The Madeleine Brand Show for August 2, 2012

Craigslist faces off against small-time programmers

Padmapper

Courtesy of Padmapper

Padmapper.com has come under fire from Craigslist for using their real estate listings on their website.

Craigslist is used by millions a day to sell old treadmills, look for jobs and to look for new apartments. But it a chore to go through piles of listings to find the best deals.

Small-time programmers have built free applications to make it easier to navigate Craigslist. But Craigslist isn't having it. In fact, Craigslist has sent numerous cease-and-desist letters to programmers. And it's now suing the man who created Padmapper, a website that maps out Craigslist apartment listings.

Critics of Craigslist say the litigation flies in the face of the anti-corporate image the company has spun. And they say the lawsuits are not serving the public good, as Craiglist purports to do.

We contacted Craigslist and its law firm, Perkins Coie, for comment. A spokesman for Perkins Coie wrote in an e-mail that the firm does not comment on ongoing litigation, "unless a client requests that we do so."

Guest:

Nick Bilton, technology columnist at the New York Times


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