Hilarious Free Site Spat

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Ben Cohen
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by Ben Cohen

The Daily Banter is not an original concept. It is a political blog featuring commentary and original reporting. The idea that someone could sue me for 'plaigarizing' the concept would be, well, ridiculous.

Unfortunately, the creators of a free stuff give away site, FreeNapkin.com believe that their site is being ripped off by another site Listia.com. Listia is basically a craigslist type site with a twist - people can bid on free items with credits they have built up from selling other things, ensuring that the people who need the item the most get it. The creators of FreeNapkin were not happy, and sent a scathing email to TechCrunch, who did a profile piece on Listia. Here's the email:

From: [removed]@freenapkin.com

Date: August 6, 2009 1:48:50 AM PDT

To: tips@techcrunch.com

Subject: inaccurate posts

It has been brought to our attention that your news post about
listia was inaccurate and was in fact taken from us. We are
freenapkin.com founded in February 2008. We were the first ebay of free
and have been using the phrase freely since Feb 2008. Our site was the
only site on the web since 2008 to post all free auctions. Gee Chaung
and his other counter part are just copying freenapkin.com. Matter of
fact Gee Chaung has and is a member of freenapkin and registered in
December of 2008. His idea is not spur of the moment and this post
about ‘ebay of free’ for free auctions needs more attention.

Y-Combinator funded a plagarized website.

Thanks

A note to FreeNapkin.com: Nothing on the internet is completely original. Giving away free items online is about as old as the internet itself - it has just existed in different models (ebay, craigslist, freecycle, newspaper listings etc). FreeNapkin.com is a pretty dreadful looking site, while Listia.com is a sleek looking site with an orginal take on giving things away for free. Plus, as Tech Crunch points out: "Both sites stole the basic idea of giving free stuff away from
Craigslist, who stole the idea from people who leave crappy couches out
on the sidewalk with a “free” sign sitting on it."