California Realtors file $136M copyright suit against tech firm

  • The California Association of Realtors has filed a $136 million lawsuit against PDFfiller, alleging the tech firm has copied, published and sold CAR's copyrighted transaction forms without permission.
  • PDFfiller says CAR's allegations have no merit and its complaint is "part of a pattern of threatening activity" toward small software companies. CAR's electronic transaction forms are only available via a software company in which CAR has a majority stake.
  • CAR's forms are free with CAR membership. Agents may be trying to get around paying CAR dues by using PDFfiller, CAR said.

One of the main reasons real estate agents and brokers join Realtor associations is to access the transaction forms they need to buy and sell homes. But what if the forms are available elsewhere, and they cost less than association dues would?