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Friday, June 30, 2017

Zillow Backs Off Threat to Sue McMansion Hell

Posted by on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 6:27 AM

click to enlarge screen_shot_2017-06-30_at_6.26.15_am.png

Zillow will stop its legal dogging of N.C.-bred Kate Morgan, founder of the viral architecture blog McMansion Hell, and Morgan is back online.

Artist/sound designer Morgan, of Southern Pines and UNC-Greensboro, received a cease-and-desist letter early this week from the $8 billion Seattle corporation for using pictures derived from Zillow. She shut down her shoestring, highly popular site, but not for long.

During a phone interview Thursday from Baltimore, she said her site is back up, but she also said she's backing off the use of Zillow pictures.

"I don't need them," Morgan said. "I was not planning on using their site again anyway."

Zillow received widespread backlash after taking on Morgan, who decorates photos of massive suburban homes with snarky, humorous descriptions of their architectural failings. Thursday, Zillow admitted it was licked.

"We have decided not to pursue any legal action against Kate Wagner and McMansion Hell," Zillow spokeswoman Emily Heffter said Thursday in an email. "We’ve had a lot of conversations about this, including with attorneys from the [Electronic Frontier Foundation], whose advocacy and work we respect. EFF has stated that McMansion Hell won’t use photos from Zillow moving forward."

EFF is a national force in cyber-freedom issues. Its lawyers came to Morgan's defense after word spread of the potential lawsuit against her.

"I'm relieved that it's over and it's over so fast," Morgan said Thursday.

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