Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z) has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the owner of the McMansion Hell blog.
McMansion Hell is a blog that pokes fun at ridiculous house designs. It recently caught the eye of Zillow and the company is threatening a lawsuit. This has resulted in the blog being taken down and the owner seeking legal help.
The controversy over McMansion Hell comes from an image that the blog recently used. Zillow claims that using the image is an instance of copyright infringement, breaking terms-of-service and a possible federal hacking statute. However, it doesn’t have much of a claim to go on.
The image that Zillow is upset about doesn’t event belong to it. Also, the blog is protected by fair use, which protects people that use copyrighted material for parody and criticism. The real estate company says that it only wants the one picture removed, and not for the whole blog to shut down, reports Fortune.
“The @EFF is representing me. We plan to issue a response to Zillow soon,” bad house tweeter, the owner of the McMansion Hell blog, said in a statement through Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). “The blog will be relaunched soon after maintenance is done.”
While Zillow is unlikely to make any headway in its cease-and-desist letter against McMansion Hell, it will have to deal with the PR disaster that the cease-and-desist letter letter is creating. Still, this won’t likely hurt it in the long run.