Canada’s largest real estate board sues listings website Mongohouse for $2M

Canada’s largest real estate board sues listings website Mongohouse for $2M
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TORONTO — The Toronto Real Estate Board is suing Mongohouse for $2 million, alleging that the anonymously-run property listings website is illegally accessing, copying and distributing its proprietary data.

The board, which represents more than 50,000 realtors across the Greater Toronto Area, filed the lawsuit last month in Federal Court asking for an immediate and permanent injunction for the popular website to be taken down.

In the statement of claim, TREB alleges that Mongohouse participates in an “orchestrated strategy to avoid and elude” the board’s multiple attempts over the past two years to shut it down.

It claims the website is infringing on the board’s copyrights by “employing various techniques to illegally data scrape” TREB’s proprietary information that it provides to its fee-paying members through its internal multiple-listings service (MLS). This data includes new property listings, descriptions, sold prices and photography.

It goes on to allege that Mongohouse is profiting by its daily “unauthorized access” of this information, which it then displays on its website for free.

Attempts to contact the website operator and the Toronto Real Estate Board for comment about the legal action have been unsuccessful.

Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter.

Linda Nguyen , The Canadian Press

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