BETHESDA, MD – January 28 , 2008 – CoStar Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSGP) announced that a Maryland federal court recently entered an order requiring Laser Marketing, Inc., a lead marketing firm doing business under the name Atkinson Hunt, and Resource Realty of Southern New Jersey to pay CoStar $100,000 to settle charges that the two firms shared a CoStar passcode in order to gain unauthorized access to CoStar's real estate information database. The Court also entered a permanent injunction restraining Atkinson Hunt and Resource Realty from engaging or assisting in any future unauthorized use of CoStar services.
The Court found that Resource Realty provided Atkinson Hunt with a CoStar passcode that had been assigned to an approved subscriber at Resource Realty. Using fraud-detection technology, CoStar determined that the passcode assigned to Resource Realty was used illegally and repeatedly from the offices of Atkinson Hunt to access CoStar’s information services.
“The thousands of honest subscribers who invest in CoStar’s service for the competitive advantage it offers expect CoStar to provide the most complete and highest quality information service we can at the lowest cost possible. When some users illegally resell or share CoStar passcodes with unauthorized users, they are really stealing from CoStar’s legitimate subscribers,” said Jonathan Coleman, CoStar Group’s General Counsel.
“The Internet is not anonymous,” Coleman added. “This sort of theft can easily be tracked and demonstrated in a court of law. What’s more, the ethics regarding data theft are just as clear as the laws against it. CoStar is committed to protecting our clients and we will continue to prosecute these thefts to the fullest extent of the law.”
This is the second major success CoStar announced this month as part of a new push to fight illegal passcode use and deter data theft. Earlier this month, the company announced a $1 million judgment to settle a lawsuit against Centers & Malls, LLC, a Lake Forest, Illinois limited liability company, for infringing on CoStar’s copyrighted commercial real estate information. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court of Maryland, alleged that Centers & Malls sold and distributed a real estate information product containing shopping center data that the Court found had been illegally obtained and copied from CoStar.
In addition to the $1 million judgment, Centers & Malls agreed to cease all business operations, shut down its web site and permanently discontinue all sales, distribution and use of its real estate information product.
CoStar also announced it will pay a substantial reward to whistle-blowers who report the unlawful sharing of passcodes or access to CoStar’s information services. CoStar will pay an amount equal to 25% of the net proceeds resulting from legal action against infringers, or $10,000, whichever is greater, to those who provide information regarding the theft of CoStar’s information services or sharing of passcodes. To learn more about the reward program, including certain limitations that may apply, go to www.costar.com/antipiracy.
About CoStar Group, Inc.
CoStar Group, Inc. (Nasdaq - CSGP) is the number one provider of information services to commercial real estate professionals in the United States as well as the United Kingdom. CoStar's suite of services offers customers access via the Internet to the most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information throughout the U.S. as well as in the United Kingdom and France. Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, the company has approximately 1,300 employees, including the largest professional research organization in the industry. For more information, visit www.costar.com.