CST: 05/12/2016 02:25:04   

RealMassive Resolves Lawsuit With CoStar

277 Days ago

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Mar 2, 2016) -  RealMassive, the first open commercial real estate data marketplace, has settled its copyright lawsuit with CoStar Realty Information, Inc. 

Craig Hancock, Chief Executive Officer of RealMassive, stated, "We are glad to have this lawsuit resolved. CoStar's claim that we deliberately added its photos to our database was false. Our firm went to great lengths and expense to avoid acquiring CoStar's images, but apparently a few images slipped through the cracks early on."

Without any prior notice, CoStar sued RealMassive in May 2015, claiming that RealMassive expanded its real estate listing platform by deliberately using photos owned by CoStar. RealMassive denied the allegation and immediately removed the photos CoStar claimed to own, almost none of which bore a visible copyright notice or mark of ownership. Although the contested photos were less than 0.3% of RealMassive's platform, CoStar continued to pursue a costly lawsuit against RealMassive, demanding enormous penalties under the Copyright Act. RealMassive was ready to defend the lawsuit, but ultimately decided to settle with CoStar in court to allow the firm to concentrate on competing with CoStar in the marketplace. 

The RealMassive-Costar settlement agreement calls for the two companies to work together to avoid future disputes. CoStar will mark its photographs with visible copyright notices or watermarks, and RealMassive will implement additional procedures to keep CoStar photos out of its platform. In addition, before filing any future lawsuit, CoStar will give RealMassive written notice of any grievance it may have, and give RealMassive time to remedy any alleged errors. This will protect RealMassive from a repeat of the 2015 lawsuit, which CoStar filed without first sending RealMassive a standard takedown notice identifying the contested photos. Because huge penalties can be imposed under the Copyright Act, even when the alleged infringement caused no harm, RealMassive agreed to pay CoStar $1 million, less than it would have cost the company to defend the suit. 

"This settlement, although disagreeable, comes with a cost far less than prolonged litigation. More importantly, RealMassive gains critical protections that allow us to grow our platform without the risk of another sudden lawsuit by CoStar. RealMassive's customers and partners can now be confident we are here to serve them for the long haul. It's a big win for commercial real estate professionals looking to modernize the industry," Hancock said. 

For additional context, read Hancock's personal perspective at RealMassive.com.

About RealMassive™ - The Commercial Real Estate Marketplace
RealMassive is the first open commercial real estate data marketplace built for the future of CRE. The platform covers nearly five billion square feet of office, industrial, and retail space across more than 30 US markets. Commercial real estate professionals industry gain access to data and market insights critical to their business processes and decision making. RealMassive.com @RealMassive