What Happens if I Violate MAP?
We'd rather not get involved settling policy disputes, but we've ended up in the unfavorable position of occassionally having to. Here's where we stand.
- We do not monitor your prices, share your data with anyone, enforce manufacturer policies, or, in any other way, dictate how you run your business.
- Some manufacturers have MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) Policies which they can enforce using a variety of tactics.
- As much as possible we insist these disputes be settled between the manufacturer and the shop without our involvement.
- In certain situations we must (as your host and in compliance with copyright laws) remove a brand from your website after receipt of a legal takedown notice.
First and foremost RPMWare is a software company; we don't manufacture, distribute, endorse or market any automotive products. We provide a service that our clients can use as they see fit. We don't monitor your business practices, selling prices, customer lists, orders or any other data you trust us with and will never give, rent or sell ANY such data to ANY 3rd party. Ever. Period. We also don't approve or deny who uses our service.
With that out of the way we're also your connection to a couple-hundred manufacturers. Because of this we often get requests other software companies would not. Manufacturers sometimes contact us directly when one of our clients is breaking their policies. We cannot and will not enforce manufacturer policies or require you adhere to them. All manufacturers are advised to contact the client directly to address any issues.
This stance has served us well and typically handles 99% of the complaints we get. This post isn't about those requests; it is about the other 1%. We must be clear here: RPMWare Inc. does not monitor what policies you break. That is your business decision, not ours. However, if you are in that 1% you need to be aware of what manufacturers can do and what we (or any web host) is required to do by federal law.
RPMWare is loaded with hundreds-of-thousands of part numbers, descriptions, images, logos, etc. All this information is the intellectual property of the manufacturer that created it and subject to federal copyright laws. Manufacturers generally allow anyone to use these copyrights to promote and sell their products; however, if you get on a manufacturer's blacklist they can and will refuse you the right to use their copyrights.
What Manufacturers Can (Legally) Do
- Attempt to determine where you are buying parts from and ask (threaten) that direct dealer to stop selling to you.
- Under federal copyright laws demand you remove all their copyrighted material (part numbers, descriptions, images, logos, etc.) from your website(s) and ad(s).
- Force us (or any other web host) to remove said copyrighted materials from your website. If/when this happens there is absolutely nothing we can do (short of breaking federal copyright laws) to stop the process.
- Although very unlikely, sue you for damages caused by your copyright infringement if you do not corporate with takedown demands.
What We WILL NOT Do
- Report your orders, selling prices, etc. to ANY 3rd party. Ever. Period.
- Force you to comply with any manufacturer policy.
What We MUST Do
- Comply with local, state and federal laws, in this case specifically federal copyright laws. For more information please visit copyright.gov.
Why Are You Telling Us This?
So you know. We'd never modify your account without your consent; however, you must be well informed of what can and can't happen.
Is My Shop Breaking Policies?
We don't know and don't want to know. We don't monitor your orders or your discount structures and we never will. We'll only get involved when required to do so by law.
I Know XXXX Is Breaking Policies.
If you feel it is negatively impacting your business and want to do something about it contact the manufacturer(s) directly. It is ALWAYS up to the manufacturer to start the process.
Why Can't You "Turn Off" XXXX
It's not our place. We sell software and offer web hosting. We're not an enforcement arm. If we sold our service as an installable application we could not revoke licenses because our customers did not comply with 3rd party policies. The situation is no different because we choose a different business model.