OpinionIndustry News

Links, lawsuits and privacy in the age of real estate 2.0

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In an important case for bloggers and real estate sites in general, real estate aggregator BlockShopper got its hand slapped heavily this month for doing what many of us do ... that is, publishing and linking to publicly available sources on the Internet (see related Inman News story). BlockShopper, a site that was launched in 2006, was built to aggregate real estate data in a number of metro areas around the country. One of the main features on the site is a daily news summary of real estate transactions in each city. ("Italian anesthesiologist drops $1.3M in Riverdale" serves as an example.) But this practice raised the ire of a local law firm. Writer Wendy Davis brings the issue to light in an article on Slate Magazine: "BlockShopper was following standard operating procedure by linking to publicly available Web sites. But Jones Day got mad. The law firm (a big one, at 2,300 lawyers) has never publicly said why it sued; maybe the powers that be there though...