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Craigslist Demands Exclusivity For Postings 160

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-into-polylist-relationships dept.
Bill Dimm writes "Craigslist now demands an exclusive license to the content you post there. How many people are aware that they are agreeing not to post their job ads, rentals, items for sale, etc. anywhere else when they post to Craigslist?" It's not going out on much a limb to suspect this is to strengthen Craigslist's position against those extension sites they love so much.
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Craigslist Demands Exclusivity For Postings

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:38PM (#40843939)

    They are claiming exclusivity to the content not intent. Change your verbiage when you post to eBay and you're good.

  • It's pretty clearly giving them an exclusive copyright license, with explicit authority to enforce your copyright, probably intended to remove any doubt a judge may have that they're allowed to sue sites that scrape/republish Craigslist. And since it's exclusive, this probably does mean that you're not allowed to copy/paste the same ad onto multiple sites, since you've exclusively licensed your ad to Craigslist. Which is pretty dumb, although I would put good odds on them not enforcing that, since the timing indicates it's aimed at the sites that scrape Craigslist wholesale, not random individuals.

    I don't read it as giving them complete exclusivity rights for the underlying rental/sale, though. There isn't any language saying you agree not to list the item on another site simultaneously, so I believe (while obviously IANAL) that you could write up a separate ad for another site if you wanted.

    • by Bill Dimm (463823)

      you could write up a separate ad for another site if you wanted

      It explicitly prohibits preparing derivative works without Craigslist's consent. IANAL, so I don't know if they could enforce that against the original author, but it seems they could certainly go after whatever other website published/distributed your derivative post. Since that other website's Terms of Use would probably require you to post only things that you legally have the right to post, you could presumably wind up with them coming after you if Craigslist comes after them.

      • It's not a derivative work unless it's based on the original (in other words, if you modified the Craigslist ad). If you wrote another ad from scratch for the same item, it's not a derivative work.

        • by Bill Dimm (463823)

          Sure, but how do you prove that it is written from scratch, especially when there would need to be a high degree of similarity when describing the same item? For example, a job ad is going to contain a list of qualifications -- how are you going to advertise the same job without copying the list of qualifications?

          • by cduffy (652)

            Sure, but how do you prove that it is written from scratch, especially when there would need to be a high degree of similarity when describing the same item? For example, a job ad is going to contain a list of qualifications -- how are you going to advertise the same job without copying the list of qualifications?

            Only the expressive elements, not the functional/utilitarian ones, are subject to copyright -- so the necessary similarity doesn't count against you in a copyright case, and highly functional lang

          • Much the same way that while all English-language novels use the same words, it's their arrangement that governs their uniqueness. Craigslist isn't trying to prevent posters from selling their items on other sites; they're trying to prevent scrapping sites from re-posting content and selling ads to support that.
            • by sohmc (595388)

              What if you release your copyright? For example, in your post you write, "The author of this advert has released all content within this page to the public domain. In case this is not legally possible, the creator grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law."

              Sure, CL would have a license, but the license would be worthless. Since most cases, copyrighting, "Hey I need a roommate" is pointless, I see no bad side for retaining

          • We'll find out the answer to that question after the Samsung vs Apple suit is over. :)

      • by Trepidity (597)

        Two different listings for a $30 mattress that aren't identical would not necessarily be "derivative works" though, just parallel works. I mean, you can't copyright the idea of selling a mattress for $30; the only copyright Craigslist would be gaining would be on the specific text of a specific ad.

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          Unless they put fake ads in there to prove they are derivative - just like the GPS makers and their fake roads to nowhere.

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        except that even in acting like you give them the copyright, fair use nullifies all of this - as almost any use of the listings that involves modifying them is a clear cut case of fair use.

    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      I bet they do enforce it on an individual basis against other sites; this allows them to maintain a monopoly position on online classifieds with legal force. All they need is a bot to look for their content and an automated DMCA system.

    • IANAL, but can't you just get around this by calling yourself a search engine and falling back on the DMCA's safe harbor rules?

      "Introducing myBlock, the web's first completely physically aware search engine, powered by Google! Search for terms that apply to you and get results that apply to your city, town, or state... all visually displayed using Google Maps technology! We're still in beta, but we're growing every day.

      "We currently crawl and index up to... [1]... pages! Stay tuned for more!"

      Granted, you co

      • by JohnFen (1641097)

        IANAL, but can't you just get around this by calling yourself a search engine and falling back on the DMCA's safe harbor rules?

        No, the safe harbor provision doesn't work that way.

    • It's pretty clearly giving them an exclusive copyright license

      Its pretty clearly claiming that it requires that, but since in US law an exclusive copyright license (even if limited in time or scope of the rights under copyright licensed) is a transfer of copyright ownership, and a transfer of copyright ownership requires a written transfer document signed by the transferring owner or a duly authorized agent, so, if its a usual Terms of Service and not a signed written document, they probably don't actually

  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:39PM (#40843963)
    As someone currently trying to find a place to live - craigslist is a shithole. Everything except the by-owner apartment section is just horrible, with realtors keyword spamming and posting the same ads multiple times a day; nobody flags them. Age/gender/orientation/class discrimination is rampant and uncontrolled (in my particular neighborhood, you have to be late-20's, GLBT or female, and a grad student, or nobody wants to live with you or have you as a tenant.) It's also firmly stuck around 1996 technology. The searching sucks. The new photo gallery sucks (makes printing or PDF-saving an ad difficult.) They still don't do any kind of validation on the address fields, which makes apartment/room hunting a nightmare because people can't seem to handle "enter nearest cross-streets" 50% of the time. Up until recently they were profiteering off the sex industry (which uses human trafficking) and fought bitterly when the state attorneys went after them for it. About the only two things CL has going for it: pages are served reasonably fast, and the site doesn't go down very often. Really, guys: there's a REASON WHY sites like Padmapper and others exist...
    • CL only has 1 thing going for it: most people use it. Just like eBay.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by rahvin112 (446269)

        Only one thing? Maybe the fact that in most cases (there are select areas where it's illegal to post ads without the company verifying all the information is accurate) you don't have to pay a dime to post a classified ad. Maybe you would prefer the old world of newspaper classifieds where you paid $70 for a single weekend listing AND the newspaper did no copy control.

        Craigslist doesn't charge money, they don't generally interfere in postings and there is little to no advertising (there is spam, as should be

        • Anybody who ever created dynamic websites knows that their bandwidth usage is lower than that of more "static" counterparts.

        • Craig has also promised that he'll never take advertising and that hes not ever going to charge for listing where he isn't forced to by local laws.

          I guess he has already broken the promise by charging for job postings and apartment listing by brokers (in certain cities). He also used to charge for posting ads in the adult only sections.

        • by kenj0418 (230916)

          Now you want the guy to spend more of his own money to make the site ....

          No, but it would be nice if he didn't sue people who created add-ons that do make his site more usable, and that direct the eventual traffic back to him.

          • The reason he does that is that the first person to create add-ons for Craigslist that made it more "usable" tried to migrate users away from his site. They were almost successful.
      • by jd2112 (1535857)

        CL only has 1 thing going for it: most people use it. Just like eBay.

        Craigslist has two things going for it: They are not eBay (and therefore don't suck as much), and they are free.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          CL is obviously cheaper than Ebay, but you get what you pay for. CL is nearly unusable for many things; you can't find anything on there, and because it's so locally-oriented, many things are never posted there to begin with. Ebay and CL really serve two different markets much of the time. If you're looking for something small and shippable, then Ebay is the place to go, and you'll have a relatively easy time finding it. If you're looking for a piece of bulky used furniture in your local area, CL is a b

      • by Beerdood (1451859)
        That should change soon enough. Most people use Kijiji where I live (Canada) and Craigslist ads are virtually non-existent in pretty much every category. I'm not sure why that's the case, but simply having a majority of users is a temporary advantage at best - competitors with similar services will eventually be more dominant (i.e. Myspace vs Facebook)
    • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:46PM (#40844091)

      craigslist was a technological shithole when I last went apartment shopping in the mid 2000s.

      amazingly it now looks and works... exactly the same?

      I guess they're getting their money's worth out of that "beginning html" book?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by CanHasDIY (1672858)

        craigslist was a technological shithole when I last went apartment shopping in the mid 2000s.

        amazingly it now looks and works... exactly the same?

        I guess they're getting their money's worth out of that "beginning html" book?

        Old handyman's adage:

        If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

        Also, Occam's Razor.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Sounds nice, except that, as the OP pointed out, Craigslist IS broken, and all these years later still isn't fixed at all.

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      I tried using Craigslist. It's not for me. There are several complaints. They're still doing the old "by city" nonsense that leave a lot of people out. By zip code and radius would be much better for us suburbanites and rural dwellers.

      Also, when you charge nothing, you invite a lot of spam posts. They should charge something. Doesn't have to be a lot. 50 cents or a dollar an ad. It's by far the easiest way to remove nonsense. If they still want free ads, if I were them, I'd make the site with a fil

      • by LehiNephi (695428)
        There are plenty of other places to list ads, though none are as big. My preference is Bookoo, which *does* do some sort of radius searching (I forget how exactly it works), but still has individual local sites.
    • by hawguy (1600213)

      As someone currently trying to find a place to live - craigslist is a shithole. Everything except the by-owner apartment section is just horrible, with realtors keyword spamming and posting the same ads multiple times a day; nobody flags them.

      And don't forget about the scammers. When I was looking for an apartment, out of 12 ads I replied to, 8 were scammers of the form "I'm an out of town landlord, I can't release the address to you until you submit an application at this website" (where the website asks for everything a credit app would ask for like social security number, current and previous addresses, etc). All 8 were worded almost identically with minor changes here and there, so I suspect it's a group of scammers using the same scheme. 2

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        Yep, I ran into this recently too; one "landlord" was "temporarily" living in Africa and wanted applications sent there.

    • by fl!ptop (902193)

      craigslist is a shithole

      I won't go that far, but it is somewhat cumbersome to use in certain circumstances. For example, a colleague and I were planning a trip to Cleveland to hire a new manager, and wanted to post an ad on CL about a week before we were going to be there. This way we could do a phone interview, arrange a meeting, etc. all before getting to Cleveland, instead of posting it when we got there and then sitting around for a week doing nothing.

      The posts we submitted kept getting ghosted, and t

    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:05PM (#40844473)

      As someone currently trying to find a place to live - craigslist is a shithole.

      CL is pretty bad, except when compared to the alternatives.

      Age/gender/orientation/class discrimination is rampant and uncontrolled

      If they are advertising for a tenant, then discrimination on age/gender is illegal, and CL will take down offending ads if you report them. If they are advertising for a roommate/boarder (someone who shares the same living space) then this discrimination is perfectly legal in many jurisdictions. Discrimination for/against GLBT tenants may or may not be illegal depending on the jurisdiction.

      It's also firmly stuck around 1996 technology.

      There is nothing wrong with that. 1996 technology is perfectly adequate for what CL is doing.

      The searching sucks.

      Use Google, and put "site:craigslist.org" as one of your search criteria.

      Up until recently they were profiteering off the sex industry (which uses human trafficking)

      One of the main reasons for abuse in the sex industry (including human trafficking), is that it is a hidden black market. By helping to make it more open and competitive, CL was arguably making it less abusive. I think it is unfair to blame CL for a problem created by politicians.

      • by Shoten (260439)

        As someone currently trying to find a place to live - craigslist is a shithole.

        CL is pretty bad, except when compared to the alternatives.

        Saying that there isn't a Ruth's Chris nearby does not make McDonald's into a steak house.

        Age/gender/orientation/class discrimination is rampant and uncontrolled

        If they are advertising for a tenant, then discrimination on age/gender is illegal, and CL will take down offending ads if you report them. If they are advertising for a roommate/boarder (someone who shares the same living space) then this discrimination is perfectly legal in many jurisdictions. Discrimination for/against GLBT tenants may or may not be illegal depending on the jurisdiction.

        Saying that muggings and rapes are illegal and that there are cops does not make a bad neighborhood into a good one.

        It's also firmly stuck around 1996 technology.

        There is nothing wrong with that. 1996 technology is perfectly adequate for what CL is doing.

        Totally valid.

        The searching sucks.

        Use Google, and put "site:craigslist.org" as one of your search criteria.

        We all know that Google's searching is good...but when you have to use Google as the lens through which you view a website...that website's searching sucks.

        Up until recently they were profiteering off the sex industry (which uses human trafficking)

        One of the main reasons for abuse in the sex industry (including human trafficking), is that it is a hidden black market. By helping to make it more open and competitive, CL was arguably making it less abusive. I think it is unfair to blame CL for a problem created by politicians.

        Based on this logic, the people on street corners selling crack are also blameless. Look, it doesn't matter if there's a market for som

        • by Hatta (162192)

          Based on this logic, the people on street corners selling crack are also blameless

          Quite true. People on the street corner selling crack are filling a demand at significant risk to themselves. They're not only blameless, but they're better people than the politicians who forced the commerce onto the street corner.

          Look, it doesn't matter if there's a market for something bad, or why that is.

          You're assuming that crack and prostitution are both bad. That's not true.

        • Based on this logic, the people on street corners selling crack are also blameless.

          If crack was sold on Craiglist, there probably would be no dealers on the street corners.

          Look, it doesn't matter if there's a market for something bad, or why that is. It is still wrong to profit from it.

          I don't agree that people using their penises and/or vaginas in a way that you don't approve of is "bad", but let's set that aside for now. Plenty of people profit from making bad things better. Is it immoral to make catalytic converters, because you are profiting from the pollution you are preventing? If Craigslist was profiting from reducing sexual abuse that is a good thing.

          I could make money doing bad things in many ways...

          Craigslist was not "doing bad things", t

      • One of the main reasons for abuse in the sex industry (including human trafficking), is that it is a hidden black market. By helping to make it more open and competitive, CL was arguably making it less abusive. I think it is unfair to blame CL for a problem created by politicians.

        I believe GP is referring to the fact that CL directly profited from the sex industry, by charging for listings in their adult-only section. In fact half their revenues were estimated to be from this section.

        • I believe GP is referring to the fact that CL directly profited from the sex industry, by charging for listings in their adult-only section.

          So? If they were making the sex industry less abusive (and they probably were), then the fact that they profited from it is a good thing. I wish more people would engage in profitable activities that make the world a better place.

          • I dont believe they made it any better. I can also believe they profited from it.

            • I dont believe they made it any better.

              Then you are ignoring plenty of evidence. Jurisdictions that regulate vaginas more tightly (hee hee) tend to have more problems with related issues such as sexual violence, venereal disease, urban decay, etc. By making the business more open and competitive, Craigslist probably helped ameliorate those side effects. Why would a woman solicit strangers on a street corner if she can advertise on-line, where she has much more control?

              • I would like to see some of the evidence, before I decide whether or not to ignore them. I understand legalizing and regulating prostitution can bring a lot of benefits to the society. But I dont really see how making it available on craigslist makes a difference. It only helps the business go more underground and shady, as far I can see.

                • by nedlohs (1335013)

                  Because advertising on craigslist is more underground and shady than not advertising on craigslist?

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        There is nothing wrong with that. 1996 technology is perfectly adequate for what CL is doing.

        Bullshit. If you want to see how an apartment-finding (or room-for-rent-finding) website should look, check out PadMapper.com. Here's a hint: if you're in a new area, looking for a room/apartment to rent/sublet, you don't know the name of every stupid little 1-mile-wide town packed into the urban area. But you can pick out on a map where you'd like to live, based on where your new job is located, so you know you

    • Completely agree, as a rental place owner I can say I have never gotten anything from it but loads and loads of automated spam, and the website itself is just shit. Use Kijiji, you will find/sell/rent a whole lot faster and easier.

    • by http (589131)
      You noted,

      ...with realtors keyword spamming and posting the same ads multiple times a day; nobody flags them.

      Seeing as you didn't say "nobody else flags them", I have to assume that you're part of the problem. Flagging a craigslist ad is simpler than setting your threshold on slashdot, and doesn't even require a login. Yours could be the click that throws them out, but if you don't do it, the spammers win.

  • by mr1911 (1942298) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:41PM (#40843999)
    In theory this gives Craigslist the ability to enforce a copyright claim against the original poster for listing an ad elsewhere. In reality any such enforcement would be the end of Craigslist.
    • I hope this is more a response to web sites that scrape Craigslist listings and put them up on fake blogs for search engines to find. When I make a Craigslist posting, I don't intend on my photos and contact information to be copied on some Malaysian or Russian site, and hopefully this will give Craigslist ammo to get these sites taken down by now having copyright or license to the content that is posted there.
      • So how would you have worded something to go after web sites that scrape CL without making it something to go after the original poster?
      • by 1u3hr (530656)

        copied on some Malaysian or Russian site, and hopefully this will give Craigslist ammo to get these sites taken down

        You think anyone in Russia would give a fuck if CL sent them a C&D?

      • by TheLink (130905)
        And what if the sites scrape the listings and modify them slightly? Thesaurus, add typos.

        At what point would it be considered a new work and not a derivative work?
    • by 1u3hr (530656)

      In theory this gives Craigslist the ability to enforce a copyright claim Well, it gives them an excuse to go to court. But if it ever went to trial, the whole idea of copyright on a simple advertisement (not including a photo) would stand up.

      So, another abuse of copyright in the offing.

    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      The copyright claim wouldn't be against the poster, it would be against the Craigslist competitor to whom the original poster copied their ad. I'm certain Craigslist is fine with that.

      • by mark-t (151149)
        It might be pretty difficult for Craigslist to do that if the original ad contained some explicit text that authorized ad scrapers to copy the ad to their own site.

        Of course, it's well within Craigslist's rights to remove any such ads from their site, but such ads would still have to be manually flagged and removed, and unless a person had a specific interest in making sure that ads complied with such terms of use, I'm not sure how quickly all such ads would actually get removed.

      • In Canada (I don't know about elsewhere) it is impossible (by law) for the original author of a copyrighted work to breach their own copyright. The best CraigsList would be able to get you for is breach of contract, but since you didn't provide any services to them (contracts must be "2-way" to be a legal contract), all they'd really be able to do is pull the ad.
        • by TheSpoom (715771)

          They could argue that their posting of your ad constitutes good and valuable consideration, which fulfills your "two way" requirement (more accurately stated that contracts require negotiation, consideration, and must not be unconscionable) since you're providing them content and they're providing an audience. Consideration need not be monetary.

  • So, why have none of the other forsale sites caught on? I realize Craigslist is popular because Craigslist is popular, but then again, so was MySpace.

    • by Bigby (659157)

      Anonymity

      Not sure if this is still the case, but it did/does one heck of a job keeping you anonymous.

    • by canajin56 (660655)
      I think Kijiji is going pretty well, at least in Canada. Someone I know was looking for a room to rent for school, and found many times (she said 10 times) as many rooms and suites available on Kijiji. It's better organized, too, apparently.
    • by Trepidity (597)

      I realize Craigslist is popular because Craigslist is popular, but then again, so was MySpace.

      MySpace is an example that such markets can fall out of favor, but it's hard, because the new market isn't useful until a sizable number of people have moved. eBay has been getting worse and worse, and steadily increasing its fees along with it, and yet none of its competitors have caught on. I would guess Craigslist is following an eBay route.

      The other part of the equation, imo, is that a large proportion of Craig

  • by Hadlock (143607)

    Half the posts on the "craigslist extensions" sites are outdated/deleted already anyways.
     
    I 3 craigslist, found two roommates, multiple apartments/houses, bicycles, computers, cars, telescopes... currently looking for a piano on there.

  • Yeah, good luck enforcing that.

    By reading this post you agree to give me exclusive rights to any patentable ideas you ever come up with, in perpetuity throughout the universe, and at any time in the past should time travel become possible.

  • I make a nice piece of change off of CL and have found lots of good things there, too. I think it's one of the few business models that is innocuous and beneficial and they should be left alone by predators and usurpers like those extension sites.
  • Another one down (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JohnFen (1641097) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:53PM (#40844207)

    That's insane. I've used Craigslist quite a lot for various things, but I'm not about to give them (or anyone else who hasn't hired me to produce something for them) exclusive rights to anything whatsoever.

    So, I guess Craigslist effectively no longer exists for me. I'm not angry or upset with CL about this, merely disappointed that they've made their TOS so unacceptable to me that I can't use them. I can't wait for the service that comes to replace it!

    • by l0ungeb0y (442022)

      FFS -- I am so fucking sick and tired of whiny passive-aggressive asshats who say shit like "XYZ-SITE IS DEAD TO ME!! Booh-hoo" every time they change ToS policy or slightly increase rates to stay in business.

      You know just as well as I that you will be back to Craigslist in full force ... just as soon as your jimmies get unrustled.
      Here's a clue: Next time, instead of acting like a whiny little shit, why don't you write an email to whatever service has offended you and encourage others to do the same. Unlike

      • by JohnFen (1641097)

        Wow, I must have hit a nerve!

        My jimmies aren't in a twist at all, unlike yours, apparently. However, I actually take contracts seriously and if I cannot accept their terms I don't enter into them. So no, I won't be back. not because I'm in some kind of snit, but because I'm treating Craigslist with the respect of honoring the terms they are laying down.

    • by kwerle (39371)

      FTFA:
      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.

      Do you think that content means advertising the thing in question or do you think it means the html content of the page.

      I think it means the latter, and I can post the same thing wherever I want.

      I think it means that scrapers are disallowed.

      Relax. This story sucks. The

      • by JohnFen (1641097)

        Do you think that content means advertising the thing in question or do you think it means the html content of the page.

        I think that it means the words and pictures I'm uploading to Craigslist, because that's what it says. True, I could reword the ad special for Craigslist and use different pictures, but that's not the point. Besides, why should I bother?

        I understand that their concern is scrapers, and that this is a piece in how they want to deal with them. That's fine, and entirely beside the point as well. I don't want to give them exclusive rights to my ad copy regardless of why they want it. Exclusive rights are a prett

        • by kwerle (39371)

          ...with the exclusive right to enforce copyrights against anyone copying, republishing, distributing or preparing derivative works without its consent.

          The grammar is a little ambiguous, isn't it? Is that
          copying, republishing, distributing or preparing (derivative works)
          or is it
          (copying), (republishing), (distributing) or (preparing derivative) (works)

          And what is republishing? Is that publishing something again, or is it republishing in the sense of retweeting - which is to say an automated process of publ

          • by JohnFen (1641097)

            My guess is that they are trying to stop scrapers, and that's perfectly reasonable. I wonder: do you agree with that?

            I agree that is their intent, but their intent is irrelevant to my concern. In a contract, what the intent is means nothing, it's what the words say that matters.

            • by JohnFen (1641097)

              Just to clarify, the issue goes beyond whether I can repost my own ad other places or not. A point which is completely unambiguous about the language is that it is an exclusive license. This means that I cannot myself grant a license to any other entity for any purpose whatsoever unless I get Craiglist's permission first. That is my objection.

    • Put your images up in the cloud and just link to them in the craigslist post...so that they render in the craigslist page without the reader having to click through. This is how I generally post to craigslist anyways.

      I don't really care if craigslist wants to try to own my text; but I definitely wouldn't want them to get rights to photos I took of my own stuff.

    • or, you could just try to hang on to reality. CL is obviously OBVIOUSLY not going to run about suing users for posting similar ads on different for sale sites. this is only to give them legal ground against CL scraper sites.

      • by JohnFen (1641097)

        And this is obvious how? Business history is full of things like this coming back around to bite years later.

        CL might be altruistic now, but what about years later, when management changes hands, or they are purchased, or who-knows-what? This is part of why it's important to pay attention to what a contract says, not how any party of the contract "obviously" intends to do. Intent means nothing.

        And before anyone says "who cares about your little ad years later", well, odds are I won't. But I might. As a hypo

  • I've changed apartments twice in the last year. When Padmapper was using Craigslist, it worked brilliantly and I loved it. Now that it doesn't, I was forced to go back to Craigslist proper, as the other rental sites don't have nearly the same volume of listings, making Padmapper pretty much useless.

    That was disappointing to me, but I guess Craigslist won if they kept me coming back. I wish they could find a way to play nice.

  • by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot&uberm00,net> on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:28PM (#40844871) Homepage Journal

    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.

    Is this legally enough for Craigslist? Wouldn't they need a full copyright assignment in order to pursue copyright infringement claims?

    I bet if questioned in court, such a claim would be thrown out due to lack of standing, since copyright ownership would belong to the writer of the post, not with Craigslist. After all, that was the reasoning that killed Righthaven [slashdot.org] when they tried to make a similar deal with their newspaper clients.

    • by Bill Dimm (463823)

      Very interesting point. I wish I had mod points for you...

    • by Trepidity (597)

      It does seem problematic, but I think they're in a better situation than Righthaven was, at least. Righthaven didn't even have the right to publish the content; they were solely given the right to sue for copyright infringement, which the judge ruled was a sham assignment since it didn't even include the right to use the work. Here at least Craigslist has the right to publish the content (and does so), in addition to this purported right to enforce copyrights. Not sure if that's enough.

  • Craigslist rnr across the country has been a great place to read and collaborate on creative stuff. Great (and awful) stuff has been coming out of it for years because it's totally uncensored and unmoderated (for the most part). I'm not sure I would feel the same way about using it if I had to assign sole copyright ownership and enforcement powers to Craigslist. This really gives me pause.
  • If they own the copyright... doesn't that also give them liability for defamation? That couldn't be good for them. What the hell are they thinking?
    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      They don't own the copyright; they own an exclusive license to it. Subtly different, and my reasoning as to why they shouldn't be able to pursue copyright claims using it (see my earlier post).

  • Craiglist should be careful what it wishes for! They should be in talks with PadMapper et. al. so it doesn't get caught painfully obsolete.
    How difficult could it be to slap some lipstick on that terrible design? Obviously their layout is not what distinguishes them so I think a great Kickstarter project could find some funding to create a Craiglist replacement that would bring it to the 21 century.

    Some endorsements, some marketing and a more fit competitor could be born very easily.
    So who's in?

  • If they are going to claim they are owners of the content of a post, doesn't this make them liable for the post's content? They voluntarily took down the 'Adult Services' ads for PR purposes, but they were never liable for any of the goings on there because they claimed that they don't own the content and they don't review each ad. But now if they're claiming they own the copyright on the ad, then doesn't that defense go out the window? Doesn't seem like a worthwhile trade-off to me.
  • by DM9290 (797337) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:45PM (#40846209) Journal

    If I have an original X (and all the rights), and make a copy X' and upload X' to you and give you exclusive rights to X', that will let you decide how X' is copied or distributed, but it doesn't say anything about any rights on the original X.

    "this content" in the Craiglist agreement refers to the content which you UPLOADED, not the original from where you derived it. this agreement only really prevents you or someone else from downloading your ad from Craiglist and republishing it without their permission. And it ensures Craiglist can publish that material anywhere they want. It doesn't prevent you from continuing to use your originals and make copies of your originals.

    The original is NOT the content which you uploaded, even if it looks the same.

    The original is the original, and as it is worded, the agreement does not mention anything about you giving craigslist any rights over the original. It only refers to "this content" which means whatever you post to craiglist -- not more than that.

    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      All they'd have to do would be to say "or any substantially similar posting by you" and they'd be in the clear.

  • I only ever went there to read the "Best Of" section anyway, and not even that in recent years. No great loss.

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