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Krrb Getting Crushed by Craigslist

Krrb logo and front page that says "buy local" with a search bar

What, no Philly listed? pfft.

As an early adopter, I end up being one of the first members of new apps. Krrb is one of those apps.

I haven’t participated in Krrb much, as I am not in the buying/selling stuff game lately. But I did find this email from Krrb Founder George Eid to be enlightening. Read on to find out what big guy Craigslist is trying to do to little guy Krrb.

Hello PurpleCar,

Happy Independence Day! I hope this email finds you well. We haven’t seen you around Krrb lately, but there is some important news we’d like to share that affects you and all who use the Internet.

You might have heard Krrb is now the latest in a series of startups that Craigslist has threatened with legal action. We finally caved to their litigious ways and disabled our Krrb It button with respect to Craigslist. But not without calling attention to their questionable methods.

How does this affect you? In order to threaten us, Craigslist has accused Krrb of inducing their members to violate their terms of use. They claim that their users do not have the right to copy a post from their website. In doing so, the user may be subject of up to a $25,000 fine. This type of provision explores the attempt by large corporations to own you and what you own. And as the 9th largest website in the United States, if they get their way, it will have potential adverse consequences to Internet law as a whole.

Tuesday I published an Open Letter to Craig Newmark, which is starting to get a bunch of attention and ignite heated debate. I would be super happy if you took a moment to read it, signed our petition and spread the word.

Other than that, things are hopping at Krrbieland, we just hit 40K members! Wahoo!!! I do hope to see you around Krrb again, but more importantly I hope that you will support us in this effort to urge Craigslist to change their policies, but also to support Krrb and many other fledgling startups trying to innovate and build an honest business without threat of litigation.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to respond. I’d love to hear from you!

Best, George

I couldn’t determine from this note alone what the issue was. Were Krrb users copying craigslist posts of other users? In his open letter, George Eid writes a very good case against the once-loved Craigslist. Love to see how this works out. It seems like it’s just a case of the bookmarklet right now. Craigslist didn’t like any bookmarklet working on its site, especially if that information gets “pinned” (verb a la Pinterest) to a competitor’s site (I use “competitor” in reference to Krrb very loosely here).

The ship’s sailed on bookmarklets, though… That’s going to happen. They are just too dang convenient. I like my Scoop.it, Pinterest and Press This bookmarklets. I doubt I’d give them up easily. And what’s the difference between a bookmarklet and going through the copy & paste motions? Craigslist can’t stop that. Threatening users with a $25,000 fine? What is this? The music industry?