To All MRED Brokerages:
Click HERE for a copy of the new Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) Participant Agreement. This is an advance look at the document you are being sent next week for your eSignature.
There are two aspects of this new agreement for your review and consideration.
- One part is to clarify the responsibilities we have to each other in our continuing business relationship. You provide to MRED your very valuable listing content and are entitled to know what we can and cannot do with it. MRED needs to be sure all of our brokerage customers understand their obligations regarding each other's data.
- The second facet is an optional provision regarding Copyright protection that only applies to Brokerages and NOT Appraiser offices. At the core of MRED's Mission is the protection of your listing content. You entrust us to make your data available to your fellow real estate professionals by entering it into our connectMLS system ("the MLS"). While much of what you enter into the MLS is fact, there are certain creative aspects of the listing, like Listing Price, Remarks and Photos.
Copyright law protects those who create works, like those just listed, from others who would use those works without permission of those who created them. So while you own the listings themselves pursuant to the Illinois Real Estate License Act, the individual crafting the creative aspects of the listings in the MLS has a copyright interest in those items. That individual could be one of your associates, or even hired staff people. With photos, it could be whoever took the photograph.
Since its creation, MRED has offered a program of Copyright protection to help you best protect your listing content from those who would steal it. To take into consideration recent case decisions from across the country, MRED has updated its Copyright Program to provide those brokerages that are interested the best possible Copyright protection.
The Copyright Program is voluntary. As you will see in the attached copy of the Participation Agreement, you are provided an Option to either:
- Tender copyright ownership in the creative aspects of your listings to MRED, which allows MRED to file copyright registrations and take reasonable actions against those we are made aware of who take your listing content without permission; or
- Keep copyright ownership yourself and not have MRED engage in copyright protection on your behalf.
After the Participant Agreement is made available to our Brokerages and Appraisal Offices, all individuals logging into connectMLS will be required to acknowledge the MRED Subscriber Agreement. This details the rights and obligations of MRED and all users of MRED products and services, including the MLS system. Also, if a Brokerage has chosen to have MRED enforce copyright on its behalf, all Subscribers from that brokerage will tender any copyright interest they have in their listings to MRED for that same protection.
We have a web page dedicated to the new MRED Copyright Program, accessible via a link on the home page of MREDLLC.com. There you will find a more complete explanation of the program, as well as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), links to the Agreements and a video highlighting the most important points of the program.
Next week, you will be receiving an email from MRED via DocuSign asking you to electronically sign the attachment document. PLEASE NOTE: While the Copyright Program is optional, MRED is requiring all Brokerages and Appraisal Offices to execute a Participant Agreement and for Brokerages to indicate your choice. Multiple office brokerages will be covered under a single Participant Agreement. The associates of those companies that do not sign the Participant Agreement will eventually be denied access to connectMLS.
The MRED Board of Managers has determined that this approach is the most cost-effective way to prevent misuse of data relating to brokerage's listings. Thank you for your attention and review of this very important Agreement. Please contact MRED's Help Desk should you have any questions, at 630-955-2755 or help.desk@MREDLLC.com.
Jeffrey E. Gregory
MRED Chairman of the Board