Coupon sharer wins lawsuit

John Stottlemire of Mountain View, Calif., discovered that by simply by cutting out part of the codes entered into Coupons Inc's software, one could generate extra printable coupons. When he told people about this product flaw, the firm sued him, under the absurd premise that he had circumvented digital copyright protections in their software.

The silliness of the claim is such that without even hiring a lawyer, he forced it to drop its case.

"I defended myself in federal court against a company who solicited the services of two separate law firms," Stottlemire said. "And in my opinion, I kicked their ass."

As the case was dropped, the question remains as to whether or not changing a URL or other code, to find or generate "unauthorized" results, amounts to circumvention of a digital lock.

Coupon Hacker Defeats DMCA Suit [Wired: Threat Level]

About Rob Beschizza

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3 Responses to Coupon sharer wins lawsuit

  1. CraziestGadgetsdotcom says:

    it probably would cost less to fix the software than to go around suing everyone frivolously.

  2. Anonymous says:

    HBS, at least, thinks this is equivalent to “hacking.” It recalled the admission of several people who couldn’t wait to figure out if they were admitted, and typed in a certain URL into their web browsers.
    http://www.freedom-to-tinker.com/blog/felten/harvard-business-school-boots-119-applicants-hacking-admissions-site

  3. Anonymous says:

    But of course he did not do this at all. All he did was delete a few files off his computer, hidden files that are not removed by the program uninstall. No hacking there at all. Nothing wrong with it in any way and in fact everyone who uses a computer deletes files on their own computer!

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