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Toys 'R' Us Wins Suit Against Amazon 157

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the don't-wanna-grow-up dept.
theodp writes "Having prevailed in its bitter lawsuit against Amazon.com, Toys 'R' Us will create a new and independent Web site. A NJ judge found Amazon breached its agreement and ordered the two companies to sever their partnership Thursday. In a 131-page opinion, the judge termed Amazon's attempts to throw out e-mail evidence on the grounds that Internet communications lack reliability 'incomprehensible' and took a dim view of the testimony of some Amazon execs, including CEO Jeff Bezos' candor and 'rather childlike' explanations."
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Toys 'R' Us Wins Suit Against Amazon

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  • by airos4 (82561) <changer4.gmail@com> on Friday March 03, 2006 @03:21AM (#14841291) Homepage
    I always wondered why for what was supposed to be Toys R'Us online presence, you could generally find the same crap cheaper through the same website. Interesting to hear; interesting how long it will take TRU to get their act together and start selling themselves.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I agree somewhat on the lack of credibility point, it's extremely easy to fake emails.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The article is horrible (it ends in the middle of a sentence!), and it is impossible to say exactly what Amazon was claiming regarding the emails. It talks about Amazon claiming hearsay, and then talks about the judge saying things about the realiability of internet communications. Either the author of the article or the judge seems to be using a non sequitur. It just makes no sense.

      And she repeatedly complained about the ambiguous use of language in memorandums, contract agreements and discussions, conclud
      • by larry bagina (561269) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:17AM (#14841519) Journal
        The judge can't just throw out a contract because its a bad deal for one side.

        It certain circumstances, where a contract is unfair, a judge can declare it invalid. However, in this case, the judge didn't "throw it out", he found that Amazon.com breached it.

      • The way that contracts work, if Party A drafts a contract to enter into agreement with Party B, should there be any ambiguity the contract is interpreted to the benefit of Party B as they did not draft the contract. This protects parties from being take advantage of by ambiguous statements made on purpose. If there is room for interpretation, then the contract could benefit Party A or Party B. Since Party A drafted the contract, it would be unfair for the ambiguity to benefit them.

        But IANAL
  • by doubtless (267357) on Friday March 03, 2006 @03:29AM (#14841302) Homepage
    naming the new site Amazon'Rn't Us.com
  • I would have thought that Toys R Us, with its years of experience in marketing towards children, would have more childlike explanations. Oh well :)
  • FRTFA (Score:4, Funny)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Friday March 03, 2006 @03:45AM (#14841328) Homepage
    131 pages? Screw RTFA!
  • You'd think that as soon as the judge permitted the dissolution of the relationship, all mentions of Toys 'R' Us would be gone. But the Toys 'R' section [amazon.com] of Amazon's site is oddly still up at this hour.
    • Re:Still up, though (Score:3, Informative)

      by itzmejoey (621061)
      The dissolution will take months to resolve. No way in hell it's going to be an instantaneous "flip the switch and they're gone" type of thing. The amount that TRU brings in each month online is not pocket change (I deal quite a bit with their web-based transactions), so they're not about to just shut web sales down. They are, however, working on their own site, which should be up sometime this summer. I fully expect the partnership to continue until there's an alternate channel.
  • contract (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Friday March 03, 2006 @03:49AM (#14841340) Journal
    I didn't realize that Toys R' Us was in a lawsuit with Amazon. Seems back in 2000 they agreed to work together in the online world with a 10 year contract. Toys 'R Us thought they had an exclusive contract with Amazon, but when Amazon started selling things from other retailers Toys 'R Us wanted out (understandably). Amazon tried to force them to stay.

    Rather lousy thing to do if you ask me. Good business is about building mutually beneficial partnerships, not about beating up your neighbor and taking his lunch money. If I owned a company I would be wary of doing business with Amazon.
    • Re:contract (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      But as a customer, you should love them for it because it creates a competitive marketplace and allows you to buy the product from the best seller.

      Amazon allows other companies to compete with their own products also.

      If you ask me, Toys 'R us just doesn't understand the long term strategy of trying to create sales lift by aiming to provide the customer with the best price. The idea is that in the long run, the sales lift created by the competitive marketplace will out pace the loss from having competitors
      • I guess Toys 'R Us just doesn't have the wal mart mentality.

        Wal*Mart is eating their lunch. It really doesn't matter how low TRU prices stuff, They'll never sell as many toys in July as December. Meanwhile, Walmart can sell just as low and brings in traffic all year long to buy standard items... plus a toy or two for their mouth-breathing, can't-be-bothered-with-contraception child. (Now you know the real reason they won't sell RU 486 :)

        • Re:contract (Score:3, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy (595695)
          I don't think most parents would bring their kid into a TRU because it would just be too much trouble. Unless they are actually planning on buying something, I don't think most people go in. I know that kids should be able to understand no means no, and just because you're in a toystore, doesn't mean that you're getting a toy. But that isn't in general the way things work for most kids. Parents bring their kids to walmart because they have lots of different things to buy. TRU is kind of a specialty sho
          • Well, or if you've dragged them around to the other stores in the super-strip-mall (Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, etc) and want to reward them for good behavior just by letting them *go* to the toystore, even with no buying involved.

            How well I remember surviving endless clothes-shopping in a regular (non-strip) mall, on the promise that I'd get to go to K*B afterwards.

            That would be the main reason I'd see parents bringing their kids in.

          • I would argue that kids who can't behave themselves in Toys R Us are unlikely to be able to behave themselves in any store that has toys. And this is the fault of the parent, not the child. I have a 2 year old daughter who is quite well capable of being a pain in the ass about something she wants, but she also has learned the hard way who is in charge.

            In my experience, it's far less painful to go to Toys R Us than Wal-Mart specifically because you're not having to deal with the hordes of people. And as l
          • I took my kids to TRU just yesterday... just to poke around and waste time. The kids love looking at the toys, and I like keeping them happy and not trashing our house. I ended up buying Bambi II and Lady & The Tramp DVD's.

            TRU has by far the best selection of any place to buy toys. I bought my daughter the Loving Family Twin Time Dollhouse for Christmas and both Target and Toys R Us carry the stuff, but Target has only a couple small accessories while TRU carries a wider selection. But the widest se
      • Looking at it from TRU's perspective, Amazon.com did a lot of damage to Toys 'R' Us by watering down their Corporate Brand. First, by associating them online with Amazon.com (TRU's fault) and second, by having the same type of retailers in the same web space.

        TRU became, in perception, just another tab on Amazon.com and less than what they should have been; The Number One toy retailer.

        This break should allow them to regain their independent corporate identity.
  • Amazing! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by seebs (15766) on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:04AM (#14841368) Homepage
    So, a company which spams, files frivolous patents, files lawsuits based on an allegedly "purely defensive" patent portfolio, pretends to oppose the current patent system while systematically abusing it, and is consistently "the worst neighbor we can get away with being" as a matter of policy...

    Failed to act in a forthright manner?

    Amazon? DECEITFUL? HOW CAN THIS BE?!?

    Oh, that's right. They've been like this since day 1.

    What amazes me is the number of apologists who will do anything but admit the plain reality. Amazon sucks. We would be better off with pretty much any other company replacing them.
    • Re:Amazing! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jack9 (11421) on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:11AM (#14841383)
      We would be better off with pretty much any other company replacing them.
      See SCO, see Sony, see Infinium. You're a little bit ignorant to be playing the "I can run a company better" game. Plz suggest an equivalent company rather than making false blanket statements.
      • Re:Amazing! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by seebs (15766)
        Okay, you managed to think of three other evil companies.

        How about, say, Powell's, B&N, Tattered Cover, Borders... There are less-evil companies.

        Anyway, where's the false statement? Amazon are lying scumbags. They have been abusive and evil since the day they came into play, they have dramatically harmed the state of the art in patent law, they have spammed... Why should we tolerate them just because Sony's nasty?
        • Can you, or someone else, please explain with examples why you have such a negative feeling towards amazon? I haven't really been paying attention to their business practices, but then again I haven't looked up much info on them either.

          I know personally that I have never been spammed by them. I have actually never had any qualms with them. I find that they offer much better prices for textbooks than college bookstores and the company has saved me hundreds of dollars that way. Free shipping is nice to
          • I hate them because I went for an interview and they turned me down - ha, explain that one away!

            (Actually worked out better for me anyway)
            • I hate them because I went for an interview and they turned me down - ha, explain that one away!

              Um, you suck?

              Sorry - you left yourself open to it and I couldn't resist.

          • The large number of stupid patents they have, such as one click shopping patent.
          • Re:Amazing! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by seebs (15766) on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:06PM (#14846748) Homepage
            Example 1: Patent lawsuits. Amazon filed a business-method patent. Amazon sued B&N over it. Business-method patents are plainly evil. Furthermore, Jeff Bezos very publically backed down... Sign of reform? Not hardly. Amazon is still filing business-method patents, still requesting secrecy so people can't present prior art, and so on. No actual change; just schmooze.
            Example 2: Spam. Amazon doesn't spam everyone, but then, most people will never meet anyone who knew anyone Ted Bundy killed. Amazon has in the past spammed. They have made people jump through hoops to get off lists they never asked to be on.
            Example 3: Everything from purchase circles on; Amazon doesn't do the right thing unless threatened or forced. Amazon starts with a default assumption that they have no obligation to behave in an ethical manner. Scratch that; Amazon has never shown any awareness of any kind of "ethical" concern at all. All they care about is public outcry.

            Conclusion: Amazon may, if actively policed and watched and given clear threats of retaliation for misbehavior, behave in a tolerable manner. They have never shown any interest in doing the right thing without being threatened. Even when they publically back down from a bad thing (say, Bezos talking about the need for patent reform), they may continue doing it if they can get away with it.

            To this day, Amazon has never acknowledged that there is a reason to prefer opt-in mailings. To this day, Amazon has not apologized for their frivolous lawsuit. Amazon has not stopped filing business-method patents, or declaring secrecy on their patents, despite allegedly realizing the problems with these practices.

            Amazon employees have posted to Usenet from Amazon IP space to defend Amazon's practices, while not admitting to being employees. When busted, the guy disappeared without comment. Did Amazon do anything about this? No. We reasonably infer that it isn't a violation of company policy for staff to pretend to be customers instead of staff and give "unbiased" defenses while on the payroll.

            In short, why would you ever trust them?

            Yes, it saves money. Slave labor saves money, too. Amazon cheats other people, abuses the patent system, and passes the savings on to you.
        • Unfortunately, Borders uses Amazon for their online sales.

          However, having worked for Borders, I definitely see them as overall un-evil. I never felt like I was trying to "sell" things, just helping the customers. Unlike another bookstore I could mention (*cough*Booksamillion) - worked there for exactly one day, couldn't take their "YOU MUST SELL DISCOUNT CARDS!" attitude.

        • Barnes and Noble not evil? Man! It's been a while since you bought a college textbook...
    • Re:Amazing! (Score:3, Informative)

      by xtracto (837672)
      Darn, I did not know that amazon was that bad, anyway there are some other options like Barnes and Noble [barnesandnoble.com], and in some cases, if you look in google you can buy the book almost directly to the author/publisher.

      Now that you say all that, I remember sometime in the past my brother bought something like 5 CD's from Amazon (we have always bought CD's to them easly), unfortunately none of them arrived and after two months he tried to contact Amazon but of course he did not got any kind of reply, so his $100 were s
      • If you never received a product, you should have contacted them, your credit card company and the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. You have nobody to blame but yourself in this circumstance. Moreover, I've ordered many a CD from amazon including rare imports as well as foreign import DVDs and never had ANY problems that were not resolved with a minimal effort on my part.
        I'm not saying they're nice people or they are the most ethically oriented company out there, but they ARE a damn good online
        • Yeah, unfortunately mine was an international order (as I am from Mexico) and we tried to contact Amazon. Their only response is "Your case is being investigated".

          That plainly sucks.

          As for the BBB I am not from USA, so I do not think I can get there and comply.
          • Re:Amazing! (Score:3, Informative)

            by Aokubidaikon (942336)
            I'm from The Netherlands. Once I ordered 4 DVDs from Amazon.com (US Site). When the DVDs failed to arrive I contacted Amazon. They send replacements immediately, no questions asked. Other than that, only good experiences with any Amazon site - and I've used four different ones in total.
            • I've never had any problems with them. I had a power supply die after about four months. After fruitlessly trying to get a warranty replacement from the manufacturer I contacted Amazon UK, and the sent out (after a bit of a mix-up) a replacement power supply (but the model up from the one I had) to fix the problem and refunded the original purchase as apology for the mix-up.
      • Re:Amazing! (Score:5, Informative)

        by freedom_india (780002) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:56AM (#14841601) Homepage Journal
        I don't agree/believe you.

        My personal experience in ordering from Amazon from 3 continents (Australia/Asia(India)/North America(USA)) has been pretty good in past 6 years.

        I chose expedited shipping even if it costs more. I have ordered Star Trek Calendars from Sydney, Software Architecture books from USA and India, Audio CD's and Movie DVD from USA and each time they have delivered on time and correctly.

        The only time i faced an issue with them was their e-book store when i ordered Star Trek DS9 (post DS9 series) ebooks and i was somehow unable to download one of the three e-books.

        I complained to Amazon and they promptly refunded my credit card with the WHOLE bill amount for all 3 ebooks.

        I trust Amazon far better than Overstock; even though their items are slightly overpriced by 2-10 dollars. You get prompt delivery unlike Overstock.

        • Agreed. I use Amazon all the time, and have done for several years. I love the fact that they're one of the few retailers who will ship to any address, not just your billing address. I can order gifts for overseas relatives from their local Amazon site and get them delivered in a day or two.

          In the couple of occasions I've had a problem with them their support has been great. I ordered a camera accessory and the original one was lost in the mail. They sent a new one, overnight (even though I hadn't paid for
      • Re:Amazing! (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I am one of those evil people that buy used books and used music CD's only and Amazon's used selection blows away 99.997% of all used or bargian book stores in technical books.

        When I can get a book that is 3 months old and normally sells for over $59.95 for $1.99 with $4.99 shipping because the cover is a tad dirty I'm going to do it. Most technical books are horribly overpriced and the publishers know it. Am I hurting the little guy? Maybe. But I would rather buy my 5-10 SQL books for around $100.00 tota
      • Sorry to hear about your brother. In hind site I'm sure he would have contacted Amazon earlier.

        While we're throwing out anecdotal evidence I'll throw out mine. I've had nothing but good experiences with Amazon. I originally boycotted them for many years (maybe 3 - 5) because of their frivolous patents. Then I decided to give them a shot.

        I do alot of online shopping and I now order hundreds if not thousands of dollars of merchandise from them. I have not had a single problem. In fact, I'm an Amazon Prime mem
      • As much as I disagree with Amazon's patent policy, I disagree with your assessment of their customer service, and I venture to guess something else "happened" in regards to the scenario that you're talking about regarding your brother.

        The one time that I had problems with Amazon is that the shipper was reporting my order as being delivered (in this case, it was a book), but I never had not received the product. After getting no help from DHL or the post office, I contacted Amazon. I received an email repl
    • On our way :)
    • Re:Amazing! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by squiggleslash (241428) on Friday March 03, 2006 @07:27AM (#14841763) Homepage Journal

      spams

      Not come across that myself. Never received an email from them to any email address other than the one I provided to them. The emails I do receive are in accordance with my preferences.

      files frivolous patents

      That's subjective

      files lawsuits based on an allegedly "purely defensive" patent portfolio

      So far as I'm aware, they haven't sued anyone since the One Click fiasco five or six years ago. At that time, their patent portfolio wasn't been sold as "defensive". I note the FSF's boycott of them ended in 2002 [gnu.org] as they'd stopped suing people. It is probably true that their current patent portfolio is defensive.

      pretends to oppose the current patent system while systematically abusing it

      Ok, I think you're repeating yourself, and you're also guilty of over-simplifying. They did fund a stillborn attempt to get evidence overturning process and software patents. It was nice that they did it, but it demonstrated in the end that the situation wasn't as clear as any of us would like. Amazon responded, I think rightly, by building their patent portfolio, as you need to if you want to defend yourselves against patent claims by other groups in the same climate. The question is, if Bezos et al had had evidence handed to them on a plate that "frivilous" patents can easily be over turned, would they be worried enough to build themselves a defensive portfolio?

      is consistently "the worst neighbor we can get away with being" as a matter of policy

      I've not come across any examples of bad neighbourliness, at least, not since the One Click fiasco.

      Now, on the other hand, you have to consider:

      1. Amazon is one of the most innovative and inventive companies on the 'net. From popularizing online commerce in the first place by creating one of the first safe, solid, buying portals, they've introduced a large range of concepts that have been copied and relied upon from everyone from Yahoo Shopping to Apple iTunes Music Store. My favorite feature is the integrated reviews system, largely uncensored (Yes, you can find an example of someone who had their reviews removed, but a quick look at the majority of products will find bad, scathing, and even insulting, reviews in abundance) and an excellent system to evaluate products.

      2. Amazon has one of the largest catalogues around, as a matter of policy. If they've found it exists, and it fits their categories, it has an ASIN. Even if they can't sell it, marketplace sellers can be very specific about the item they're selling, meaning buyers can be fairly confident about what they're getting.

      3. Amazon has excellent customer support. I've never had an issue unresolved by them. I rarely have problems in the first place. I've never met anyone who had a problem with them. They also act as an "honest broker" between third party sellers and buyers, and a reliable one, which is more than can be said for Paypal.

      These three facts between them are why, in the absense of current bad behaviour I do buy from Amazon. Of all online retailers, they're the most useful. Their inventive and innovative streaks do deserve support. And I can trust them.

      What amazes me is the number of apologists who will do anything but admit the plain reality. Amazon sucks. We would be better off with pretty much any other company replacing them.

      *Any* company? Heh. Good luck buying "War and Peace" from Staples.com...

      Anyway, that's simply nonsense. They have no major competitors on the "We sell everything front", with the possible exception of eBay/Paypal. There are the aggregators/portals like Yahoo Shopping, but there the consistancy and reliability of the information is awful. Then you have other companies that specialize in a particular field but don't necessarily have that wide a range.

      Rig

      • Amen! Great post. For crying out loud, if you don't like Amazon, don't shop there. There's absolutely no reason to call for their elimination or whatever. I've also had nothing but good experience with them, and I've been shopping regularly from Amazon since they were only a bookstore (ca. 1997). I've never had a problem that wasn't cleared up nearly instantly.
      • Nice one Jeff, I didn't find your explanations at all childlike - self serving yes, but not childlike.
    • Click on "your account", "communications preferences", login and select receive no e-mail on the right side of the screen. Anything else you get is either transaction email (you bought something) or a phishing attempt.
  • by PoconoPCDoctor (912001) <jpclyons@gmail.com> on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:14AM (#14841391) Homepage Journal

    While looking for work a year ago, I attended a job search seminar - one of the persons I met there was a former executive at Toys R Us - he briefly summed up what killed the Toys R Us business model - Walmart.

    Walmart simply sucked away any profit margins the Toys R Us Franchise once had - especially during the biggest toy buying season - Christmas.

    According to him, going online with Amazon was a desparation move to gain some profitability back from Walmart - managed by Toys R Us execs who had not a clue about managing an online store.

    • According to him, going online with Amazon was a desparation move to gain some profitability back from Walmart - managed by Toys R Us execs who had not a clue about managing an online store.

      Yeah, seriously... Anybody else remember the year before TRU partnered with Amazon? Their massive failure to do their promised holiday shipping was a well-publicized disaster.

      Without a doubt they'll do better now.
    • he briefly summed up what killed the Toys R Us business model - Walmart.

      And by that you mean, Toys R Us doesn't have any compelling advantage over Walmart. They offer slightly more selection, but the staff is just as clueless, the prices are higher, and the lines are longer. Plus you can't pick up ammo and milk at Toys R Us.

      Walmart out did them in the 'big box of shelves with no value added' business and now they're crying about it. Call the waaambulance and support your local toy store.
  • Amazon's attempts to throw out e-mail evidence on the grounds that Internet communications lack reliability

    Wah?

    I hope I am not the only person that thinks this is a total contradiction!

    Yes, shop online with us... Sure, purchase goods using the Internet... Absolutely, we can email you a new password/invoice/receipt number... Use email to communicate for business purposes - you must be F&*king crazy!!!!

    If I tried to explain why, in this day and age, when running an entire business empire online, I considered "Internet communications" unreliable, I think my efforts would end up "incomprehensible" too!

    • Can't tell from the article if it applies, but I can sure think of a few reasons why e-mail is not the best evidence.

      Does the livedoor mess make it into the English news?
      • Re:spoof? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by rkcallaghan (858110) on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:06AM (#14841614)
        Can't tell from the article if it applies, but I can sure think of a few reasons why e-mail is not the best evidence.

        I was thinking about this, and you know, Google gets a lot of flak for the storage-archive-nothings-ever-deleted thing; but could this be at least one positive side for most people?

        I mean, really, it would be pretty preposterous to suggest that most people are capable of hacking and forging email on Google's servers, complete with Google's logs and metadata on the message transmission. Compared to a company's (or a person's) own private servers, it seems having a reputable 3rd party involved would add legitimacy in this case.

        Thoughts?

        ~Rebecca
      • Can't tell from the article if it applies, but I can sure think of a few reasons why e-mail is not the best evidence.

        I can't. "On May 1, 2005 I sent an email to Amazon outlining the following: ..." Amazon's response, "Yeah, we got emails from them, but we deleted them all so they couldn't be used against us, um, I mean because the Internet is unreliable."

        When both parties have the email stored, one as a sent message and one as a received message, I'm curious as to why you think that would be too unreli
    • I don't feel that it is a contradiction, just incomplete. Without feedback and do-overs the Internet would be horribly unreliable. Email is unreliable, too many things can happen to it between the sender and the receiver, including being blocked by blocklists. Web pages are magnitudes more reliable because you know whether the operation that you just attempted has worked, and can go back and correct or rtry if it didn't work.
    • From the article: "[Judge] McVeigh also rejected Amazon's efforts to defend itself by asking her to throw out e-mail evidence that may have included hearsay. She said she found it "incomprehensible ... that a corporation dealing primarily in Internet commerce finds Internet communications to lack reliability."

      Actually, your honor, I'd say that a corporation dealing primarily in Internet commerce would be an excellent judge of the reliability of Internet communications. As a consumer, I'm rather glad that th
    • it's simple to spoof an email, I can send mail as jonathan@pcphi...com any time I want to. I can also alter mailbox information, mess about with mail headers, make it say anything I want it to.

      Sending sensitive information over email is as sane as sending it on a postcard... encrypt and sign it people...

       
      • it's simple to spoof an email, I can send mail as jonathan@pcphi...com any time I want to. I can also alter mailbox information, mess about with mail headers, make it say anything I want it to.


        This is also known as perjury, when presented as evidence in court. Oops, your civil case just became a criminal one...
      • it's simple to spoof an email, I can send mail as jonathan@pcphi...com any time I want to. I can also alter mailbox information, mess about with mail headers, make it say anything I want it to.

        so how about if Amazon has a bunch of received emails that are in the Sent boxes at TRU, and TRU has received emails matching ones in Sent boxes at Amazon? Should those be thrown out as unreliable? What if there is follow-up proof that the emails were received and were valid, such as phone calls and other correspo
    • If I tried to explain why, in this day and age, when running an entire business empire online, I considered "Internet communications" unreliable, I think my efforts would end up "incomprehensible" too!

      How's this for comprehensibilty?:

      I could fake a mail from you to Saddam Hussain stating that you would like to assasinate one of your political leaders for one hundred billion dollars. (hello to the security people now joining us, calm down, it's just an example). This email chain has dates and times.

      Now

      • You can fake an email, but you're unlikely to be able to fake conversations, where both sides have copies and backups of the emails.
      • How's this for comprehensibilty?:

        I could fake a mail from you to Saddam Hussain stating that you would like to assasinate one of your political leaders for one hundred billion dollars. (hello to the security people now joining us, calm down, it's just an example). This email chain has dates and times.

        Now, try and prove to me the following: a) you didn't write it at all, b) it is exactly as first sent, c) the message was never sent in the first place.


        I'd drop 8 years of outbound emails all signed with one o
        • You miss the point. The other person just has to say they never received them. Your server logs and archive emails are meaningless. Here in the UK, important post is sent "recorded delivery", where the receiver has to sign. Other countries will have their equivalents. THAT is evidence, it shows that the message was received.

          The absense of a bounce report in your logs shows nothing. All that your PGP signing does is ensures that the person on the other end cannot change your emails, or produce new entirely

          • You miss the point. The other person just has to say they never received them.

            You miss mine; I'd be able to show that I've sent thousands and thousands of emails to people, all signed no matter how innocuous.

            You'd have one email you claimed I sent that was important, which wasn't signed. You'd be hard pressed to prove I sent it, at that point.
    • If the appeal is successful, it will be because of this very thing: Email is unreliable, and being an internet business, Amazon.com would know that!

      If you don't believe that email is unreliable, try responding to the "From" column on some of your spam and see how many of those "From" addresses are legitimate!
  • Where is the judge's decision that attacks Bezos and the position that Amazon took?

    I'm hoping to read it, because I'm leery of articles that paraphrase this stuff -- I always like to read the original source.
  • If I may be deadly serious for a moment: my pals and I have sent each other "spoof" emails as practical jokes for years now.

    Am I the only one who finds it extremely dangerous that email is accepted as "evidence" in 2006 by people who can't begin to understand "this tech stuff"?

    Yikes.
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      I see nothing saying that Amazon said they didn't send/receive the emails, only that they claimed email was an unreliable communication method. Compared to the instant communication of phones, it IS unreliable. We had a situation at work this week where I was working with a programmer in another company and one of the emails either didn't make it, or wasn't seen. A week went by before anyone complained. We finished the project that day.

      Unreliable communications is not an excuse for breaching a contract.
    • The technology for validating email has been present for years. GPG, PGP, S/MIME...
    • Yes, you are. If you're going to use email for business, don't be surprised if it comes back to bite you in the ass.
    • Ironically, last time I spoofed an email, as a joke, it was supposedly from Jeff Bezos, "responding" to a complaint about Amazon from a co-worker, which started off as a reasonable response but got steadily more ridiculous as it explained how virtually everyone involved in the thing he was complaining about had just been fired.

      That said, while spoofing emails on a one-off basis is clearly possible, it becomes more difficult to claim that the system is unreliable when you start talking about email threads.

    • Am I the only one who finds it extremely dangerous that email is accepted as "evidence" in 2006 by people who can't begin to understand "this tech stuff"?

      Sure e-mail can be faked, but most companies have records of what they send and receive. When one company says, "hey we have this e-mail from you" and the other company replies with "we never sent you that and coincidentally for some reason that whole day worth of e-mail has been deleted from our servers, but no other days" it looks very suspicious. Th

  • Twofold:

    We R Toys thought they were getting an exclusive wrap on all the toy-sales-hookup at Amazon.com; Amazon.com thought it was picking up brand recognition from We R Toys.

    In the end, Amazon.com was selling toys from other mechanisms, and We R Toys wasn't kicking the profits to the moon with the joint adventure.

    In the end, both parties (IMHO) have lost something here. Instead of just agreeing to void the contract and going their separate ways, they had to fight it out in an ugly and public way. Int
  • I'm happy for Toys R Us because basically, and I think a lot of other people thought this too, is that I was buying toys from Amazon.com. So at least they get thier brand identity back. It was nice you can return the stuff to any Toys R Us store, though.

    This does suck in a way as it'll be the end of the crazy super bargain deals where Toys R Us has a 33% off each item (3 item minimum) and an Amazon.com coupon for an additional %20 off that amount. It was a killer deal back in September where I got the
    • you can return the stuff to any Toys R Us store Actually, at least here in Ohio, Toys R Us is falling on exceptionally hard times. In a fifty-mile radius there 1 (one) TRU store open anymore, and only 1 (one) Babies R Us left. All of the others, at least the ones located near malls, have closed. Which actually makes me wonder: why is K B Toyz still around?
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Friday March 03, 2006 @07:15AM (#14841733)
    According to the ruling in the case, Amazon.com has 14 fulfillment centers operating 24 hours a day except for Christmas and New

    Reuters contributed to the story.


    New Year's? New locations? New York? New London?
    Someone needs to RTA before they publish it.
    • It's a widespread problem across the entire MSNBC.com website. The site is crappy anyway, and the way they place the ads sometimes breaks the page (ad covers text) ***even*** when using IE.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03, 2006 @08:31AM (#14841967)
    (Disclaimer: I'm a former Amazon employee who worked with a group that had a close relationship with TRUS)

    I think the TRUS relationship was weighing heavily on both companies. Amazon doesn't like to sell toys directly, as they're very difficult to manage in a supply chain -- they're bursty, vulnerable to all kinds of trends that are difficult to predict, and very fragile to ship. TRUS' technical staff was often frustrated by the weird working relationships imposed by our respective corporate bureaucracy. And finally, it really cramped Amazon's ability to create new products and services, since we were constantly having to consider whether a new feature would ruffle TRUS' feathers.

    I think both parties are better off with a divorce. It's quite a risk for TRUS to create a new online store from scratch, but they've got some good people who've had several years of experience working with Amazon. I wish them the best of luck.
    • I also agree that this is a good move. I've been very frustrated with the TRUS "store" within Amazon. Countless times I've wanted to buy something only to find out that TRUS was selling it, which meant I also had to pay shipping AND tax. Maybe now Amazon will sell video games directly.
  • Anyone want to lay odds that Amazon starts opening mall stores?
  • by Fished (574624)
    Maybe now Amazon will start stocking Toys R Us type stuff themselves, instead of forcing me to go with third-party sellers. I have Amazon prime, and would like to use it for video games and the like, but can't because Amazon never stocks the stuff themselves. (And Amazon prime only works with items Amazon sells themselves.)
  • I have. Their stores pretty much suck. The only reason they still exist is momentum and because WalMart beat down all the competition. I think their own in-house internet presence may just be the end of them.
  • That judge may get upset when someone starts sending emails from his email address. Of course, I don't know what kind of information is in the emails, but it is entirely possible to send false emails, even fraudulent ones. Just login to an insecure SMTP server and you're set. Not that I recommend anyone do this, by the way. It can both be unethical and illegal, unless you have permission to use the server and the permission of the owner of the address. Still, emails are highly suspect to problems, and email
    • That judge may get upset when someone starts sending emails from his email address. Of course, I don't know what kind of information is in the emails, but it is entirely possible to send false emails, even fraudulent ones. Just login to an insecure SMTP server and you're set.

      How do you fake all the headers (included the one that are added by the recipients email server)? The Received By: line will have incorrect information up to the point where the email leaves your control.

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