The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

6 December 2002

FatWallet revisited

Last time, you'll remember, FatWallet.com was being threatened under the DMCA by retailers who claimed that their prices were trade secrets and therefore covered by copyright. One of those retailers, the ever-surly Wal-Mart, went so far as to subpoena FatWallet to demand the name of the person posting Wal-Mart prices on FatWallet's message board. How were these prices obtained? Newspaper inserts require a certain amount of lead time, online prices are right there where you can see them, and, well, you can guess the rest.

A law clinic at UC Berkeley said that they would fight Wal-Mart's subpoena and DMCA claims on behalf of FatWallet. Wal-Mart, for its part, has decided to cool its jets for now.

None of this is likely to put much of a dent into the DMCA, but it's almost always a good sign when people refuse to roll over and play dead for the big shots.

Posted at 8:57 AM to PEBKAC