99.co wins versus PropertyGuru: A Victory for the Internet

3 min read

99co victory internet

99.co wins v PropertyGuru – A Victory for the Internet

Today, we celebrate a victory for the Internet, the challengers, and most importantly, the content creators.

We at 99.co just received the judgement an hour ago on a lawsuit we have been involved in, regarding a topic that is tremendously dear to my heart – ownership and rights of content creators in the brave new world of the Internet.

About a year ago, our primary competitor PropertyGuru sued us for, amongst other things, infringing their copyright, for, in simple terms, helping listing creators replicate their content to an alternative platform, us, at the request of the listing creators.

We received the news in disbelief, and frankly, a little disdain.

Naturally, we believe that the rights of the content belong to content creators.

That if you were to upload a photo to Facebook or Instagram or eBay – these sites do not and should not automatically get the rights on your photo simply by adding watermarks or basic modification – and that the rights to the photo ultimately still belongs to the user. Otherwise all hell breaks loose and the rights to the photos posted on the internet (inadvertently via a platform), would belong to the platform who claims them as their own and use them however they please.

One would think it is common sense that this cannot be the case.

Nevertheless, it was unclear, legally speaking, on this matter as there was no direct precedence. So naturally, large corporations has no hesitation in leveraging the opportunity to gain an advantage by preventing the free use of content by the content owner themselves. In fact, I personally know of small companies that were shut down because they simply did not have the resources to take on a lawsuit against mega corporations – and in the end, monopolies prevailed and the ones who got hurt most were the content creators and consumers.

Today, we are grateful that justice, fairness and common sense prevailed.

We have won, the internet has won, and the judgement is clear:

“102 In summary, the copying, enlargement or resizing of an artistic work, such as a drawing, painting or photograph, does not make the resulting image a copyrighted work.”

“104 The addition of the watermark does not, in my judgment, make the altered image an original work.”

We have attached the full judgement below for your reference.

For our young team, it has been a gruesome, expensive and time consuming journey – one that no startup should have to endure, but in the end, it was worth it.

We hope that by taking on this battle, we had contributed a little in our own way to provide clarity and precedence, so others may not have to suffer the same fate.

We are grateful to be part of a movement that is greater than us, that helps push the world forward an inch at a time.

A big shout out and thanks to our magnificent counsel, Chia Ling and Gerald at OC Queenstreet – who were not only brilliant lawyers, but people with heart and soul and wisdom.

And to our fellow netizens, and especially to content creators – this one is for you. Cheers.

Founder and CEO, 99.co

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About Darius Cheung

CEO at 99.co

Looking to sell your property?

Whether your HDB apartment is reaching the end of its Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) or your condo has crossed its Seller Stamp Duty (SSD) window, it is always good to know how much you can potentially gain if you were to list and sell your property. Not only that, you’ll also need to know whether your gains would allow you to right-size to the dream home in the neighbourhood you and your family have been eyeing.

One easy way is to send us a request for a credible and trusted property consultant to reach out to you.

Alternatively, you can jump onto 99.co’s Property Value Tool to get an estimate for free.

If you’re looking for your dream home, be it as a first-time or seasoned homebuyer or seller – say, to upgrade or right-size – you will find it on Singapore’s fastest-growing property portal 99.co.

Meanwhile, if you have an interesting property-related story to share with us, drop us a message here — and we’ll review it and get back to you.

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Reader Interactions


    • Vodka Chia

      Congratz to the win! ?

    • Aldo Teng

      Congratulations Darius and 99.co. I am not following the exact legal issues, but I am myself a Guru -> 99 convert, having felt that 99 provides more complete information and better features. In fact I regularly recommend 99.co to my friends, who are originally more familiar with Guru.

      • Krristy Lam

        Hi Aldo,

        Thank you for all the support, words of affirmation and most of all, for sharing the 99.co platform with your friends!

        We’ll continue to work hard at rolling out cool features to provide consumers like you, a superior user experience.

        We hope you and your friends find the home of your dreams at 99.co!


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