The National Association of Realtors’ Center for Realtor Technology has released a new software product to curb theft of real estate listings.

The software, NoScrape, helps prevent unauthorized persons from “scraping” – copying and stealing information and photos on real estate listings posted on the Internet.

“Scraping continues to be a problem for our members. Pirates attack real estate listings on the Internet and often create phantom sites that appear to be genuine. These sites are used to generate leads and other forms of business that defraud the public and misrepresent their identities,” said Mark Lesswing, NAR vice president and director of CRT.

“The NoScrape application employs advanced software technology to defeat attempts by unauthorized outsiders to scrape or steal inventory data and images from real estate listings sites. NoScrape is a form of ‘rendering,’ a technique used to defeat piracy, and is favored by online financial institutions, coupon and ticketing industries,” Lesswing said.

NoScrape enables users to convey listing information to consumers, while protecting underlying property data from exposure to listing pirates. NoScrape prevents unauthorized copying by generating an image or copy of the data and sending the image to a Web site. Because such images are much more difficult to copy by outside intruders, the original listing data are safeguarded.

Operating on the user’s own Web server, NoScrape can create protected images from Multiple Listing System data or from information stored in spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel. The system also can include a tamper-proof feature to identify listings and prove their true ownership or origin.

NoScrape was released in beta version. NAR members can obtain more information and download a free copy at http://www.crt.realtors.org/projects/NoScrape/index.html.

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