Apple shuts down Web-based product inventory tracking tool

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 48
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    tbell wrote: »
    There was no order issued, which would imply a Court was involved. Apple used the DMCA's take down provisions to issue a demand letter to ask  the Site to be taken down. Apple does not hold a copyright in its inventory data, so a DMCA takedown notice was likely improper. Big companies all the time use the DMCA take down notice provisions improperly because they generally get away with it. 

    Although I liked the site and wish there was something as convent, isn't any data on the apple site apple data? However, I wonder if he presented it as reporting news.. Eg -A recent 'survey' of apple inventory on their site shows.....
  • Reply 22 of 48
    ipilyaipilya Posts: 195member

    Why doesn't he just put the code up on github?

  • Reply 23 of 48
    tbell wrote: »
    Agreed, Apple seems to have improperly using the DMCA takedown provisions. He should have got somebody involved like the EFF, and he probably would have prevailed. 

    Spending any amount of time in court when you don't need to is a waste of time. Although it stinks, I agree with his decision. Move on. Nothing to see here.
  • Reply 24 of 48
    malax wrote: »
    Read the full text of the letter that Apple sent do this guy (at http://www.apple-tracker.com/).  Although apparently the DMCA provides some guidance about how to do this, the complaint is strictly a standard "you have violate our terms of use of our web site, so stop" complaint.  They could (and would) have sent exactly the same letter even if the MDCA didn't exist.  This is no different from a hypothical case where put a robots.txt file on your site saying that Google isn't allowed to spider your pages and they do anyway.  Apple is completely within their rights to limit uses of their Web site to purposes they approve.

    So presumably one could manually acquire this same data and build a semi-accurate database a la GasBuddy.com?
  • Reply 25 of 48
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    I finally found the 5S model I wanted last month thanks to Mordy. Sorry to see this go, because this borders on overbearing behavior by Apple. Reminiscent of kindergarten teachers herding their little dears along the sidewalk down the block to the playground. "All of you line up, now, and follow the person ahead of you. Keep holding on to the rope, you hear?"
  • Reply 26 of 48
    kibitzer wrote: »
    I finally found the 5S model I wanted last month thanks to Mordy. Sorry to see this go, because this borders on overbearing behavior by Apple. Reminiscent of kindergarten teachers herding their little dears along the sidewalk down the block to the playground. "All of you line up, now, and follow the person ahead of you. Keep holding on to the rope, you hear?"

    He violated their site's terms of use. As it represented a service that was needed and useful, Apple should consider making their own app that answers the same questions for consumers.
  • Reply 27 of 48
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    So presumably one could manually acquire this same data and build a semi-accurate database a la GasBuddy.com?

    Presumably.

  • Reply 28 of 48
    sog35 wrote: »
    its giving WRONG info.  You can tell true availablity until you put the item in your cart and check out

    I'm not questioning that the info the site gave was correct or incorrect....if people are going to base judgements on a third party site then more fall them, it's more about the heavy handed tactics.
  • Reply 29 of 48

    I doubt anyone from apple was even involved in this. The law firm probably has instructions to look for websites scraping data and send an auto cease letter. Hopefully, since this is making PR rounds through various websites, someone at apple corporate will notice and realize their own system was pretty bad. 

  • Reply 30 of 48
    Typical apple
  • Reply 31 of 48
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    i remember when microsnot did the same thing to that site that was tracking zune inventory.

    -- said no-one ever.
  • Reply 32 of 48
    akqiesakqies Posts: 768member
    That's pretty weak. That site has helped me and a lot of people I know find and buy iPhones and iPads.
  • Reply 33 of 48
    Data is considered to be facts, and is not eligible for copyright. That's why you can't sue someone for putting your address on their web site.

    This is absolutely NOT DCMAable, and the company sending out the complaint can be sued.
  • Reply 34 of 48
    The site worked great for me. That's how I found my gold 64GB iPhone. This is terrible for consumers. Where is Jobs to veto this!!!!
  • Reply 35 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sanyasi View Post



    I can't say I know every provision in the DMCA, but this site was copying factual information, which is not protected by copyright law under Feist. Wish he would have tested the law in court, but I know why he didn't



    Unfortunately fighting Apple would be expensive.  He would need a lawyer to counter-sue and take that as his payment.  I wish there was more of a penalty for issuing a false DMCA. 

  • Reply 36 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by smakdown61 View Post

     

    I doubt anyone from apple was even involved in this. The law firm probably has instructions to look for websites scraping data and send an auto cease letter. Hopefully, since this is making PR rounds through various websites, someone at apple corporate will notice and realize their own system was pretty bad. 




    Nope.  Apple is not a record label issuing automated DMCA's for youtube.  There is no automated way of issuing a DMCA against scraping that would not generate a HUGE amount of false positives.  This was most certainly done manually with full oversight. 

  • Reply 37 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kesem View Post



    The site worked great for me. That's how I found my gold 64GB iPhone. This is terrible for consumers. Where is Jobs to veto this!!!!

    Worm food?

     

    It was as accurate as Apple's website

  • Reply 38 of 48
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,631member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sanyasi View Post



    I can't say I know every provision in the DMCA, but this site was copying factual information, which is not protected by copyright law under Feist. Wish he would have tested the law in court, but I know why he didn't

    That's absolutely correct.    Before Feist, there was a "sweat of brow" doctrine where copyright could be acquired by virtue of the fact that compiling and publishing the factual data required a lot of work and resources.   Feist threw that out.    When Feist went into effect, I was an exec for a b-to-b database publisher of metadata.   Feist kind of freaked us out, although there were still certain aspects of our data that could maintain copyright.    We started populating our data with fake "seeds" so we could tell if anyone copied and republished our data.   In the end, I think we only caught one small business stealing our data.    Under Feist, we wouldn't have been able to sue them for copyright infringement, but we had planned to sue "thieves" under "unfair business practices" statutes.

     

    I don't know whether DCMA changes any of that, but the bigger issue is why did Apple care if the same information was on their own website?   It seems to me that this information helps Apple's sales - it doesn't hurt them because the easier it is to find a store with inventory, the more likely it is that someone will make the purchase.    The only way this make sense is if Apple wanted to steer consumers to order from their website.    Isn't there a ton of sites and apps that scrapes data from Amazon?

  • Reply 39 of 48
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    just_me wrote: »
    Worm food?

    It was as accurate as Apple's website

    Not so in my experience. I played by the rules, checking Apple's website, coming up blank and checking this site immediately afterwards. After many tries, Mordy's site came up with the item I wanted at a store within reasonable driving distance.

    Actually, I found two 5S models that I wanted, one for me and the second for my wife. At this point it gets interesting, because I suspect some possible hanky-panty by certain Apple store personnel. For my phone, a gold 64GB AT&T, the online order for store pickup was acknowledged, and within 15 minutes I got an email saying that the item was ready for my store pickup. My second order was acknowledged, but I didn't receive a pickup email. I went to the store anyway, arriving within 90 minutes of placing the orders.

    They found my phone but not my wife's. When I pressed them and gave them the transaction number, they looked using their system and told me it had been "cancelled"! No explanation given! No source for the cancellation!

    I was not a happy camper and made the store manager clearly aware that I thought something was not right, because I had never received any emails or other contacts saying the phone order for my wife had been cancelled. As we proceeded with finalizing purchase of the first phone, the manager showed up again with the exact phone my wife wanted and said that another customer had "cancelled" their order.

    Amazing! Really?! A gold 16 GB ATT&T phone order being canceled by the buyer in mid-October, when they're scarcer than hens' teeth?! That's a pretty hard one to swallow, but I shut up and bought the second phone as long as it was being offered to me.

    Of course I have no direct evidence, but it's reasonable to surmise that some little Apple "gremlin" - the two-legged kind - guessed that just possibly the two orders were duplicates and that by canceling the second order ... that single highly desirable gold phone would be available for him/her to do ... whatever.

    I've kept pretty quiet about this for weeks, but with this latest customer-unfriendly move by Apple, I've decided to speak up. Maybe my conclusion about my experience is right. Or maybe I have it all wrong. I'll be happy to hear anyone else's opinion about this.
  • Reply 40 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post





    He violated their site's terms of use. As it represented a service that was needed and useful, Apple should consider making their own app that answers the same questions for consumers.

    Well, they already do, since the data was pulled from their website in the first place.  The tracker site was just a lot easier and quicker.  

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