Friday, November 03, 2006

Manhattan Beach Reporter: No need for public web site

There is an article in the November 2, 2006 print edition of the Manhattan Beach Reporter reprinted out of Realtor Magazine, in which realtors in Cinncinnati voted to remove public access from MLS listings from realty websites. An Ohio appellate court did not disagree with the realtors' decision.

Gee, do you think this is a way of censoring bad news? Could the Ohio market be so bad that realtors want to "protect" the public from it?

This kind of precedent scares me. One day we could point our browsers to our local realtors' websites only to find that public access to their listings was no longer a possibility.

I did point my browser to the Cinncinnati realtor website, and it turns out that they post links to other websites that do allow searches. So maybe I'm annoyed over nothing. Still, the mere possibility of shutting off public access to real estate listing data bothers me. If the news were to get really bad, I wouldn't be surprised if we do see attempts at censorship. It would be dumb to do this, because houses are the product they sell. But stupidity can overrule reason if we end up in the midst of a bad economic downturn.


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