Craigslist Blocks Mashup Listpic

In another dust-up over a mashup taking data by screen-scraping, the classifieds listings giant Craigslist has blocked access to its site from Listpic, a useful mashup that enhances Craigslist listings by adding-in associated photos. If you check our existing Listpic mashup profile you can see it has been a very popular application and is 5-star rated by our readers:

Wired news reports that in an e-mail to them Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster explained their position: "The 0.1% of our users who were accessing Craigslist images via Listpic were creating a grossly disproportionate drain on our server resources, degrading performance significantly for the 99.9% of our users accessing Craigslist in the normal fashion. Besides frequently hitting our site to harvest Craigslist user content for re-display on their site, each Listpic page load was causing our systems to serve up approx 100 full size images."

This is somewhat reminiscent of when Craigslist blocked Oodle, an issue that came up last year in Mashups Not in Control.

You can read more in this very heated forum thread which includes comments from company founder Craig Newmark. He suggests that they may be building similar visually-oriented features, read photos, into the product soon.

Be sure to read the next Law article: Legal Issues for Mashups