We all believed in Craigslist and this is our reward? WE built up Craigslist to be what it is and now we're held hostage for it? I feel like a fool, why do we keep falling for this? Help the little grow until he becomes king and screws us all.
Standard IANAL disclaimer.
Edit: replaced copyright with license. Low caffeine morning.
The information that is used to build the ad remains open to be used wherever and whenever the poster wants. I believe this storm is caused by third parties leeching off their ads and not users posting the ad in multiple places. Let's not get too dramatic about it.
"BRAND NEW CONDO 1BA 1Br wood floors!!!! sends us an email. $1200/mo!!"
If you take that same ad and post it on Craigslist and another ad service, the license with Craigslist gives them exclusive rights to the ad--if I'm reading this right it means they can then tell the 2nd ad service to take the content down since CL has the exclusive license. I'm not saying CL will do this, just that having that kind of license up front opens the door to such a scenario.
CL isnt popular here in Holland, but i was under the impression, it was ebay meets dating, using a 200 byte php forum file, that looked so old, you would just assume encodimg errors.
Why are you getting your panties in a twist? What import role does this site play in your life or that of others?
It's pretty much the standard way to find a place to live, to find an employee or a job, to buy and sell used cars, etc... etc...
It's also known for having 3 times higher revenue-per-employee than Google even though the vast majority of activity on the site is free.
The amount of spam and high expectations / low financial reward is high, but a lot of my small business contracts are from Craigslist.
I'm told it is one of the 100 most popular sites on the internet (and one of the 50 most popular in the US).
One of the reasons people feel strongly about it the platform nature. If you don't like the Craigslist interface for finding apartments, you don't have much choice. That is where everyone lists their apartments. Similarly, it is the first place everyone lists apartments because it is widely known that this is where users check.
For that reason, it's been hard for competitors to get any traction... even when the competitor has better technology.
This. CraigsList's search features for cars are abysmal. AutoTrader.com, on the other hand, lets you do awesome stuff like "find me a Toyota or Honda sedan costing less than $12,000 within 15 miles of me", save that search, and get email alerts when new matches come in.
But in my market, all the sellers were on Craigslist.
Sucky network effects.
I really wish, we had proper laws to deal with all these vendor lockin tricks. Its as if the free market, without proper regulation just ends up promoting innovation in loopholes that give an unfair advantage.
Everyone wants to be a cable company these days, and be selling access to customers. Instead of contributing something of actual value themselves, they just want to tax others when they do. Hijack the customer, and be the middle man.
They all essentially implement the same bussiness model as the mob.
There's only likely to be one major classified ad company, because advertisers want to use the site with the most users, and users want to use the site with the most classified ads. That's hard for a competitor to break into, not because of anticompetitive behavior by Craigslist, but because of the nature of the market.
As for the law, the general rule of thumb, in the US at least, is that it's not illegal to have a monopoly, but it is illegal to use your monopoly to dominate a second market.
Because thats essentially what this "exclusive" liscence entails?
If they want to "own" user submitted content, they need a signature. Just putting some terms up will not suffice, unless the site "sell us your exclusive content" with big "make CL own this content" buttons.
It is beyond me, why they refuse to improve the service. They could do it one small step at a time, carefully and slowly, so they don't upset their not so tech savvy audience (much of their audience falls in this category)
Things might change soon if they keep behaving this way, but at this moment, no-one comes close to CL (ebay may be, but you can't rent apartments from ebay)
In choosing between evils, I'll still stick with Craig.
I think this is a great thing -- if Craigslist can get enough bad press from this, then maybe a movement for "free and copyable" classifieds listings can take place, and there can be competition in the space again.
- kill Padmapper instantly by building a map function to view their listings.
- elect not to build a map feature because they think it's trivial and they believe no one cares. So Padmapper should languish.
- buy Padmapper for a little bit of money and have Eric help make their product better.
- hire Eric to make their product better.
- invest a little money into Padmapper as a hedge and hope it does well.
- charge Padmapper a data access fee
These are all totally reasonable options.
Instead, Craig turned to the lawyers and sued Padmapper for using Google's listings and decided that all CL posts are now their exclusive property. If CL really didn't want this data out in the wild, they'd prevent Google from indexing their site.
This is not only a dick thing to do, it's an especially dick thing to do if you sit on the board of The Sunlight Foundation and the advisory board of Wikimedia.
Craig Newmark is a lazy monopolist at this point. All profit taking, no innovation.
This argument is way overblown. If you ask most companies for the data they generate, they would say no. So singling out Craigslist and using that as an argument as to why Craig is a "jerk" is silly because he would be in good company if that were the case.
Bottom line is that CL isn't a hard site to reproduce and even do it in a better fashion. The moment that other sites can start using CL data is the moment that the CL stranglehold will slip. Currently, others can build a product and then fight for users to come. If they were able to use CL data they would eliminate the chicken and egg problem and can slowly get their own data 'til they wouldn't need CL data. How is that in CL's interest to let that happen?
1) Spam, Scams, and false postings
2) Postings not taken down because they've already been sold
3) Terrible interface for adding pictures, uploading media to help sell.
Generally, the guy is sitting on top of a monopoly and is actively choosing to do nothing with it other than collect money, and prevent anyone from usurping his throne.
Now, is PadMapper out of line by stealing their data? Sure, why not. Is CraigsList out of line for wanting exclusive license on their listings? Probably not.
But when you add that monopoly, and then stifle innovation because you are either lazy or incompetent is not doing the world any good. My guess is - everyone thinks CraigsList works wonderfully because we haven't had an opportunity to see anything better. Its like saying Camera phones are the best thing ever, but its because you've never seen an iPhone.
There is nothing stopping somebody from coming up with a site that beats craigslist, nothing at all. It will be hard, for sure, but it can and will be done eventually. So it isn't really preventing anybody from usurping his throne.
"But when you add that monopoly, and then stifle innovation because you are either lazy or incompetent is not doing the world any good. "
I hear this argument over and over, that CL is stifling innovation and I just don't see it. It seems like a bunch of would-be competitors want an easy in. There is nothing stopping a competitor from taking over, except a large amount of work. Just because a company won't let anybody use their data, doesn't mean they are stifling innovation. It would be a different story if CL tried to claim IP protection on internet classifieds but that isn't the case.
I feel that the people are being extraordinarily harsh on Craigslist with requests that would be laughed at if you brought them to another company. Although that being said, CL is in a unique position where they have been able to hold their market share without innovation or even much change.
You speak as though CL is broken, and it clearly isn't, as a marketplace it functions well. You may not like the website, but it's marketplace first, website second. If you want to sell something, it has the inventory and the customers.
Craid had to sue PM, it's just business, it wasn't a personal attack or a "dick thing" as you seem to think.
Craigslist is broken. And successful. Those aren't mutually exclusive things. Newspapers are broken yet they'll do nearly $20 billion of dollars in revenue this year. They were broken and did peak revenue in 2005. Nokia was broken but had record profits two years ago. RIM was broken and did record profits last year.
Craigslist will eventually lose. It's just going to take longer than any of us reasonably expect.
I'm guessing you've never had to find an apartment on Craigslist. Sifting through spam, scams, fake listings by agents, listings that have already been sold... sure, you can do it, but it's not efficient.
We don't bookmark facebook.com we rely on the browser history, having typed it in to the address bar once. They use google to search for the link to the facebook login.
They hear that CL is the biggest site for classified ads, so they post there. They don't care that padmapper will put their apartment on a map, they don't care about other sites.
CL did the hard work of attracting the people to the marketplace. Padmapper is not doing any of that hard work. It is my opinion, if you're doing the hard work of building the community and attracting the users, then you'll agree with CL on this issue. If you're a repackager, then you'll side with padmapper.
If your business idea is "Some corner of Craigs List with a better UI" then by all means, build the UI and then convince people to GIVE you their data.
Anecdotally, whenever I've used Padmapper to find a new apartment I would end up on craiglist.com anyway as Padmapper would often not contain the real estate agent's contact information.
I've never spent more than a week looking for a new place, and wouldn't consider using any service other than craigslist to do so.
Clearly the experience in other markets is not so positive.
As far as I can tell by looking at housingmaps, it's identical to padmapper, which tells me it's going to be shut down soon.
A marketplace can be popular and still broken. I think Craigslist's extreme insistence on not developing their product may have been a great move once upon a time but is catching up with them. PadMapper and apartment rentals is just one example.
People seems to think that PM is the good guy and CL the bad guy I just see it a buiness trying to profit over one that's already existing and has a strong user base
The question is whether or not there's room for a craigslist clone, particularly one that can succeed by sharing its data openly with third-parties.
In truth, I'm doubtful. My reluctant conclusion is that there is, in fact, value in preventing the data from being spread across multiple interfaces and platforms, which itself could confuse users. This was essentially Twitter's stance when it came time to solidify their brand and reduce the number of clients.
There is real user value in knowing how their listing will be presented. I mean, if I'm listing a room for rent and "DruggieCriminalRoommateFinder" syndicates my listing, I'm probably not going to be happy with the response quality.
People, why aren't we just getting together to do just this, we've got UX people, web people, team management types and coders out the wazoo here. Let's just make a new craiglist already.
PS: I forgot, we've got marketing genius's here to, that can make miracles happen with just about zero dollars.
PPS: It doesn't matter how much that saying irritates you, as a business owner, try being successful without customers. If anything the saying is truest only when a majority of the customers believe the same thing, but there is still truth in it. (Obviously a jerk customer that other customers would shun will have no impact on you if you say I won't serve you.) "The customers are always right" :)
Someone said/typed once that there will be no big CL killer - that they'll be pecked to death by many small replacements, such as Etsy in the crafts space. PM should be the CL replacement for the housing market, and their biggest problem to solve now is getting listings from another source, hopefully from landlords listing directly with them.
Harsh words but they ring true.
Not that I expect them to actually try to enforce it in that way, of course.
No, I do not think that has anything to do with the new craiglist terms of service. The new terms of service just prevents other people from copying the content of the craigslist ad.
So, no the hypothetical woman selling the couch would not be affected by the new terms in any way.
>> the exclusive right to enforce copyrights against anyone copying, republishing, distributing or preparing derivative works without its consent
Where does it say anything about "other people?" I mean, I doubt Craigslist would sue an actual user for posting on EBay, but they might send EBay a takedown notice for that content.
And if I wrote a piece of software that helped you post the same thing simultaneously on Craigslist and EBay, I bet they'd sue me.
That's not what this is about. CL doesn't care where you post it, or how many times you post it. CL just doesn't want others scraping their website and posting it for you. This is direct action on CL against Padmapper.
Do you really think CL is just going to politely ask?
They can politely ask the poster and see if they posted it elsewhere. If yes, nothing else needs to be done. If no, they are probably going to find out the extent the external website has gone to.
You may be happy to rely on vague "oh, we don't actually enforce that clause" but some of us prefer not to sign away rights for nothing.
I think in the end they will die, as better sites replace them (piecewise probably, I doubt there will be another general purpose classified site that pops up), but it will be because there is a better alternative in place.
I just don't see this being the downfall of Craigslist.
Fact of the matter is, if I'm posting something on Craigslist then the important thing to me is that it show up on Craigslist. If I wanted it on some other service then I'd post it there. In fact, I'm surprised they haven't had that clause in there from day one. As a user of the site it would be disconcerting to get a response from a person using a site I've never heard of before.
The more I think about it, the more I'm siding with Craigslist on this.
This isn't boilerplate legalese.
Operationally, probably true. However, ethically this is no different than the people who said PadMapper should just use "Craigslist's" data regardless of what Craigslist thought about the situation. To be consistent, either you believe:
1) It's ok for PadMapper to re-list Craigslist's data without Craigslist's consent.
2) If you post a housing listing to Craigslist, you cannot post it anywhere else.
You don't want to instill fear into posters (IE, their product) that they could get sued by posting even a similar ad on a competing site. Then you enter the territory "I only have access to people who check craigslist" instead of an array of additional, complementary options. That doesn't sound very attractive.
Padmapper scraping data put up on CraigsList and adding it to their own listings is very very different than me putting my own listing on multiple sites.
I don't see this as a "application of principles" issue. The principle I'm consistently applying is "I have the right to tell whomever I want about something I want to sell." And Craigslist is applying the consistent principle that the listing I provided belongs to them. If you ask me, putting my listing somewhere else makes it a different listing, because it didn't originate at craigslist (Like stolen listings on PadMapper), but instead, originated through me.
To apply my principle consistently, I wouldn't post a link to my Craigslist posting on another site, but I am perfectly entitled to re-post its content where-ever I please.
IOW: This text gives Craigslist some ammo to go after a site they can prove got the listing from copying Craigslist, but not sites the listing author also posted to.
Less than 1% of what was stated would ever be held up in a dutch court. Things like the concept that a company can just define their liabilty themselves. Or how they have the right to share personal data with 3rd parties. The laws can not overwritten with contracts, esspecially ones without signatures.
In essence, and this was quite funny to realize. There is no EULA that would reduce liability, or increase rights of the seller. An EULA can really only be used against the company.
Im not sure about the situation in the US. But the same should be true to some extend. EULA are fake legal documents lawyers sell as if they have any value.
Its a complete scam.
My understanding is that it's not true to much of any extent in the US. The contract will generally win. It'll depend on the jurisdiction and the case, but it's certainly not the case that all EULAs are per se invalid. Nor is it the case that "the laws cannot be overwritten with contracts." Overwriting the legal default rules is what contracts do.
A good example is rape. It does not make sex illegal, it just makes consent a requirement. There is no analogue for murder, so event consent would not allow murder.
Thats the extend of such liscences: they can ask consent for things that require consent. But most of them are filled with stuff that either does not require consent, or where consent is irrelevent.
But when i hear about the type of frivolent lawsuits, i do believe at least liability is defined very differently. Here companies are not liable for misuse by idiots. If an average person understands you can not microwave your cat, then there is no liability when an idiot does that. On the other hand, companies can not distance themselves from being liable for harm due to defects.
Either case, legal terms are not very relevant either way. Because they do not constitute a proper effort of informing. That last part is very relevant. Implicit terms can not define the context, only try to formalize it.
And this could very well be a good example of the 1% that would actually be uphold.
If they had your signature, that is. Getting exclusive content liscence without explicit permission? They cant even prove it was you that submitted the content in the first place.
Imagine a store having a sign that they own your bag, whenever you enter. Come on, this will not hold up in court.
Compare certain opensoure companies that require contributions to assign copyright to them. They all demand a real piece of paper, with a real signature.
EDIT: Okay, let me be less flippant. I ask about you being a lawyer because we don't know how Craigslist will enforce this policy. Everyone is assuming the worst -- CL will not let you post anywhere else! -- when, in practice, such a policy is probably not enforceable in court.
You have a well-reasoned comment, sure, but someone can't really speak to the enforceability of this without practicing law.
This is clearly directed to services like Padmapper - which, by the way, I strongly support and wish Craigslist would leave TF alone.
Of course you can just slap the same lawyer silliness on your form and claim that you have also been given exclusive licence by your users and counter sue craigslist. I'm not sure if court is required to resolve the matter if you both have identical claims. Not sure if who got their "exclusive" licence first matters anything in such case.
No one is forcing anyone to use Craigslist. You are free not to post and free to not agree to those terms. Why should a publisher (which is what CL is) grant non exclusive rights? It's a business. If you don't like the terms, you aren't forced to sign the contract. You can always post a newspaper ad, or start your own site. Just because CL has the user base doesn't mean that they are preventing competitors from entering the market any more than Stephen King's publisher is stopping other writers from writing and publishing novels. Stephen King is well known and sells lots of books, but that's not a monopoly, it's a competitive advantage.
Should all companies be forced to give up their competitive advantage to make it easier for competition? Of course not. Competitors need to create their own advantage. It's like suggesting that FB has a monopoly on social simply because they have the most users. You can start your own. Facebook (and CL) aren't preventing users from visiting your site, nor are they preventing sellers from writing a different post for a different site. They're claiming rights to the specific ad posting. It's exactly like the publishing industry.
This anger seems to stem directly from Padmapper blatantly stealing CL data and acting as if it was perfectly fine. I'm no fan of CL, but they have the right to do whatever they want with their data, just as users have the right to not use CL. Don't like the terms, don't do business with them.
The Padmapper guys could take on CL and likely succeed I they had any clue about business development. Instead they spend their time trying to game CL instead of building their own business. If they started hyper locally and focused on a small area or neighborhood, they could easily dominate in that neighborhood with just the cost of some kinkos flyers (assuming they have a great product.) they need only contact landlords in their area, offer to post their ads for free and then flyer the neighborhood advertising 'Park Slope Apartments for Rent' or whatever neighborhood they choose. They'll start to build users. Then they add another neighborhood until eventually they reach critical mass in a specific city. CL took years to get where they were. It takes hard work and getting out from behind the computer screen from time to time. In the rental listings market, the code and UX is easy, the hard work is getting out there and building the business.
I din't get why CL has any obligation to help a competitor short circuit CL's 10+ years of hard work. Do some hard work yourself -- CL is beatable. Look at MySpace: millions of engaged users suffering through a horrid UX, yet they fell to some geographically marketed site called Facebook. You want to build a better CL -- learn from Zuck and Co how they beat MySpace. It's a hell of a lot more than just code.
I don't know the answer to this question, but I would be annoyed if the network were allowed to lock me in like this. Other networks should be annoyed too.
Should all companies be forced to give up their competitive advantage to make it easier for competition?
Depends on the competitive advantage. Fast code? Theirs. Marketing know-how? Theirs. Monopolistic or illegal practices? Can't keep. Sorry. I definitely disagree with the "companies can do whatever they want" crowd and side with the "you have a business here you play by our rules" crowd.
Still, CL isn't a public good. Don't like them, turn the channel.
I see your point but I don't think the difference between TV ads and classified ads is as big as you think it is. In both cases the ad content provider is paying the medium to display the ad. For a TV show, the provider is being paid, and therefore subject to the terms of sale (some shows do show on more than one network, for instance, but not until they are "old" episodes).
In the US there are even some TV stations that spend a major chunk of their time showing commercials ("infomercials"). In these cases content is not a differentiator.
There are also print-based classified-ad (magazines) (Auto-Trader, for example) that don't restrict re-using your ad.
Standard Oil only had 64% market share when it was broken up.
Edit (since I can't reply): We aren't expecting a FB breakup for the same reason we don't expect a CL breakup; the US Justice department has been taking a hands-off approach. Given their expertise and the possibility of doing damage, that might be the right approach, but that doesn't mean the monopolies don't exists and aren't doing damage. (Remember, I'm not arguing for a CL breakup, just for the fact that the monopoly exists and must be discussed.) Frankly, I would support a FB breakup, especially if it could lead to an open social-media protocol for federations.
There are plenty of CL competitors. It's just that nobody uses them.
I'll put it this way: do you really think CL has 80% market share because no one can build a better competitor? The site UI is crap.
Since AirBnB has tight Craigslist integration, allowing the user to post their listing after they have posted on AirBnB, this sounds like a total paradoxical situation (for lack of a better word). AirBnB kind of set up a listing acting a "proxy", but the owner of the listing hits the final "confirm" to post.
Take a look here for example of the integration. http://andrewchen.co/2012/04/27/how-to-be-a-growth-hacker-an...
If they're worried about losing relevancy to innovators, why not try innovating rather than legal maneuvering?
Padmapper isn't the existential threat. It's CL's failure to keep improving.
There's no particular reason to think that spiders are a giant problem for them. Any high-volume site deals with crawlers all the time. If it were a problem because of some site architecture weirdness, it'd be easy enough to set up something that wouldn't be problematic. For example, the RSS feeds they already offer.
Worst case, they could charge people like Padmapper a fee to license the data. Which in fact they already do, but they insist on it being mobile only.
So Craigslist's behavior is purely a business choice, not driven by any technical necessity.
Their argument was at one stage that they can keep most of the site free by keeping their costs way down by having a simple site. The though free & simple was better than fancier for a price or even that the simplicity was good in itself.
For a long time that argument was interesting and seemed to be working. Now it seems to be not working as well.
It may be that technology & UI brought to the table in 2002 would have been a net loss for Craigslist & that in 2007 improvements would have been too small to bother with. In 2012 there is mounting proof that tech & UI have improved enough that the potential improvements are huge.
When the gap between what a big provider is doing and what is possible gets that big, that's economic pressure. It will be felt in all sorts of ways: competition, users trying to access the data via different interfaces, etc.
Tightening up TCs or setting legal precedents is plugging leaks that happened because of the pressure. Not only does plugging leaks not relieve pressure, it increases it.
If they were honestly all about helping people, surely Craigslist would let the market decide what is most helpful to them.
And no, people don't appear to be legally free to use other sites as well as Craigslist with the same content they've created.
And no, people don't appear to be legally free to use other sites as well as Craigslist with the same content they've created.
If you're not a lawyer, this is conjecture. We don't know how this will be enforced in the future.
The photographs however would be covered by copyright.
'Clicking "Continue" confirms that craigslist is the exclusive licensee of this content, with the exclusive right to enforce copyrights against anyone copying, republishing, distributing or preparing derivative works without its consent.'
I have an original photo and publish it as part of a listing ('the content'). The photo is not a derivative work.
> I have an original photo and publish it as part of a listing ('the content'). The photo is not a derivative work.
No, but if someone uses that photo (from the listing) to make something else, that something else is a derivative work, and thus covered by the craigslist license.
I suspect that the craigslist wording isn't intended to be restricted to derivative works. That is, I think that they meant to include content as is in addition to derived work from said content.
It looks like you can't transfer copyright but you can exclusively licence it.
Urheberrecht encompasses thing such as the right do defend against modifications that go against the spirit of the work or the author or against defacing it, the right to be named as the creator (though this one can be waived by contract depending on the circumstance) etc. The Urheberrecht can only be transferred by inheritance.
The Verwertungsrechte is anything related to the use of the work, such as selling, buying, (sub)licensing it.
Please keep in mind that this is a gross oversimplification and IANAL. The copyright situation is complicated enough for experts in the field and cannot be explained in a short post I guess :)
I still don't think most craigslist posts are copyrightable though.
I think the only real long term solution is for craigslist to build and charge for an API, because I really don't think their copyright claims will hold up in court if someone with enough money to handle the legal battle shows up one day.
It will also allow them to argue that subject to compliance with the licence, the information could only have been accessed from CL.
The reality of course is that for a certain number people (perhaps limited) CL will be the only site where the submit content and will therefore not be concerned about granting an exclusive licence.
However, I'm sure a greater percentage of people will not necessarily grasp what Craigslist are asking for here and will not be put off posting elsewhere. Of course, CL will not go around enforcing the terms of the exclusive licence against the user.
The grant of exclusivity will simply allow them to argue that subject to compliance with the licence, the information could only have been accessed from CL, or at least is more likely to have been obtained from CL.
If Craigslist are serious about ensuring they can rely on the exclusive licence it should be made clear that the grant means the user can't post the content anywhere else however this may mean that people would be more put off using the site.
My view is that it's a shame that CL are now attempting to assert an even tighter stranglehold over information originating from users. In the long run it may assist Padmapper in pushing people away from using CL in the first instance.
But it shows their confidence is suffering and they're starting to focus on defensive measures - even defensive measure that go against their original values. Its not a sign of impending doom, just a sign that a long decline is underway.
You could post different content on another site all you like.. but nobody can take CL's content and use it.
I believe that Craigslist is an immense, rich resource where the inertia of it's community to move en-masse to another service means it highly unlikely that another site will take over in the near or near-far future. I am saddened that Craigslist can't simply provide (paid or whatever) API access to their data and encourage a healthy sub-ecosystem.
I mean, I even had a facebook "friend" forward a circular about the evils of facebook, saying "we" should all be up in arms. I asked her if she was going to close her FB account. Yeah, you all know the answer.
I wonder of the Craigslist folks are looking at alternative interfaces as ways people will get the good stuff (real listings) without having to do the work of wading through and flagging off the bad stuff.
Unless someone like PadMapper is scraping data, it seems impossible to enforce.
Clicking "Continue" confirms that craigslist is the exclusive licensee of this content
Does it refer, as many posters suggest below, to the item sold in the listing? Or does it only refer to the contents of the listing? If it's the former, I question its legal defensibility (oh man I'm not a lawyer, but I think that's right). If it's the latter, this is a clear pre-emptive move against future PadMapper-type problems.
An exclusive license means landlords themselves are giving up their right to post the same listing on other rental listing sites, for example, by using a tool that would post the exact same listing to multiple sites.
Pot, meet kettle.