Real Estate 2.0 (TM)

Oh, this is rich. When Joel Burslem at The Future of Real Estate Marketing first noted several months ago that Redfin had copyrighted the term “Real Estate 2.0″, I thought he was kidding.

Well.

I had noted just yesterday the new blog entitled “Real Estate 2.0″.

Less than 24 hours later, the author of that blog shared a letter he received from Eric Heller, the director of marketing at Redfin, asking him to stop using the tagline, Real Estate 2.0, as it is now a registered trademark of the Redfin Corporation.

Are they kidding?

The kings of real estate copyright infringement are going after this guy for a little Word Press blog? Please!

Redfin continuously publishes copyrighted photos on their blog, without permission of the owners. They flaunt and ignore NWMLS rules regarding other brokers listings, advertising them against their wishes and without their permission on their Redfin Blog.

They single out individual agents for purported misbehavior and then turn around and misappropriate listings and photos by that same agent, violating copyright laws.

They have even taken my photos and listings and used them on their blog. (I don’t mind, as I like all the free advertising I can get. Technically, however, those listings don’t belong to me but to my Brokerage, and they have not given Redfin permission to republish or advertise them.)

In our state, only the designated broker for a firm can lodge a complaint against another broker, so I won’t be pushing this issue any further.

However, they must know that someone else could. They’ll probably argue that a “blog” is not really “advertising”, or it’s protected free speech or something like that….

Basic facts about trademarks

Copyright information

Harvard’s overview of Trademark Law

Avoid trademark infringement when choosing a domain name.

**UPDATE**

Oh god, it just gets better….

Redfin Does Not Own Registered Trademark “Real Estate 2.0″ from Sellsius° blog

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14 comments

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  5. Ardell DellaLoggia

    C.J. I’d have to say all bets are off…this one is just too big to keep a lid on until Glenn gets back.

    Eric Heller of Redfin wrote the now infamous email. So far, I can’t tell if he wrote it while Glenn was off on his honeymoon. If he did…I’d say the fur is going to fly come next week when Glenn returns. Hope he doesn’t hear about this and have to cut the trip short.

  6. jfsellsius

    We regret if the news disturbed Glenn. But it’s not personal. I felt bad for RE 2.X0 who must have had a few sleepless nights. Legal letters have that effect.

    His Director of Marketing should have waited or let a professional (lawyer) write the letter.

    It’s just one more example why experienced professionals are essential in real estate & any other field & why you should be wary of non-professionals & computers (you noticed I didn’t say zillow) :)

  7. toodlychoogly

    They got no compunction about taking a TV news segment about their company and uploadig it to YouTube, in violation of U.S. copyright law.

    blog.redfin.com/blog/sfbay/2006/07/redfin_bay_area_customers_hit.html

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  9. Chris Guldi

    Do you think, as the boss is on vacation someone got a little over zealous?

    However these folks don’t seem like the type to issue an apology. In fact with their PR firm this will never go beyond the blog world.

    Who is their PR firm?

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