[free-sklyarov] DMCA misuse hurts consumers and news reporting

Richard M. Smith rms at computerbytesman.com
Thu Nov 21 07:52:43 PST 2002


Attached is a list of articles about the attempt by Walmart and other US
retailers to suppress news from being posted on shopper Web sites about
prices for upcoming sales.  Quoting prices from sales circulars hardly
qualifies as copyright infrigement.  The use of the DMCA to suppress
protected speech is particularily alarming here.

If Walmart or the other retailers don't want this kind of information to
get out prematurely, then they need to work with employees and vendors
to keep it under wraps.  Unfortunately it appears that these companies
are attempting to take the easy way out by sending out DMCA demand
letters rather than getting their own houses in order.

This action by Walmart and others illustrates yet again why the DMCA is
a very problematic law.

I also wonder now about other cases of the news been suppress by the
misuse of DMCA.  DMCA demand letters to Web sites and hosting services
are very common nowadays.

Richard M. Smith


Internet Sites Delete News of Sales by Big Retailers

'Prices are trade secrets' - stores unite to make DMCA look stupid

Web-Savvy Shoppers Get Sneak Peak at Holiday Sales

Big Retailers Squeeze FatWallet  

Retailers Wield Copyright Law Against Shopping Sites 

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