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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Online "Bait and Switch"

Searching for "MLS," Getting ""

One might think that would be the Web site of Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. But no. Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Nevada, has the site, which her campaign uses to bash Democrats.

--Marc Lacey, "Clicking, Landing at"; The New York Times(9/15/2010)

The phenomenon referred to above, called "cybersquatting," is hardly limited to politics; it's rife in real estate, too.

Locally (in the Twin Cities), the best known example of that would be, which, unbeknownst initially to the visitors it attracts, has nothing to do with the local MLS ("Multiple Listing Service").

The MLS is the mother lode of Twin Cities listings, paid for (and only accessible) to Twin Cities brokers and their dues-paying agents. is just one of hundreds (thousands?) of Twin Cities real estate brokers.

Somebody who's practiced law more recently than I have (not since 1992) has to explain to me why that doesn't constitute a deceptive trade practice -- which, last time I checked, was illegal.

P.S.: if you don't like the practice, vote with your feet and don't use (there --that's my protected free speech!).

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