Life in the Fast Lane

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Investors behind scraper/spammer startup Radpad enjoyed a juicy, well-deserved $60m “exit” recently, as reported by the National Law Review:

In its latest judicial victory, on April 13, 2017, craigslist obtained a $60.5 million judgment against Radpad on various claims relating to harvesting content from craigslist’s site and sending unsolicited commercial emails to craigslist users. (Craigslist, Inc. v. RadPad, Inc., No. 16-01856 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 13, 2017)).During the course of the litigation, Radpad became insolvent and its attorney withdrew from representation, essentially allowing craigslist to obtain what amounts to a default judgment.
The relief included:

  • CAN-SPAM: $40 million, based upon violations from 400,000 emails.
  • Copyright: $20.4 million for copyright infringement based on RadPad’s scraping of various user postings from craigslist’s site.
While it is doubtful that craigslist will ever collect its sizeable judgment, it will certainly raise the specter of such a large monetary award to future competitors and aggregators as an example of the potential consequences of engaging in unauthorized commercial scraping or spidering activities that run counter to craigslist’s terms of use and any cease and desist letters revoking access to its site.

Who says nice guys have to finish last?

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