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Craigslist Drops Exclusive License To Your Posts 63

First time accepted submitter Penurious Penguin writes "Last week Craigslist demanded exclusive license to the content you post there, an odd demand which would have prevented ad-content on Craigslist from being advertised anywhere else but Craigslist. Thankfully, today we read from the EFF, the Good News: Craigslist drops exclusive license to your posts. From the article: 'For many years, craigslist has been a good digital citizen. Its opposition to SOPA/PIPA was critically important, and it has been at the forefront of challenges to Section 230 and freedom of expression online. We understand that craigslist faces real challenges in trying to preserve its character and does not want third parties to simply reuse its content in ways that are out of line with its user community’s expectations and could be harmful to its users. Nevertheless, it was important for craigslist to remove the provision because claiming an exclusive license to the user’s posts--to the exclusion of everyone, including the original poster--would have harmed both innovation and users’ rights, and would have set a terrible precedent. We met with craigslist to discuss this recently and are pleased about their prompt action.'"
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Craigslist Drops Exclusive License To Your Posts

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  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Thursday August 09, 2012 @08:07PM (#40939987)

    There's really no way they could have enforced it anyway because it would have fallen in the lowest court, and indeed the ones that followed had they wished to appeal it.

    Simply non-news. They screwed up, and caught it.

    But other web sites may *try* to continue with this kind of bull shit. Again, it would never ever pass legal muster in a court, it's just asking for a huge class action (where no one wins except the lawyers)...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You have no right!

  • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @08:18PM (#40940063)

    Then all the post's selling dope and hookers could then turn around and say it wasn't theirs, that craigslist owned it. Then we can see how well their little ass headed ideas work for them, instead of having to scold them (and every other dumbshit company) like children.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by houstonbofh ( 602064 )
      I think you are confused. Craigslist closed those categories and all the hooker posts moved to backpage.

      Can't wait to see if I am modded "Funny" or "Informative" for this!
      • No actually it has caused a severe degradation of Craigslist because those adverts are being bombed into the other sections.

        I know because I have to look all over CL to find a hooker when I need .... er ...nevermind.

    • Then all the post's selling dope and hookers could then turn around and say it wasn't theirs, that craigslist owned it. Then we can see how well their little ass headed ideas work for them, instead of having to scold them (and every other dumbshit company) like children.

      You're definitely right.

  • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @08:18PM (#40940065)
    The best way to solve the "problem" of other people using their data, is to fix their own search tools. Hell, just being able to search all locations within 100 miles would be nice. All these other websites pop up because there own presentation is so bad.
    • No shit.

      "Crazedlist" had a superior format and great layout. They should throw the author (not me, don't know him) a few bucks and do likewise.

      Are there any Craigslist aggregator applications which are as good?

    • by Trepidity ( 597 )

      I dunno, I tend to find Craigslist more appealing than most of its replacements. I suspect a lot of other Craigslist users have similar views: I just want one simple site for my area, not a bunch of fancy zoomable web 2.0 maps like Yelp or something.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's 2012, how is a map "fancy?", especially when visualizing data with geographic relevance? Not having a map for housing posts, and then punishing sites that give people what they want is ridiculous.

      • Crazedlist would have been to your liking. The aggregator function worked great, and there was no extra bullshit.

    • They need to do away with the whole "".

      My town is a "twin" town with a west and an east. So it's named after the county. Some of them are mashuped names like [] (Campaign-Urbana). How do I describe where I am in Chicago. Because there is just "" Or you could obviously break it down in to directions, but even then it's a huge area.

      Registering 00000-99999 wouldn't be hard. Don't change ANYTHING else. Keep the KISS layout the same and just

  • Liability issue (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @08:32PM (#40940271) Journal

    I am no lawyer (would appreciate it a lawyer to comment on this) but it seems obvious that CraigsList would be liable for user content if they claimed they owned it. People have been raped, murdered, robbed, and had identity stolen, from that website. I cringe when I apply for jobs using it as I know bad guys use it as well but I have to work right?

    If I were a lawyer for these victims I would be drooling at the fact that CL claims they own that post and all its content in that scam!

    • They dont own it, but they hold an exclusive license to something you own. It is rather a simple concept.

      • As I understand your post, you're claiming a difference between the liability of an owner and the liability of an exclusive licensee who effectively exercises the powers of an owner. What's the statute or case law citation for this difference?
        • I am not a lawyer, but the law very often agrees with common sense. The owner is the one who created the content, and is responsible for the harm the content causes. The licensee, well, is like a common carrier. Unless the licensee chooses to modify the content, or filter content, he cannot be held responsible for the content.

        • by pdabbadabba ( 720526 ) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @09:59PM (#40941127) Homepage

          Lawyer here. GP seems correct to me (though this is largely outside my area of expertise) -- being the license holder of content (for copyright purposes) is simply an entirely different concept from having liability deriving from the creation or publication of the content. I don't know of a statute or case to cite for this proposition, but I wouldn't expect there to be any, just like I don't expect there to be case law explaining the difference between murder and kidnapping.

          The reason is that either liability will have come from having posted the materials (for example, because making the post will itself be a material step in the commission of a crime), or being a publisher of the materials (this is true in traditional libel law, though websites like craigslist are usually protected by statutory safe harbors). In the former cases, Craigslist would not be liable regardless of who had what license to publish the material. In the latter case they would always have been liable. In either case, the terms of the copyright license change nothing. I am aware of no species of liability that attaches to becoming the exclusive licensee of copyrighted materials (someone may be able to come up with something, but it would have to be pretty obscure).

          • by Bigby ( 659157 )

            Here is a case:

            Janet Jackson was televised by exclusive license holder, CBS, but the NFL owns the broadcast. CBS was sued.

            • But CBS wasn't liable because they were the exclusive license holder, CBS was liable because they broadcasted it. They would have been equally liable if the footage were in the public domain or if they had no license at all (though obviously in the latter case they would also have been liable for copyright infringement).

    • I cringe when I apply for jobs using it as I know bad guys use it as well but I have to work right?

      Why? Do you apply for jobs in the 'casual encounters' section? Or did you use to apply for jobs in the section that got removed last year?

      In craigslist's official section for jobs, the fee is $75.00 per post and per category, so I'd say that makes that section a bit safer than the other non-real estate non-jobs sections where posting is completely free.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I have seen fake job posts where I reply and immediately I get an email saying work needs to be done to image like 4 systems ... oh don't worry I will email you the cashiers check.

        Or I get a link to another site that asks for a job application and social security ... you know for a background check. It is some bogus job site with something like etc. With my resume they have everything about me, my phone, name, address, email address, except the social security number. With that t

  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @08:45PM (#40940411) Homepage Journal

    No matter how much you pay lawyers to pretend it's true, boilerplate legalese can't remove your implicit copyright to your own works.

    But the copyright and patent systems in the US are so messed up that most people think it's ok.

  • Would it be practical to make an add-on to Firefox which opens (selected site whose URLs must be typed in during setup by the user!)
    then displays aggregated content?

    That would beat opening a tab for each local then punching in search term and category.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      I wonder if this is already doable. Like make a quicksearch bookmark but then use pipe characters to separate multiple target URLs (like how your home page tabs are formatted in the home page blank). So the term you use for the quicksearch is inputted into the "%s" point on every URL, opening each on a separate tab.

      I could sit here and try it out to see what it does but I'm feeling lazy.

  • now all my good troll comments are going to be copied and plastered all over the internets
  • If CL wanted to be good digital citizens, they'd allow web developers to improve upon their crappy marketplace. Their apartment rentals and car sales are especially crap. Really, how hard would it be to add some criteria to a car sales ad so the buyer could search by brand, model, mileage.. Any time someone does a good thing and tries to add value to their crappy system (adding a google map interface and javascript sorting) to listings, Craig shuts em down. The site hasn't changed in 10 years and is overrun
    • Craig Newmark probably gets payola from spammers and scammers
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      So being a good digital citizen means building web site to your approval?
      Fuck you.

      " Dude needs to get off his lazy ass, charge a few bucks for listings,"
      thats called ebay, you are more then welcome to take you lazy pin head there.
      I use Craig's list, and have no problem with scammers or spammers.

      You're crappy human being.

    • If you could search distinctly, as you say, by "brand model and milage" then the seller would have to type it in into separate fields. The buyer would need to know exactly what they want, and craigslist would have to have a billion sub categories or attributes for every conceivable product. Craigslist search can use some work in some places, but simply typing in the brand or model would get you a list of cars. Kms may be a "nice to have" feature, but it hardly makes the site "crap". ditto with apartment ren

      • by neminem ( 561346 )

        Really? Being able to say "I want to live in Long Beach, stop frelling giving me apartments for rent 3 cities over" is a frill? Craigslist sucks royal donkey balls for searching for apartments; I would know, I recently tried using it for that. There are loads of posts that don't even say where the apartment is. That should be pretty much mandatory if you're posting an apartment for rent.

  • As the Internet makes information easier to deliver, the traditional publishers struggle to deal with the separation of content and distribution. This transition is still unsettled because the shift from delivery to filtering is not complete. Someday, we will be able to access almost all data, and the trick will be to find the relevant information. There will be a lot of money made by successfully editing the world's knowledge. Until that model evolves, we are stuck with problems such as this.

    It is wi
  • by NynexNinja ( 379583 ) on Thursday August 09, 2012 @11:26PM (#40941657)
    Craigslist could only wish that people who use their site use it because they want Craig Newmark to exclusively own the rights to their postings... People don't use craigslist because they want craigslist to own the content, they do it to sell something. If it isn't craigslist, it is one of the other 500 sites that do the same thing. I think most people who stop using that site if they thought for one second that what they are submitting is not under their control.
  • I understand that EFF is filled with self-righteous nerds whose purpose it is to police Nerd Dogma like a priesthood, but what if I only wanted to share my post with the community where I posted it? What if I don't want my ad read outside of my city? CL was protecting their community. WE FUCKING KNOW HOW TO POST TO FACEBOOK OR GOOGLE IF WE WANT THAT. Can't a community setup a bulletin board without being fucking raped by advertisers who are being enabled by self-righteous nerds?

    It is typical Nerd Blindness:

    • by g1zmo ( 315166 )

      what if I only wanted to share my post with the community where I posted it? What if I don't want my ad read outside of my city?

      Then maybe the Internet isn't the most appropriate forum for your post?

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"