point the consumer is already IN MY STORE and giving me the opportunity to grab their business. What's the big deal? What am I missing??

The concern that is mentioned by every merchant that I have spoken with is this - "Competition" - They don't want their competitors to have a chance to react prior to the date of the sale when the information becomes "public"

Tim, do they specify what section of the DMCA is being infringed upon?

FatWallet.Com said:

<< The concern that is mentioned by every merchant that I have spoken with is this - "Competition" - They don't want their competitors to have a chance to react prior to the date of the sale when the information becomes "public" >>




IMHO ads and prices are set MANY weeks in advance ever before an advert is distributed. It's not like CC is going to change their ad at the last minute because they found out that BB has something for $5 less due to the ad showing up here at FW...

I'd be greatly interested in what sections of the DMCA these guys are invoking.

i don't get their stupid thinking of those stores. In the the end we here have to buy those stuffs not come in their stores and steal it. Doing this only hurt themselves. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0>

i can totally buy the arguement that they don't want their competition to get a leg up on their sales. But companies are responsible for not releasing their secret information. And it's not like everyone's sales weren't posted, so everyone's playing with an even deck so to speak. Let's remember back to Econ 101. Competition only works with "perfect information." I do find the whole hiding advertisements rather ironic. Understandable, but ironic.

Comparing future advertisements to mp3's or divx is a joke and only perpetuates a well deserved reputation for lawyers and our legal system. But after looking at all the sales that were listed, I can see a the real concern wuhoo addressed. People plan their shopping by these sales. There aren't any sales that are TONS better than we already get through these forums, or really the general public sees through sales. I'm guessing retailers are afraid that if the general public knew black friday was a really a thing of the past living on through past momentum, shoppers wouldn't show up. I have built one computer for parents and helped a friend build one a few months ago. There isn't a single black friday deal that is any better (or really equal for that matter) than stuff we bought weeks or months ago (thank you FatWallet!!).

i think the real thing retailers should fear is that after this year, black friday will mean nothing, or worse, Red Friday, as in Red ink. I know I have shown up at stores that have advertised huge sales only to find diddly squat. And I've never returned to those stores. Ever. Retailers should think about that rather than running in circles trying to apply a bad law to something it has nothing to do with. Maybe retailers should get rid of some lawyers to help their bottom line.

Perhaps another slant on what these merchants may be concerned about:

If you are in need of a new TV and are ready to purchase that 27" Symphonics that WalMart is selling for $225 (price for illustration only) today, and you find out that if you wait a week or two you can get it for less than $150, chances are you are going to wait. They may be worried about delayed purchases (paying the sale price in two weeks instead of paying full price today)impacting the bottom line. Face it - everyone on here will delay their material gratification in order to minimize their financial outlay. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> Regardless, I still think it is assinine to invoke the DMCA to get these posts pulled!

fatwallet,

Keep publishing the names of the whining stores. Hopefully, the consumer will do the rest.

Unbelievable!
<minor rant>
It seems counter-productive for these big companies to upset a large group of potential consumers. After all, people come here LOOKING FOR WAYS TO SPEND MONEY. Why make them mad. These prices have been set for some time- putting them up on this board a little early is FREE ADVERTISING!
</minor rant over>

I support you Chief<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>

I think what Walmart, Target and the like are trying to do is to keep prices secret until they are published...most will publish them this Sunday in the paper, once that happens we can put the deals up on this site. It is not like we can do anything with the products until next Friday anyway.
This is why companies have employees sign confidentiality agreement, so that information is not leaked before the company is ready to announce it themselves.

OK, Now I know where I'm not spending my money. If they think that their competitors are getting their edge here then they are hurting. That info was leaked out long before anyone here heard a thing.

Interesting, I was unaware that research (what it's usually called when you read several works (copyrighted or not) and distill the information into a report) was banned by the DMCA.

What? You only summarized one copyrighted work? Well, the DMCA was created to protect "content" from being digitally copied and distributed. If I looked at an advance copy of SWII-AOTC and then summarized the really good parts on a forum, I'm not distributing the "content." They could rightfully deny me an advanced copy of the next movie, but I wouldn't be subject to prosecution.

BTW - does the DMCA provide for civil damages? If not, corporations are usurping govenmental powers to police the laws. But then again, I suppose if you're big enough and you've got the executive branch in your hip pocket (they control the law enforcement agencies) you can do anything!

BTW - FW, I understand your position. There are precious few small business people who have the $$$ to defend themselves against such claims, even if false. I hope the big media picks up on this and gets the story correct.

ADD-
I'm happy to be a senior member on the site that is the reason the DMCA gets taken down - Go Tim!!

The man coming down on the Chief but, by coming down on the Tim they come down on all of his supporters. I hope the press takes the public's side on this one. Do we have any laywers in the ranks that would be willing to take this up?

Also, On another note, Can't we beat this by posting deals without dollar ($$$$$) signs? Or insted of 29.99 we make it -30 therfore we do not copy anything.


JTP - Your strong arm in the north

bennenite said:

<< Unbelievable!
<minor rant>
It seems counter-productive for these big companies to upset a large group of potential consumers. After all, people come here LOOKING FOR WAYS TO SPEND MONEY. Why make them mad. These prices have been set for some time- putting them up on this board a little early is FREE ADVERTISING!
</minor rant over>

I support you Chief<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
>>



If you couple this with the fact that every store has some sort of pricematching policy, I fail to see how do any store would get a leg up on the other?

JDMnAR hit the nail on the head, I think. Merchants do not want consumers to wait to spend money.

Another point, most of the after-Thanksgiving sale ads aren't usually distributed until Wed - they won't be with the Sunday ads. This seems to be partially to prevent consumers from pre-purchasing items that they will return over the the weekend for sale prices.

I agree with most sentiments expressed above.

The economy is already weak. Consumers are the only component holding the survival key at this point in time. Corporations such as WalMart, Target, BestBuy, Staples and others are heading for analysts downgrades if their financial numbers slump. They wanna talk cocky now and use DMCA against FatWallet ? You know what, Tim, the consumers have the freedom to choose where they shop. And you know what, consumers and pro-consumer sites such as FatWallet have the most powerful weapon against cocky corporations - Word Of Mouth ! Let's see who has the last laugh when Wall Street punishes these few arrogant companies. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>

JakeThePimp said:

<< Also, On another note, Can't we beat this by posting deals without dollar ($$$$$) signs? Or insted of 29.99 we make it -30 therfore we do not copy anything. >>



No because then we are lying.

FatWallet.Com said:

<< The concern that is mentioned by every merchant that I have spoken with is this - "Competition" - They don't want their competitors to have a chance to react prior to the date of the sale when the information becomes "public" >>



BULL$#!T

As someone who works in the retail industry at the exexutive level, I can say with almost complete certainty that EVERY store knows what their competition is planning. There are moles in all companies and people leave one company for a competitor and share info. with their friends at the former company.

They can also get the info. the same way that people here do--newspaper circulars are printed and delivered in advance. They are not under lock and key.

Even if they got their competitiors' prices for the first time by reading the circulars in the newspaper on Sat/Sun (or on Thanksgiving), all it takes is a simple price change in their systems and an e-mail to all of their stores to get the price changed to match/beat the competition on Sunday morning (or Black Friday).

When K-Mart has the lowest advertised price on a DVD, WalMart always ends up beating it by a few cents THE VERY SAME DAY that the price was advertised. Now how do you think they accomplish that so quickly? Psychics????

DMCA only applies to this country. Maybe FW should move the offending content to a data center at another country or to a foreign subsidiary.

I don't suppose posting the Black Friday info on a server that is hosted in another country would violate the DMCA.. I wonder what hosting rates in Canada are like.. hmmmm

When will it be "ok" to post the Black Friday sales again? I wonder if this will lead to the same companies forcing sites not to list their normal weekly ads? <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-disgusted.gif"border=0>

They will be back in January begging us to buy their crap. I predict that they will not have a great season this year. The black Friday sales are the worst I have seen in years. I am holding onto my money for better deals. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0>

Retailnever said:

<< They will be back in January begging us to buy their crap. I predict that they will not have a great season this year. The black Friday sales are the worst I have seen in years. I am holding onto my money for better deals. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0><img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-mad.gif"border=0> >>



I agree. Maybe that's why they don't want them posted...they're embarassed by their "sales" this year. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0>

Casey said:

<< When will it be "ok" to post the Black Friday sales again? I wonder if this will lead to the same companies forcing sites not to list their normal weekly ads? <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-disgusted.gif"border=0> >>



When will it be OK? Probably Black Friday + 1 (in other words Saturday).

Nice move - by giving in, you have legitmized their entire stance. Business descision or not, you've pretty much given them all they need to do this again, to you, and everyone else, over and over and over. You've adbicatted your ability to serve consumers by letting others control your actions.

I just bought some stuff from Best Buy last week, going to take it back today and give them the reason why - "DMCA". Doesn't matter if they back down or not, all of these four stores have totally lost my business for a very, very, very long time.

Let's organize a huge boycott of all of these stores, go to Bananatech, Dealhour, technobargains, etc, and post:

Save the Constitution: Don't shop at these stores on Black Friday!!! (and why)


Now it truly is a Black Friday when our basic free speech rights are being abridged by a right wing government which values large corporations' rights over our basic constitutional rights.

This really makes me angry!!!!!(in case you didn't notice)

my1bug said:

<< DMCA only applies to this country. Maybe FW should move the offending content to a data center at another country or to a foreign subsidiary. >>



And you honestly think that this would keep the US from going after FatWallet.com? Hardly.

Tim,

You are doing the right thing by pulling the offending material. You don't have the resources to fight these companies, but you DO have the resources to get the word out about them. Your site is far-reaching, and as the media gets a hold of this the companies will get their due bad press.

Continue to list which companies send you DMCA letters. I have already added four of them to my "Do Not Shop" list, and am notifying others.

Attention: This thread has been "Slashdotted". Depending on the strength of the server, there may be some mild turbulence. Please remain seated, place tray-tables in their upright position, and remain calm. Thank you for your cooperation.

Well, you made Slashdot. Prepare for a beatdown <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>.

/. link

Skipping 867 Messages...
do you know how i can get to the list of things for kmart's friday sale?



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