Craigslist sues Instamotor over alleged scraping

03 May 2017

Don’t mess with Craigslist or you might find yourself in court. That’s the message Instamotor is getting after Craigslist filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco online automobile marketplace, alleging that Instamotor scraped Craigslist for car ads and posted them on the Instamotor website.

Craigslist is also accusing Instamotor of harvesting the contact information of Craigslist users and “harassing those users with unsolicited text and email messages advertising Instamotor services,” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit says that Craigslist has received multiple instances of angry users complaining that their information found its way to Instamotor without their consent. Craigslist wants an injunction to keep Instamotor off Craigslist, plus unspecified damages.

Craigslist has sued other companies for scraping data, which Craigslist says is against its terms of service. In 2012, Craig & co. took legal action against PadMapper and 3Taps, and then again in 2016 against RadPad — all for scraping. PadMapper and 3Taps settled their suit in 2015.

Neither Instamotor nor the attorney-at-law firm representing Craigslist responded to a reporter’s query.

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Brian Blum

Brian Blum covers the U.S., Canada and Israel for Classified Intelligence Report, and contributes to our special reports and research projects. Originally from San Francisco and now based in Jerusalem, he has been with the AIM Group since 2004. He is the president of Blum Interactive Media, specializing in writing and multimedia content development for online, print, video and audio. His clients include newspapers, universities and non-profits. He is currently working on a book about the billion-dollar bankruptcy of a once high-flying Israeli startup.