"All Your Fact Are Belong To Us"
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
I think I may have just seen it all. Some of the nation's largest retailers have
just claimed that the sale prices
of the goods they sell are copyrighted. That's right, advertising the sale price
of, say, a Panasonic DVD player is a copyright violation. Well, according to
Buy, Staples, Target
and several others, it is. Though this seems to defy common sense, companies
like FatWallet are not fighting it because
they lack the funds to take on such corporate giants.
Well, I don't know quite what to make of this. I'm a bit dumbfounded. As the
article notes, the retailers weren't so upset that their Black Friday sale prices
were leaked early but that their hands had been tipped to competitors, so to
speak. It would seem to me that trying to plug leaks in a corporation
as large as Wal-Mart is an exercise in futility. Besides, is there really enough
time for Target to launch a counter campaign -- print and distribute new circulars,
create and run television spots, etc. -- before Black Friday?
Someone should tell these companies that this is the way it works. You
have secrets. You try to keep them secret until you wish them to be revealed.
Sometimes, someone tells. You no longer confide in that person, but you don't
punish the people that that person told. And you certainly can't copyright a
fact. Well, I hope not, at any rate. Until the Staples of the world pick on a site
funded by AOL or Microsoft, we may not know.
Oh, and by the way, the title of this article comes from a poorly
translated game in which an alien invader proclaims "All your base
are belong to us." It's a geek thing. :)