Canadian Real Estate Site Wants To Remain Unusable; Threatens Those Who Improve It

from the this-again? dept

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.
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Filed Under: canada, cease and desist, interface, mls
Companies: multiple listing service


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  1. identicon
    Jim, 20 Jun 2008 @ 10:40am

    My impression of Real Estate agents

    (note: I speak with limited experience).

    In the US - real estate agents seem to be very close hold on MLS listings. Even sites that let you search the MLS appear to give stale data. It always appeared to me that they are trying to protect their own jobs by only allowing due paying licensed agents to have true access. I would probably never buy a house without a real estate agent (they do have a lot of insight), but it scares me that they think they have nothing without private access to a dB. If your major benefit to a customer is access to a computer system - then you're really providing a service that a 5 year old with a good tool could provide.

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