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Guy posting Fry's Electronics adverts busted by Fry's

By ramses0 in News
Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 07:12:03 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

A website popular for providing scanned images of Fry's Electronics newspaper ads has just been shut down, according to C|Net news via Yahoo.

The case made by Fry's is that the website in question (www.frysad.com) is actually a business (because of banner ad usage), and that the website links to Fry's competitors (either something like www.buy.com, or indirectly through banner ads).


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Fry's has threatened suit for cybersquatting because the domain name has the word "Fry's" in it, so the guy who runs it has moved everything over to another of his domains, eref.com. The question is now whether he is using Fry's copyrighted material (their advertisments) in order to make money.

Can any persons in the Los Angeles area give some insight? An attorney in the area has already offered to represent him for gratis, so that's not a problem.

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Guy posting Fry's Electronics adverts busted by Fry's | 13 comments (12 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
So does this mean... (3.00 / 4) (#1)
by tnt on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 11:38:07 AM EST

So does this mean that if a website is not trying to make money, then they can reprint any type of stuff from any type of newspaper (or magazine)? Or does this apply only to ads?

--
     Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
__________________________________________________
  Kuro5hin user #279

Fry's (2.66 / 3) (#2)
by Devil Ducky on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 01:35:04 PM EST

I don't live in the LA area (far from it actually), but one of the times I was out there I saw one of their ads and went to the store and bought speakers. Explaining at the airport why I have an unopened speaker box with me was pretty entertaining.

I don't think they should be complaining when someone is basically advertising for them to a larger market for free. Who clicks banner ads anyway?

Devil Ducky

Immune to the Forces of Duct Tape
Day trading at it's Funnest
Unopened speakers a problem? (none / 0) (#10)
by tzanger on Mon Feb 26, 2001 at 11:11:53 AM EST

Explaining at the airport why I have an unopened speaker box with me was pretty entertaining.

Why?

A friend had been stopped at airport security because he had two medium-voltage SCRs on him... Picture a hockey-puck-like structure. 3" in diameter, made of ribbed ceramic with two metal plates on each end. Very long red and white wires coming out of the ceramic disc in the middle. :-)



[ Parent ]
Similar Item (none / 0) (#11)
by guinsu on Mon Feb 26, 2001 at 12:12:41 PM EST

I remember when I was going to mail off the pickups for my guitar, they were still attached to the pickguard with all the electronics. Basically they were two black blocks with a bunch of wires running inbetween them and some other electronics. When the packing people asked me what it was they were packing, I was hlaf tempted to tell them it was a bomb, but I didn't know if they'd take me seriously.

[ Parent ]
Fry's? (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by fremen on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 05:06:47 PM EST

You know, for a store that until very recently didn't have a web page, and even now doesn't have anything useful on it, they sure are pretty uppity about this.

Then again, this is Fry's we're talking about. This is downright friendly of them.

Completely unsurprising (4.00 / 1) (#7)
by bjrubble on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 07:09:56 PM EST

I used to think that the management of Fry's must be pretty sharp, since they managed to survive despite the howling idiocy running rampant through all their stores. Then came the web, and after two years of waiting for them to get a website up -- rather, two years of waiting for them to figure out that they could put up a website even if they hadn't finished shafting someone else for the frys.com domain -- I concluded that, in fact, the idiocy went all the way to the top. These guys understand the fast-food model -- how to structure a workable business around unskilled, powerless, low-paid, high-turnover employees -- but outside of that I've yet to see them demonstrate the first clue about anything.

[ Parent ]
*(Gasp!)* (3.00 / 2) (#5)
by Mr. Excitement on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 06:05:26 PM EST

Free advertising exposure? Oh! How my heart bleeds for the poor souls at Fry's...

They might have to work less hard to get customers, and it is a Known Fact that hard work is good for the soul.

Clearly, this guy is a demon in Earthly guise, and must be stopped at all costs!

Jihad! Jihad! Muad'Dib!

(Oops... wrong tangent...)

1 141900 Mr. Excitement-Bar-Hum-Mal-Cha died in The Gnomish Mines on level 10 [max 12]. Killed by a bolt of lightning - [129]

Fry's (none / 0) (#8)
by IntlHarvester on Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 02:24:50 AM EST

Anyone at Fry's working hard? Anyone at Fry's working hard to get customers?? Someone obviously have never been there.

[ Parent ]
Sure they do! (none / 0) (#9)
by Mr. Excitement on Sun Feb 25, 2001 at 02:29:40 AM EST

Of course they work hard to get customers. Ever noticed how abusable their de facto hardware return policy is? =^D

1 141900 Mr. Excitement-Bar-Hum-Mal-Cha died in The Gnomish Mines on level 10 [max 12]. Killed by a bolt of lightning - [129]
[ Parent ]
Two separate issues (5.00 / 4) (#6)
by Keslin on Sat Feb 24, 2001 at 06:32:20 PM EST

There are two separate legal issues at hand in the frysad.com case, try to keep that in mind. The first and potentially most damaging for frysad.com is the allegation of trademark infringement. The second issue is distinct from trademark infringement: the allegation of copyright infringement.

The trademark infringement issue is a bigger problem partly because the potential damages are much greater. Even under the recently strengthened copyright code in the DMCA, Fry's Electronics can't seek statutory damages against frysad.com unless they registered their ads with the US Copyright Office. They most likely did not, so they can't gain much with civil action for the copyright infringement.

The trademark infringement is more important since the possible damages are much greater, and since winning the trademark case would shut down frysad.com permanently. A critical issue in a trademark infringement case is whether or not there is a realistic possibility of confusion between the alleged infringer and the trademark holder. In this case, Fry's could probably show that confusion is possible, given that the site violated Fry's copyright by posting the ads. Whether or not warnings that say "This is not the real Fry's site" are sufficient in preventing confusion is a toss-up.

The trademark infringement would obviously not be a problem if frysad.com had nothing to do with electronics sales. Trademarks are industry-specific, Apple Records can't sue Apple Computers over the "Apple" in the trademark. This case, however, actually does pertain to one business using another's trademark in direct competition.

That's why the letter from the Fry's attorney focuses almost entirely on the trademark aspect. I'm just worried because I can see people already beginning to confuse the copyright infringement issue with the trademark issue.

[This comment does not constitute legal advice.]




-Keslin, the naked nerd girl.

Not exactly... (none / 0) (#12)
by VValdo on Wed Feb 28, 2001 at 12:48:11 AM EST

Even under the recently strengthened copyright code in the DMCA, Fry's Electronics can't seek statutory damages against frysad.com unless they registered their ads with the US Copyright Office. They most likely did not, so they can't gain much with civil action for the copyright infringement.

There's nothing that prevents them from filing their copyright now and then suing. You don't have to file before the infringement.

W
This is my .sig. There are many like it but this one is mine.
[ Parent ]

Nope (none / 0) (#13)
by Keslin on Wed Mar 21, 2001 at 07:09:49 PM EST

Nope, sorry, the registration has to occur within three months of the original publication of your copyrighted work, or before the infringement occurs. If you publish, don't register for at least three months, and then an infringement occurs, then you are screwed and you can only seek actual damages. I am currently involved in a case where this specifically pertains. My company had an infringement against a work that had been published for several years, but was never registered. Since we can't seek statutory damages, we didn't even file a civil case. We just went straight to the FBI and the US Attorney for criminal proceedings.

Don't believe me, though, get it straight from the US Copyright Office.

Again, this message does not consitute legal advice.



-Keslin, the naked nerd girl.

[ Parent ]
Guy posting Fry's Electronics adverts busted by Fry's | 13 comments (12 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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