Well, this is one way to defend against third party services scraping Craigslist’s data. Jonathan Berger, founder of Google-acquired Katango, has noticed that an exclusive license condition has now been included in the posting page before publishing to Craigslist post Padmapper fiasco. The license will grant Craigslist the right to own and do as it please with all published content on Craigslist.
The license terms, which sits above the “Continue” button on the posting page, reads:
“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.”
Craigslist has been publicly fending off Padmapper and 3taps with cease and desist letters, assuring its users on Quora that the legal action had been motivated by the fact that Craigslist’s servers would be heavily strained by these third party services accessing its data.
But why should Craigslist users be wary of using a service that asks for an exclusive license for their content? Katango compared Craigslist’s license to the licenses of other well-known Web services, including Yelp, Facebook, and Google to highlight the overarching difference between Craigslist and everyone else. Yelp, Facebook and Google’s terms and conditions grant these services “non-exclusive” or a “worldwide” license. In other words, any job or spare room posting to Craigslist cannot be legally republished, copied or distributed without the explicit consent of Craigslist. Of course, it’s unlikely that the company will chase after every uses for republishing content. Instead, it’s the companies that have built itself around Craigslist’s data that have to lawyer up.