A ‘Skybreaking’ for Capitol Tower; Zillow Goes After McMansion Hell

Photo: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


7 Comment

  • SMH @ the usual Urban Edge whining. They expect rent prices to remain the same, forever?

  • I didn’t realize there were houston homes featured on McMansion Hell. Now I want to see it. Thanks Zillow.

  • IANAL, but AFAIK, both criticism and parody are covered under “fair use” law.

  • What is particularly nefarious about the Zillow demand is that they make reference to their “terms of use” that prohibit “modifying” or “creating derivative works” from anything on Zillow’s website. The parody exception is a critical aspect of the fair use doctrine. One thing you must show to be entitled to the parody exception under the fair use doctrine is that you have modified the original content enough to create a new content. Copyright holders cannot use boilerplate “terms of use” language to effectively eviscerate the fair use doctrine by forbidding people from modifying their work in order to create a parody.
    It is also particularly cowardly and unethical of Zillow to reference the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. That is a criminal statute that is basically designed to keep people from stealing computer files by hacking into servers or stealing passwords. It has nothing to do with copying images from a website.

  • I actually enjoy going on Zillow more than I like McMansion Hell. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not a fan of bad design. But the way to stamp out bad design isn’t to mock it, but to lead people away from it to good design. Too few architects (myself included) do that. We reserve our work for those who can pay our fees. We scoff at the thought of designing model homes. We leave to others the business of designing houses for the masses.
    Tarek El Moussa and his ex wife from TV’s “Flip or Flop” are doing more to bring good design to the masses than either McMansion Hell or the architecture profession. And that should give us all pause.

  • Doesn’t Zillow just aggregate pictures from other real estate listings? I have a friend who recently listed his house and Zillow has the photos that his realtor put up on HAR’s website, along with the photos from the listing when he purchased his house in 2013 and ones from the previous listing. How can they enforce anything on republished pictures?

  • McMansion Hell is offline at the moment, but I really don’t remember seeing any homes in Houston proper being mocked. But I’m pretty sure I remember at least one in The Woodlands serving target practice duty.