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Craigslist sues apartment search site PadMapper over listings — Tech News and Analysis

August 26, 2012 1 comment

PadMapper eases the pain of using Craigslist for Apartment Hunting

Update: Greg Kidd, CEO of 3taps, said by phone that his company doesn’t “scrape” Craigslist but simply draws on data available on the public internet in the same way that other search engines do. He added that Craigslist may control access to data but that it doesn’t own facts expressed by that data — such as the fact that a house is for sale.

Craigslist’s complaint, however, rejects PadMapper’s legal theory and accuses the two companies of “unlawfully and unabashedly mass-harvesting and redistributing postings entrusted by craigslist users to their local craigslist sites.” The company said it offered a license that would have allowed PadMapper to use its data on mobile applications but that the competitor did not accept the terms.

The lawsuit raises questions about who should be able to use the vast amount of user-created data hosted on a site like Craigslist.

On one hand, Craigslist argues it built the classifieds community and that sites like PadMapper are simply free-riding on its hard work. But on the other hand, users and developers are exasperated with Craigslist’s insistence on preserving an outdated interface and design. Here is how Molly McHugh of DigitalTrends described the Craigslist experience (emphasis ours):

The search tool is antiquated, the images are poor or nonexistent, locations of listings are hardly dependable, and you can forget about an integrated way to save anything for later reference. There is a litany of shortcomings that come with the Craigslist apartment search; they are many and they are painful … Craigslist. Your site is chock-full of data I need, but your interface is an exercise in torture. Either give me the tools to effectively use your site or allow someone else to do it.

via Craigslist sues apartment search site PadMapper over listings — Tech News and Analysis.

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Craigslist strikes again in its data war with PadMapper | Digital Trends

August 26, 2012 1 comment

Craigslist fights PadMapper & 3taps

 

PadMapper founder and CEO Eric DeMenthon tells me he thinks the claims are baseless according to what lawyers have told him, but that he’s not looking forward to the time and money that will be wasted on court. He requested to talk with the Craigslist team to come to an agreement, but they declined to meet with him. He also wants to clarify some of the misconceptions surrounding the entire debacle:

“Many seem to feel that PadMapper deserves this lawsuit because it was profiteering off of Craigslist’s data and they are down on profiteering,” he tells me. “This is actually pretty amusing since PadMapper is roughly breakeven to date despite quite a lot of usage and has raised no VC funds to date (it does have a small amount of seed money it took two years ago to build a safety net, but has turned down every other interested investor since). I’m the only person who works on this full time, and it’s a free service to users, and I pay myself about half of what I could make if I were working at any other company in the Valley. I don’t own a car and work out of my apartment in Mountain View.”

DeMenthon says the main reason he wants to keep PadMapper alive and fight this lawsuit is because it’s a useful, user-friendly service, and because developers should be allowed to include search results from Craigslist.

Clearly, Craigslist is putting developers on notice: we are not a platform whose data is at your disposal – and we will take action if you don’t respect that. Again, this is a lose for users. And while there were rumors about an upcoming redesignthis Quora exchange should kill any hopes for a better Craigslist user experience in the near future.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/craigslist-padmapper-war-of-data-continues/#ixzz24chykwFC

via Craigslist strikes again in its data war with PadMapper | Digital Trends.

Craigslist forces PadMapper to pull apartment listings | Digital Trends

August 26, 2012 Leave a comment