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CoStar Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against RealMassive

  • CoStar’s complaint, which seeks millions of dollars in damages and a permanent injunction, demonstrates RealMassive is not the “sharing” platform it claims to be but rather is driven by a business plan built upon infringing proprietary content
  • Concrete evidence of scores of copyright violations on a national scale submitted to the court, including photos displayed on RealMassive.com with the CoStar logo or watermark still on them
  • RealMassive Founder Josh McClure no stranger to litigation; previous business sued by Craigslist and found liable for over $8 million in damages related to software designed explicitly to spam users and violate Craigslist terms of use


AUSTIN, Texas, May 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CoStar Realty Information, Inc., a subsidiary of CoStar Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSGP), today filed a lawsuit against RealMassive in federal District Court in Austin, Texas, related to RealMassive’s systematic theft and improper use of CoStar’s copyrighted photographs of commercial properties.

As detailed in the complaint, RealMassive’s website prominently displays CoStar-copyrighted photographs, including those still bearing the CoStar logo and watermark. The complaint attaches more than 100 individual CoStar photographs found from a snapshot taken of only sixteen of RealMassive’s thirty-three markets, over a period of just a few days. The small sampling is likely a mere fraction of RealMassive’s actual infringement, the scope of which will become clear during the discovery process. RealMassive’s infringement also extends to CoStar’s photographs being included in RealMassive’s marketing materials, such as a print brochure and an online presentation.

Through an aggressive public relations and marketing program, RealMassive has attempted to position itself as a “sharing” platform, in which commercial property owners voluntarily provide information about their properties to be shared with users of the site for free. However, a cursory examination of RealMassive’s site and the content within the site reveals a platform replete with stolen, not shared, content.

“CoStar supports competition and innovation in the real estate information space, and recognizes the value of disruptive platforms in today’s rapidly changing technological environment,” said Andrew Florance, founder and CEO of CoStar Group. “However, RealMassive is not an example of innovation. Despite its rhetoric, the company is not a sharing platform. Rather, it is a subscription service that appears to be powered by content that is stolen from those who created it through hard work and investment.”

RealMassive founder and president Joshua McClure, the primary principal implicated in the lawsuit, is no stranger to litigation. In 2009, Craigslist filed a lawsuit against McClure and his then-company, Troopal Strategies, Inc. According to the complaint, Troopal distributed software specifically designed to enable advertisers to auto-post millions of advertisements to Craigslist, effectively spamming its users and violating the site’s Terms of Service. Troopal sought to skirt the U.S. legal system by incorporating, and locating its servers, in Panama City, Panama, which in McClure’s words was intended to make the company “Craigslist bulletproof.” Despite those illicit efforts, the federal District Court for the Northern District of California found McClure and Troopal liable for millions of dollars under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and issued a permanent injunction against him and the company. As far as CoStar is aware, McClure has never paid the $8.2 million default judgment against him, even as he has invested his personal wealth in his newest venture RealMassive.

CoStar is seeking millions of dollars in damages for copyright infringement and a permanent injunction against RealMassive and its senior executives.

For more information about this case, please visit www.realmassivecase.com.

About CoStar Group, Inc.:
CoStar Group (Nasdaq:CSGP) is the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces. Founded in 1987, CoStar conducts expansive, ongoing research to produce and maintain the largest and most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information. Our suite of online services enables clients to analyze, interpret and gain unmatched insight on commercial property values, market conditions and current availabilities. Through LoopNet, the Company operates the most heavily trafficked commercial real estate marketplace online with more than 9.6 million registered members. Apartments.com is a premier online apartment resource for renters that matches apartment seekers with great apartment homes and provides property managers and owners a proven platform for marketing their properties. CoStar operates websites with over 22 million unique monthly visitors in aggregate during March 2015. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CoStar maintains offices throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe with a staff of approximately 3,000 worldwide, including the industry's largest professional research organization. For more information, visit www.costargroup.com.

This news release includes "forward-looking statements" including, without limitation, statements regarding CoStar's expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future. These statements are based upon current beliefs and are subject to many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements. The following factors, among others, could cause or contribute to such differences: the risk that CoStar is not successful in obtaining a permanent injunction and/or judgment against RealMassive and its senior executives, and the possibility that the sampling is not representative of the scope of RealMassive’s actual infringement as indicated in this release. More information about potential factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those stated in CoStar Group's filings from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in CoStar Group's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, each of which is filed with the SEC, including in the "Risk Factors" section of those filings, as well as the company's other filings with the SEC available at the SEC's website (www.sec.gov). All forward-looking statements are based on information available to CoStar on the date hereof, and CoStar assumes no obligation to update such statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Contact: Richard Simonelli, Vice President, Corporate Communications rsimonelli@costargroup.com (888) 819-8757

Source:CoStar Group, Inc.