It has been noted that some of these websites publish retailers' sales prices before even the retailers' flyers have been released. Are there any confidentiality laws or copyright laws violated here? According to David Canton, "there is no copyright violation in publishing the fact that a certain store will sell specific items at specific prices" and in connection with the confidentiality laws violation "so long as the website publishing the information has not used inappropriate means to obtain the data, that argument doesn't carry much weight."
While I tend to agree with David's position on the non-violation of copyright laws, I disagree with the argument on the confidentiality laws may not have been violated. In my perspective, "leaked" information by its nature must be considered as confidential information and any attempt made by a third party website in obtaining, disseminating or making use of such information before such price lists are made "public" is a breach of the confidentiality laws.
It would be interesting how the courts in Quebec may interpret such a situation.
For David Canton's analysis on this issue, please visit his post titled "Nothing illegal about leaking sales on Net" at: http://www.canton.elegal.ca/index.html.