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Philadelphia Business Lawyers: Craigslist Copyright Lawsuit

A long-standing case between Craigslist and 3taps has finally been resolved. The two companies came to a settlement agreement for one million dollars that Craigslist will be donating to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) over the next decade. Additionally, 3taps will be shutting down.

Trademark Infringement, Unethical Competition and Breach of Contract

Craigslist sued 3taps, as well as another company, PadMapper, in July 2012, claiming that both companies were guilty of copyright infringement. PadMapper took the data Craigslist had for apartment listings and created its own site that was easier to use, while 3taps took other Craigslist postings and published them on third-party websites. In addition to copyright infringement, PadMapper and 3taps were also accused of infringing on the Craigslist trademark, unethically competing with Craigslist and breaching Craigslist contracts.

Countersuit Filed

In late 2012, 3taps filed a countersuit against Craigslist, opening the door to a legal battle that lasted nearly three years. 3taps countered that Craigslist had effectively created a copyright infringement trap by their practice of selectively obtaining copyright assignments and registrations in some user-generated posts, but failing to inform visitors which posts its own.

The recent settlement fully resolves each lawsuit. The one million dollars that 3taps will pay to Craigslist will help support the EFF, which will receive $100,000 a year for 10 years, and 3taps will no longer be allowed to operate.

Copyright Litigation Trap Questions Remain

There is still debate regarding the question of legality for private enterprises which operate public websites and attempt to exclude certain visitors, while at the same time exposing the excluded visitor to civil and criminal liability through use of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Philadelphia Copyright Infringement Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Represent Trademark Infringement, Breach of Contract and Business Litigation Claims

Certain types of small businesses and websites that source their data from other systems may be exposed to the potential of being targeted in lawsuits filed by the original source company or website. If you are being sued over copyright infringement or are considering filing a lawsuit of your own, our Philadelphia litigation lawyers can help. We can consult on how to avoid trademark litigation and offer legal counsel on how to pursue a trademark violation claim if one is warranted. At Sidkoff, Pincus & Green, we are skilled in breach of contract and copyright infringement litigation and will pursue your case until we reach a viable outcome or settlement. Please call 215-574-0600 or fill out an online contact form today to schedule your consultation.