Perhaps this is not perfect, but it is a dandy start and I applaud ARMLS for this important first step. It will allow thier rules committee to call a goat a goat and a pig a pig as they see fit.
I am thinking that the weakness to these rules comes by way of establishing definations that can lead to legal interpretations that do not impede any self proclaimed “Search Engine” to scrape/index data. Under this description, I think that it would be difficult to prevent Trulia, Zillow, Century 21 and other search engines from Scraping/Indexing data – afterall, they ultimately direct the consumer back to the source of data.
ARMLS maintains that the CRT opinion does not factor in the end use of the “scraped” and “indexed” listing data. It fails to distinguish between benign and malicious “scraping” and “indexing.” These practices are termed benign if they provide intended benefits to the consumer and the buyers and sellers whom the REALTOR® serves, and are not in conflict with the ARMLS IDX Policy. They are deemed malicious if they utilize the listing data in a manner foreign to the original intent of the REALTOR® and the property owner, and are incompatible with the ARMLS IDX Policy. The practice of “scraping” or “indexing” by search engines for the purpose of displaying or indexing the data for consumer property search, and which ultimately directs the consumer back to its source, is benign, and is in sync with the REALTORS® intention when displaying listings on the Internet. When a third party, e.g. a search engine, through “scraping” or “indexing” misappropriates and uses the listing data for purposes not intended by the property owner or REALTOR® , these practices become malicious and should be prohibited. Any interpretation by NAR prohibiting REALTORS® from allowing search engines, such as Google, from benign “scraping” and “indexing” listing data puts the REALTOR® at a distinct competitive disadvantage.
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