Zillow is threatening to sue a blogger for the use of its pics for parody

McMansion Hell is a Tumblr weblog that highlights the absurdity of massive actual estate residences and the ridiculous staging and images which might be omnipresent of their sales listings. The blog started via 23-yr-antique Johns Hopkins graduate scholar Kate Wagner, commenced in July 2016 to poke a laugh at pretentious architecture. It has since long passed viral, but now she’s dealing with ability legal prices by actual property website Zillow for allegedly violating the web page’s phrases of service using reproducing the snapshots on her blog.

A standard McMansion Hell weblog put up will have an expert photo of a home and/or its interior, in conjunction with captions scattered in the course of using Wagner. She also provides information approximately the records and characteristics of diverse architecture patterns. She makes use of pix from the likes of Zillow and Redfin to demonstrate how so many actual estate listings inaccurately use the terms.



In a quiet and desist letter to Wagner, Zillow claims Wagner’s reproduction of these pictures no longer applies under the Copyright Act. Under every put-up, Wagner adds a disclaimer that credits the authentic supply of the pictures and sites Fair Use for the parody, which permits the use of copyrighted cloth for “complaint, comment, news reporting, coaching, scholarship, and research.” additionally, the company claims McMansion Hell can also “[interfere] with Zillow’s commercial enterprise expectancies and hobbies.”

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“I’ve by no means acquired any warning from them earlier than this,” Wagner tells The Verge. “This blog is my complete livelihood, and I am vulnerable to dropping the whole lot.” Wagner presently monetizes from McMansion Hell by selling merchandise with unique artwork referencing the weblog and accepting Patreon donations. She is likewise working to turn the weblog into an e-book, in which she had planned to pay to license six used within the mission.


At a time of publish, Wagner has temporarily taken McMansionHell.Com down. Somewhat ironically, Zillow changed into concerned in its own prison conflict over copyrighted content material. The real estate website turned into finding responsible for copyright infringement on greater than 28,000 photographs and ordered to pay about $four.1 million in overall damages.

“Zillow has a felony responsibility to honor the agreements we make with our list vendors approximately how images may be used,” Zillow tells The Verge in an announcement. “We are asking this blogger to take down the images which can be blanketed by way of copyright regulations, but we did not demand she close down her blog and desire she will be able to find a manner to hold her work.”

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