I just received a copy of the Report of Recommendations of the IDX Use Work Group of the Multiple Listing Issuse and Policies Committee. I have had a blur of calls from The Realty Alliance, Leading RE, MLSs and Franchises alike today. There are many significant concerns. At the heart of the recommendations is the new rule that IDX listing content may be distributed by RSS or other electronic means (anyway you want) to any third party without any restrictions what so ever. Brokers and Agents still have restraints on the use and display of the data on their own websites that third parties do not. Furthermore, the MLS is required to enforce policies on the use of IDX data like prohibiting the display of expired, sold, or under contract listings. WAV Group has been asked to prepare a document of concerns to this Recommendation, which we will be doing this weekend. If you have any thoughts, please share them in the comments or send Victor Lund an email. If you believe this is an important topic, please share this with others via Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, email or “by any other electronic means” Here is the document. If you would prefer to download the document rather than read it here, you may do so byfollowing this link. Report and Recommendations of the IDX Data Use Work Group of the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee March 2011 In early 1999 the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee began its consideration of “intellectual property issues, advertising, use of MLS data by other brokers, and related issues”. That initial consideration led to NAR’s elected leadership convening a special inter-disciplinary Internet Data Display work group comprised of the REALTOR® leaders of the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee, the Professional Standards Committee, the Risk Management Committee, current and former Law and Policy Liaisons, and representatives of the NAR Leadership Team. Their deliberations led to adoption of the policy now referred to as the Internet Data Exchange (“IDX”) policy. The IDX policy has been reviewed and enhanced on several occasions to respond to emerging issues and to questions and concerns of MLS participants and MLS administrators. In early 2010 NAR began receiving questions from MLS administrators asking whether Internet “display” of other participants’ listings was strictly limited to display on participant websites or whether delivery/display via RSS subscription was permissible under the policy. At the Committee’s 2010 Midyear meeting it was suggested that consideration be given to amending the policy to permit display using RSS subscriptions and mobile devices. A work group met over the summer and developed comprehensive revisions to the policy that would have expressly authorized display of IDX information not only on participants’ “public websites but also using RSS subscription, social media, mobile devices, and other electronic means. The work group’s proposal was presented to the Committee at the 2010 Annual Convention. In the course of the ensuing discussion varying questions and concerns were voiced. It was suggested that “other electronic means” was potentially overly-broad; that it might be difficult for MLSs to monitor participants’ social media sites to verify compliance with IDX-specific rules and requirements, that “posts” to participants’ social media sites could not be “refreshed” in the same manner as information displayed on participants’ websites is; and that displays of limited information (e.g. text messages, “tweets”, etc.) might not readily accommodate required disclosures. Additionally, comments regarding the advisability of real estate professionals using certain technology tools were submitted for the Committee’s consideration. It became clear that the Committee was not ready to act on the work group’s recommendations and a motion was made and carried referring the recommendations to a reconstituted work group so the comments and suggestions could be considered. Acting on the Committee’s request for further consideration, the work group was reconstituted and met in March, 2011. In addition to the comments and suggestions voiced at the 2010 Annual Convention meeting, the work group received and carefully considered the suggestions of the Carolina Multiple Listing Service and the Maine Real Estate Information System, Inc. After hours of debate and deliberation, it was the consensus of the work group that while increasing the ways by which participants display and deliver IDX listings to consumers might somewhat diminish the control MLSs exercise over that information, and might increase the administrative burden of MLSs, the value to sellers, potential purchasers, and to MLS participants and subscribers that will result from increased availability of those listings through enhanced IDX channels outweighs those concerns. With the goal of maximizing the potential of IDX display and delivery, the work group makes the following recommendations: That Multiple Listing Policy Statement 7.58, Internet Data Exchange (“IDX”) Policy, be amended as follows (underscoring indicates additions, strikeouts indicate deletions): The IDX policy gives MLS participants the option to authorize electronic display of their listings by other participants. Associations of REALTORS® and their multiple listing services must enable MLS participants to display on participants’ public websites aggregated MLS listing information subject to the requirements of state law, regulation, and applicable MLS rules by electronic means. Electronic display subject to this policy includes display on participants’ public websites, and delivery by social media sites, RSS subscription, and applications for mobile devices only. All electronic display conducted pursuant to this policy must comply with state law and regulations, and MLS rules. To comply with this requirement MLSs must, if requested by a participant, promptly provide basic downloading of all active listings and other listings authorized under applicable MLS rules and may not exclude any listings from the information which can be downloaded or displayed under IDX except those listings for which a participant has withheld consent, or listings for which the seller has prohibited Internet display. Associations and MLSs can also offer alternative display options including framing of board, MLS, or other publicly-accessible sites displaying participants’ listings (with permission of the framed site). For purposes of this policy, “downloading” means electronic transmission of data from MLS servers to participants’ servers on a persistent or transient basis, at the discretion of the MLS. excluding The data transmitted shall exclude the listing or property address, respectively, of any seller who affirmatively directs that the listing or the property address not appear on the Internet or other electronic forms of display or distribution. (Amended 11/09) MLSs that allow persistent downloading of the MLS database by participants for display or distribution on the Internet or by other electronic means may require that websites controlled by participants (1) utilize appropriate security protection, such as firewalls, provided that any security obligations imposed on participants may not be greater than those employed concurrently by the MLS, and/or (2) maintain an audit trail of consumer activity on the IDX siteparticipants’ websites and make that information available to the MLS if the MLS has reason to believe that a participant’s IDX display site has caused or permitted a breach in the security of the data or a violation of MLS rules related to use by consumers. This policy does not require associations or MLSs to establish publicly accessible sites displaying participants’ listings. Unless state law requires prior written consent from listing brokers, listing brokers’ consent for IDX display may be presumed unless a listing broker affirmatively notifies the MLS that the listing broker refuses to permit display (either on a blanket or on a listing-by-listing basis). If a participant refuses on a blanket basis to permit IDX display of that participant’s listings, then that participant may not display the aggregated MLS data of other participants on an IDX site. Alternatively, MLSs may require that participants’ consent for IDX display of their listings by other participants on IDX sites be affirmatively established in writing. Even where participants have given blanket authority for other participants‘ to IDX display of their listings on IDX sites, such consent may be withdrawn on a listing-by-listing basis as instructed by the seller. Access to MLS databases, or any part of such databases, may not be provided to any person or entity not expressly authorized such access under the MLS rules. (Amended 11/09) Participants Internet websites and other authorized delivery mechanisms may also provide other features, information, or services in addition to IDX information (including Virtual Office Website
IDX Data Use Workgroup Submits Recommendations
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