FatWallet has announced a partial victory in its tussle with Wal-Mart over FatWallet’s dissemination of Wal-Mart’s post-Thanksgiving prices (background here and here

 I hope that some of the parties will make public some of the papers in this case, specifically those which shed light on Wal-Mart’s theory that the prices in the circular were protecatble under copyright.  I appreciate how the prices in a circular before it is released to the public might be deemed to be trade secrets; I do not readily see the basis for copyright protection in a fact such as “Wal-Mart will sell a Vornado heat fan for $49 on Friday”, nor in a listing of such facts which doesn’t copy any particular unique way Wal-Mart might have had in compiling such information.  I therefore encourage the parties to make public the rationale of the copyright argument – right now all we have from this case is a chilling effect.