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Rachel E. Matteo-Boehm
Steinhart & Falconer LLP
Phone: 415-442-0844
Fax: 415-442-0856


ROSCOE, IL., November 26, 2003 -- Faced with demands by national retailers under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to remove Thanksgiving sales information from its web site for the second year in a row, FatWallet, Inc. filed a lawsuit yesterday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois seeking a declaration that these demands constitute an abuse of the DMCA and violate the First Amendment rights of both FatWallet and its users (FatWallet, Inc. v. Best Buy Enterprise Services, Inc., et al., Case No. 03C50508).

The lawsuit was a response to “takedown” notices received by FatWallet over the last few weeks from Best Buy, Kohl’s Department Stores, and Target Corporation, each of whom demanded that FatWallet remove from its web site user postings containing Thanksgiving sales price information on the grounds that the information was protected by copyright. Best Buy took things a step further, sending FatWallet a subpoena requesting that it identify the person who posted the information. Because the subpoena was not properly served and suffered from other procedural defects, FatWallet notified Best Buy that it would not identify the poster. Shortly before Thanksgiving 2002, FatWallet received a similar subpoena from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., as well as takedown notices from retailers including Best Buy, Target, K-Mart, Inc., and Jo-Ann Stores.

“The posting on a web site of sales price information is not the proper subject of a subpoena or a takedown notice under the DMCA. Hopefully, by filing this lawsuit, FatWallet will be able to put an end to this repeated misuse of the DMCA’s special subpoena and notice provisions and ensure that its First Amendment rights, and the First Amendment rights of its users, are fully protected,” said Rachel Matteo-Boehm, an attorney with Steinhart & Falconer LLP, one of the law firms representing FatWallet in the suit.

“Our users should be able to freely post and discuss factual information, like sales prices, without being sued or accused of copyright infringement, and we hope that by filing this lawsuit, we will be protecting these important consumer rights,” said Tim Storm, FatWallet’s founder and President.

FatWallet, Inc. is a venue for consumer-to-consumer communication as well as business-to-consumer marketing. FatWallet is represented by Ms. Matteo-Boehm, Roger Myers, and Eugene Pak of Steinhart & Falconer LLP in San Francisco, California, and Troy E. Haggestad of Williams & McCarthy in Rockford, Illinois.

A .pdf copy of the complaint can be found here

yes...first...go tim

Good work! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>

Go get 'em. And good luck.

Go FW.

way to go

yeaaa gj <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>

Tim, you have our full support!

Alright!!! Go FW.

Your lawyer can beat up their lawyer!!!

YES! Finally - this DMCA Nazi-ism needs to stop!

kick their @sses chief. we're all behind you

D@mn the Man!! Vive la Fatwallet!!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>

OUT-FRICKIN-STANDING! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>


Right On TIM!!!

hit 'em were it hurts! (in the wallet)

make those bastards PAY!

long live FREE SPEECH on FatWallet!! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>

sig follows;


Go TIM!! Guys make sure you use FatCash to buy stuff!!!!

I think Best Buy's is not going to get my hard earned $. Who the H*LL do they think they are?




Thank you, Tim, for doing this. Challenges against misuse of the DMCA help everyone against companies abusing its broad wording. We all hope that you will win this case and prevent other companies from misusing it again.

Yesss, let's kick some xxxxx<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>

btw, every member should file an individual lawsuit!

This is great, and is precisely what needs to be done. I threw out my plans for buying a laptop @ BB over this garbage, & will be buying one at COMPUSA instead. COMPUSA will be more expensive, but saving some money isn't worth supporting this misuse of the law.

I hope FatWallet has the financial resources to litigate this. I'd throw a few dollars into the pot to help with expenses, if something like that is set up. If not, I'll be giving another little donation to the EFF. I recommend everyone else who cares about this do the same.

you can do it Tim. Fight the power. We will not go quietly into the night. They can take our lives but they can take our fatwallets. We're here We're cheap get over it. Etc etc.

Hoo-RAY for FW!

I posted a "shared letter" at PlanetFeedback.com, as well.

Check it out:

Hope this link works....

i vote for suing for a LOT more than is necessary so when Tim wins we can have a butt-kickin' party to celebrate the butt kickin' victory! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>

we are on your side!
go fight with them



Your turn to be "da-man" as it were. Thanks for stepping up to the plate.

Way to go, Tim.

Go get 'em!

As you can see Chief, we are all behind you....Plow on....

That's what I'm talkin bout

whooo- hooooo!
Thanks Tim, for stepping up. Your gonna kick their a*#%s!

kick Best Buy, Kohl Department Stores, and Target Corporation's azz, seabass

Thank you fatwallet for standing up for the little man (and woman).

yeah. go get 'em!


You got the community's support. Now go get them!!!

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