I’m going to assume that anyone reading this has read the 2011 IDX PAG Report (password protected on Realtor.org). It’s not clear that I’m allowed to re-print the report. I have four main comments:
- There’s no surprise on the franchise rule – the recommendation is to rescind the previous inclusion of franchises under IDX rules. Thank goodness. That had opened the door to IDX data feeds to other non-participants, which is non-optimal. This recommendation, if adopted, fixes that problem at least.
- Social media is handled generally by adding “and on others’ websites where displays are controlled by participants” to rules regarding the participants own website; also “participants must give the MLS access to social media sites used by participants.” This makes sense to me, though MLSs are obviously going to want members to register those other sites with the MLS for compliance purposes. This could result in a much higher compliance burden for the MLS. There will be other emerging questions, such as how comments on social media that includes listings are dealt with, especially where there has been seller “opt-out” of commentary.
- RSS is mistakenly treated as a type of display. It is actually a mechanism for the transport of structured data, more similar to RETS – but unlike RETS, RSS does not require authentication. If the PAG recommendation is adopted, RSS would be covered by policy, and MLSs are supposed to be given access to it for compliance purposes, yet there are no specific rules for its use, or what constitutes misuse, described. Theoretically, under this rule, it looks to me like I could provide the whole MLS database via RSS with no authentication, in XML format for re-compilation for other purposes. I hope that sanity prevails and that RSS is struck from the policy before adoption and that a goal is set to create a smart RSS policy recommendation for midyear.
- “Apps” are not covered by policy. This is a gap that needs to be addressed in future policy ASAP.
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