Craigslist’s fight to keep control of its data

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Craigslist, the internet’s dominant source of online classified ads, made news in June when it sent a cease-and-desist letter to PadMapper — a popular service that combines Craigslist’s publicly-searchable ads with Google Map data. Since then, the company has changed its Terms of Use twice; asserting, then denying, ownership of its users’ posts. It is now suing both PadMapper and 3Taps, which provides the API for tapping into Craigslist’s ads, charging them with copyright infringement. 3Taps is fighting the charges with a counterclaim that alleges Craigslist is using is using its monopoly power to squeeze new entrants out of the market.

The question remains whether Craigslist, which does not claim an exclusive license to its users’…

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