MLS & AssociationsTechnology

NAR mandates brokers obtain and grant licenses to MLS content

Agents and brokers must make sure they have the rights to content they're entering into the MLS
  • Listing brokers must make sure they obtain the rights to any content they -- or their agents -- enter into the MLS, and may be required to license that content to the MLS.
  • The NAR board of directors approved the policy change today.
  • These policy changes go into effect immediately, and MLSs have 60 days to implement them.

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WASHINGTON -- Make sure you have the rights to any listing content you -- or your agents -- enter into the MLS, real estate brokers. And be ready to license that content to your MLS. That's the message from policy changes approved by the board of directors of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) today. Why target listing content? A rising number of lawsuits against real estate companies are focusing on the use of listing photos, including a case brought against Zillow by real estate photography company VHT Inc. that could embroil brokers and MLSs. The use of listing photos was also an issue in lawsuits against alleged copyright infringer NeighborCity that cost two MLSs millions of dollars. Last fall, real estate attorney Mitch Skinner of Larson Skinner urged brokers and MLSs to make sure they get the right to license listing data for downstream uses. What's changed? Today, the NAR board revised a section of its Handbook on Multiple Listing Policy having to do wi...