Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Disruptions: Innovations Snuffed Out by Craigslist; New York Times, 7/29/12

Nick Bilton, New York Times; Disruptions: Innovations Snuffed Out by Craigslist:

"“The listings are already out there. We’re finding them already on the Web and organizing them so other people don’t have to do the same thing twice,” said Greg Kidd, the chief executive of 3Taps. “And we’re not breaking any laws because we are pulling in the facts from the listing; everyone knows you can’t copyright facts.” Craigslist also named 3Taps in the lawsuit filed last week.

As intellectual property lawyers will tell you, Mr. Kidd is not off base: facts, like those in classified listings, cannot be copyrighted.

So why hasn’t anyone managed to unseat Craigslist, a site that has barely changed in close to two decades?

It has dug an effective moat by cultivating an exaggerated image of “doing good” that keeps its customers loyal, while behind the scenes, it bullies any rivals that come near and it stifles innovation."

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