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March 2, 2016

Innovation Trumps Litigation in Commercial Real Estate

RealMassive | Thought Leadership

by Craig Hancock, CEO and Co-founder at RealMassive

RealMassive’s lawsuit with CoStar is resolved, paving the way for our open data marketplace to deliver better exposure and more accurate data for Commercial Real Estate (CRE). It could have gone on for another 12 months, and truth be told I was looking forward to our day in court. CoStar’s allegations against RealMassive were excessive and meritless and intended to suppress innovation. They also brought suit against four of us personally with character attacks included, all completely unnecessary. Images were the focus, and a telephone call or DMCA takedown notice would have been customary and promptly complied with. The real issue goes far beyond image ownership when it comes to CRE data, as clearly conveyed by CoStar’s tactics toward us, their primary competitor. The future we’re creating for the industry puts the past in appropriate context, and we think CoStar just couldn’t believe someone figured out a better way. We have, and the game is changing.

So why settle?  CoStar approached us and offered a cheaper way out than litigating. It feels excessive but in context $1M is a small price to pay on the path to modernizing a $15 trillion industry. RealMassive is in the business of innovating, not fighting legal battles, and settling provides a clear path forward. Moreover, the protective provisions in the agreement allow us to pursue our vision without the threat of future, unexpected copyright suits from CoStar. This will be welcome news to our customers and partners, especially since many provisions in the FTC’s 2012 order regulating CoStar (as part of the Loopnet acquisition) are set to expire in August 2017.

“Our strategy has always been predicated on innovating and collaborating with the industry, not disrupting it.”

The next generation in CRE data has reached an inflection point. Talk of open data in CRE began before our founding, but we exist to ensure its longevity so that the industry can realize the true benefits transparency offers. RealMassive covers 30+ markets and nearly five billion square feet, and we’ve only just begun. Our role as stewards of the industry’s data drives our customer-centric philosophy and keeps our strategy, product, and business model aligned with the industry’s best interests. We’re harnessing the value of open data and building some incredible products and experiences for CRE professionals to leverage. Through the RealMassive API our partners and customers can join us in creating and consuming that value as well.

Our strategy has always been predicated on innovating and collaborating with the industry, not disrupting it. Ultimately the decision between disruption and innovation is in the hands of each individual. Those who fail to innovate will end up disrupted by their competitors that do.

To all who supported us through this time, your encouragement and commitment provided much needed resolve. For that, the team and I are grateful. As CRE’s past fades we invite you to take control of your data and get started with RealMassive.

Onward!

Craig Hancock
CEO of RealMassive