Craigslist is now demanding
to be the “exclusive licensee” of content posted to its site, an
apparent bid to strengthen its legal position against third parties that
re-use the content. Last week, the classified site sued Padmapper and 3Taps, two sites that provide alternative interfaces for Craigslist data.
But two legal experts Ars Technica talked to suggest that Craigslist
has a weak case. “I’m sympathetic to Craigslist, but they don’t have
that much going for them,” New York Law School professor James
Grimmelmann told Ars.
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Craigslist’s first problem is that it is suing over content it didn’t create. As we learned
from the Righthaven debacle, copyright holders cannot outsource
enforcement unless they transfer ownership of the copyright itself.