Listing Jacking

If you want a look at one possible future for the real estate world, read job jacking and replace every instance of job jacking with listing jacking and replace every job company with your favorite web-based real estate search companies. Sure, real estate isn’t quite so spread out, but it’s getting there.

I think it’s a silly complaint. People post jobs so they can find applicants and people list houses so they can find buyers. Most limits on where the jobs or houses are displayed are not in the interest of the lister.

4 thoughts on “Listing Jacking

  1. When one first hears of this phenomenon, of portals and sites re-publishing, in this case, jobs, but as we all know, can apply to real estate listings too, one can’t help but think that this is a good thing, because as you point out “Most limits on where the jobs or houses are displayed are not in the interest of the lister.”

    However, as the article explains, the situation can quickly dissolve into chaos, as the “owner” of the listing (be it for a job or for a house) quickly loses control over that information and it becomes part of the public domain.

    Arguments that this free-wheeling dissemination of data, information or listings is indeed “good” for the owner of the data are specious, as these same arguments cannot be made for any other kinds of property. Though the wholesale publishing and dissemination may be good for an individual company looking for a new employee or a seller wanting to unload a house, it’s not good for society as a whole. Continuing to allow misappropriation of this material without the express permission of the owner, be it a job board, a corporation, a music publisher or a real estate office, causes potential harm to all industries as they struggle to maintain their copyrights over their material. It’s a slippery slope one hastens to approach by allowing this re-publishing, and the argument isn’t “is it good for the original poster?” The question is, “does the re-poster have permission to re-post this information?” If the answer is “No”, then the re-posting should be forbidden in order to protect all owners of listings, intellectual property, inventions and original content.

  2. I somewhat agree, Marlow. That said, there is a commonly agreed upon way of explicitly telling people who scan the internet what they can and can’t have – it’s called robots.txt. Anyone who does not want their content scanned can notify any spider that doesn’t want to get sued out of existence by placing a small, easy to make file on their website. You can even block individual crawlers with it.

    In the big picture, I think our copyright laws are broken and very overbearing. The drawbacks of free-wheeling dissemination of data are tiny compared to the drawbacks of a tightly controlled, copyright everywhere system.

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