The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley are coming to the rescue of a California man sued for posting code and instructions that allow shoppers to circumvent copy protection on downloadable, printable coupons.
The coupons, for General Foods, Colgate, Disney and others, are distributed by California-based Coupons Inc. through ad banners, e-mail and its website -- coupons.com. To access them, consumers must install Coupons Inc.'s proprietary software. The software assigns each user's computer a unique identifier, which the company uses to track and control the consumer's coupon-printing practices, usually limiting each user to two coupons per product. Each printed coupon has its own unique serial code.