Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is this happening?
Triangle MLS, Inc. is charged with protecting the data Participants and Subscribers enter into the MLS system. This protection covers both the compilation (the database) and the data that appears in individual listings within the TMLS database for specific participants. The collection of the selection, coordination, or arrangement of materials in the database: the fields, options, order of information, etc., of the collected data. For many years, TMLS has copyrighted the compilation as a tool to help protect the database and thwart unauthorized use. In 2017, the Copyright Office raised questions related to compilation copyright applications. As a result, TMLS proactively made changes to the applications it files, including implementing this TOU, which spells out the ownership rights of the TMLS compilation.
2. Why does copyrighting of the compilation matter?
The TMLS database may only be used for specified purposes and under an agreement with TMLS. Any other uses of the TMLS database are not permitted. Copyright enforcement is one method for TMLS to impede unpermitted services of the TMLS database.
3. Am I giving TMLS ownership of the listing agreement or listing content (such as photos) when I agree to the TOU?
No. This TOU relates to the compilation, which does not encompass the listing agreement or content. The compendium is effectively the structure of the database and the choices related to design and preferences such as field options, data types, enumerations, etc., that involve a modicum of creativity contribute to the compilation. This EULA applies only to the MLS compilation registered with the Copyright Office. It does not use for listing content, such as photos, free-form text, or any data itself.
Some BICs participating in TMLS have opted to register their copyrights for the portions of individual listing data held by their office. Other BICs have decided to have TMLS write the copyright via the TMLS Participant Agreement, a different agreement than this TOU.
4. What does the TOU do to help TMLS protect listing data and the compilation?
This TOU addresses the ownership of the MLS compilation, the compilation described in question 3. In the TOU, you agree that Triangle MLS, Inc. has the right to register the copyright of the collection. This will help to strengthen TMLS’s position that the compilation is subject to copyright.
5. Didn’t I already agree to this TOU or something similar?
You may have agreed to TMLS’s copyright TOU previously. TMLS has been using a copyright TOU since 2017, and as a matter of routine administration requires its Participants and Subscribers to agree to the TOU on an annual basis.
6. Can an office or individual Participant or Subscriber copyright the TMLS compilation?
No. While some offices or firms may choose to take responsibility for registering the copyright of the office or firm’s listings, none may claim ownership of the compilation except TMLS.
7. Are our Licensed Home Inspectors required to complete this?
Licensed Home Inspector subscribers do not have access to the MLS database and will not be affected by the TOU.
8. What if I do not agree to accept the TOU?
You will not be allowed to access Paragon to search, edit or add listings to Triangle MLS.
9. Whom do I contact if I have questions?
You can contact the Triangle MLS Help Desk with questions at HelpDesk@TriangleMLS.com