TechCrunch reports that Google is negotiating some content licensing deals with news organizations in Europe, and that Google already has licensed the Associated Press feed. This brings back to my mind an analogy between the MLS data feed (particularly if it includes sold information) and a data feed from the stock exchanges, which also are paid-for licensed content. With Zillow and Cyberhomes apparently now negotiating with brokers for data feeds, perhaps consideration should be given to licensing the sold information on a paid for basis similar to how it is licensed from the stock exchanges. This approach failed with REBIG some time ago, but that may have been more of a leadership, execution and timing problem than a concept failure. The MLS sold information clearly is of value and some MLSs are already publishing sold information, and so the question is whether the data should be licensed to others or not. This may be better than dealing with a variety of firms joining MLSs only to get access to a “free” data feed.
Update (10:58 a.m. Central): Inman posts a video discussion on who is winning the listings war.
Also worth serious consideration on this issue is a post from Matt Cohen on listing syndication.