News & Information: REALTOR® News

MLS Participant Agreement Update - Explained

Thursday, February 8, 2018  
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ORRA has recently received many inquiries from brokers who are concerned by a requirement from MFRMLS for each broker to update their MLS Participant Agreement. If you're one of those who have already updated their agreement, thank you! If you're one of those with questions, please read on for a summary explanation.

The new MLS Participant Agreement contains a significant change that addresses copyright protection, an issue that has risen in prominence since the Agreement was last updated in 2010. As a result, MFRMLS has given brokers the two copyright infringement-related options when they update their Agreement:

Option 1 — Assignment of Copyright
Brokers who select the "assignment" option assign the rights of their firm's listing data to MFRMLS. Doing so gives MFRMLS the authority to pursue infringement action against any entity on the broker's behalf that uses their data without obtaining proper permission. Brokers who chose this option will have their data included in the quarterly submission report filed by MFRMLS to the governing copyright office. Brokers will receive a license to use their data in any way they choose, but MFRMLS is responsible for copyright matters related to their firm's listing data.

Option 2 — License of Copyright
Brokers who select the "license" option are licensing their firm's listing data to MFRMLS, but do not permit MFRMLS to pursue any action related to copyright infringements on their behalf. Choosing this option means the broker handles all copyright matters related to their firm's listing data, and MFRMLS will employ no efforts whatsoever to detect or hinder third parties that are not authorized by the firm to use the Participant's contribution.

The difference between the top options is that should a major infringement occur relating to a broker's content, and the broker selected Option 1, MFR will be able to defend the copyright as it has been "assigned" to MFR. Should a major infringement occur relating to content of a broker who chose Option 2, MFR has no standing and cannot assist.

Read all the details

Questions? Contact Shayne Fairley, MFRMLS vice president of customer relations, to have your questions answered personally.


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