In the past, we've written about various organizations who break out the lawyers immediately when someone else makes their own poorly designed sites work better
. This has happened with sites like the Ellis Island site and a movie theater chain in the UK. In both cases, some folks who got fed up with the poorly designed official site stepped up and created a better interface to the data hidden within. That same situation appears to be happening in Canada. Joe
writes in to let us know that the Multiple Listing Service in Canada (which is basically the core database listing homes for sale) has a poorly designed website. Some enterprising individuals in Toronto made a much nicer interface, creating a mashup that pulled in other data (such as Google maps info). Rather than, say, recognize how useful the better interface was and talk to the developers about how MLS could use that work themselves, it sent a cease and desist, forcing the site to shut down
. The site's creators were doing this as a hobby to improve
the usefulness of MLS's data. And now it's gone. That's no way to run a business.