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Craigslist Seeks to Stop Auto-Posting Software

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Craigslist wants to stop anonymous parties from developing and selling programs that bypass security measures and allow scammers to post "illegitimate, irrelevant, non-local and duplicative ads" in its online ads.

In six federal lawsuits, Craigslist says the developers, sellers and users of "auto-posting software" agreed to Craigslist's terms of use before violating them.

The Internet advertiser claims auto-posting software slows down the site for legitimate users, forcing them to "sift through to find legitimate non-redundant ads."

The "John Doe" defendants charge $499 to $899 for copies of CLAD genius, which they tout as providing "full support for all types of Internet proxies ... for staying under the radar when doing mass posting," according to Craigslist.

Several Web sites, including cladgenius.com and caposter.net, allegedly continue to sell auto-posting software even after Craigslist sent them a cease-and-desist letter.

Craigslist claims it loses an average of $5,000 per year removing unauthorized ads and responding to user complaints.

It demands $1,000 for each illicit ad and an order barring the sale of any software that lets users circumvent security measures or illegally access or post on Craigslist.

Craigslist is represented by Brian Hennessey with Perkins Coie of Menlo Park, Calif.

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