Last week we reported that Canadian real estate search engine zoocasa.com came out of beta testing with a huge media launch. Reports in the Canadian press now indicate that Century 21 Canada is suing Zoocasa Inc. for scraping information from sites provided by Century 21 brokers and representatives without seeking permission.
zoocasa.com is almost wholly owned by Rogers Communications Inc., the largest telecommunications company in the country. The Financial Post quotes Century 21′s CEO Don Lawby as saying he wants to ensure the new search engine does not have an unfair competitive advantage.
The Financial Post also says that the statement of claim maintains that by taking the information from Century 21 sites, Zoocasa has infringed copyright, and Century 21 is requesting that zoocasa.com seek permission to scrape its sites or take information from them.
So far zoocasa.com has said it sees itself as a complementary website, rather than a competitor to the market leading Canadian MLSs, and says there is no intent to compete with the real estate industry.
Like other property search engines, zoocasa.com does not host the entire listing, though does provide details in a summary before linking to the listing on the brokers’ own websites.