SAR shuts down thesarasotamls.com

By
Real Estate Agent with Internet Realty and Assoc

sarjacking badgeMarc Rasmussen's site thesarasotamls.com has been shut down due to trademark issues in his ongoing battle with the Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR). This post by Morgan Carey of Real Estate Webmasters explains all the details. This action is very unfair since Marc has a disclaimer in his site stating that he is not Sarasota MLS. No one has confused his site for the Sarasota MLS. There's never been any consumer complaints. Marc was cleared of all ethics violations filed against him by (NAR) National Association of Realtors. (ICANN) International Corporation of the Assignment of Names & Numbers ruled against Marc on charges on trademark infringement by SAR and Marc was ordered to give up his domain name and transfer it to SAR.

Marc's only crime is being too successful. Marc used to get over 700 visitors per day on his site. He had hundreds of number one rankings for many Sarasota real estate related keywords. The visitors were not looking for Sarasota MLS; they wanted to search homes for sale in Sarasota. Marc was not trying to trick or deceive anyone. It is unfair to single out one Realtor just because of his overwhelming success online. The SAR board should allow Marc to keep his domain name and redirect it to his new website www.luxurysarasotarealestate.com  so he doesn't lose all the years of hard work he has put into the site.

We are linking to his website from our Miami real estate website's home page. Let's all get a No SARjacking Badge to show our support for Marc Rasmussen.

Related posts: Joe & Colleen, Judy Orr, SAR Pokie 

Comments (6)

Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Lone Tree, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Hector - Our MLS just came out with a new rule that we are not to use term MLS in a variety of ways including in domain names, blogs, in website content etc. I was going to write about it. ~Rita

Oct 18, 2008 03:27 PM
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

I don't have a big position one way or another, but the rules are there to create equilibrium.  By going against the rules (fair or not), Marc is now working with a definite advantage that no one else will have, unless they break the rules too.  Life isn't always fair, and I am sorry for Marc's situation, but rules are there for everyone...no exceptions.

Oct 18, 2008 04:43 PM
Hector Lesende
Internet Realty and Assoc - Miami, FL

Rita - Thanks for your comment. It seems the domain name is only the beginning.

Paula - Thanks for your comment. Why not allow Marc to redirect the domain name to his new website?

Oct 19, 2008 03:07 AM
Judy Orr
HomeSmart Realty Group - Orland Park, IL
SW & Near West Chicago suburbs

My MLS has also cited one of my websites (but not the others - probably because they're not as popular in the se's) for using MLS on my site in my links as anchor text.

Paula - sometimes we need rules, but these so-called "rules" were changed years after Marc started using the domain.  In fact, he asked NAR and FAR (Florida Assoc. of REALTORS) if it was acceptable back in 2003 when he purchased the domain.  They both said it was fine. 

So if they're going to change the rules after the fact, then they should grandfather in other's who had already purchased their domains prior to the new rule.

We've made jokes about it but imagine if they tried to trademark real estate or luxury real estate or IDX?  There would be another witch hunt then.

Thanks for spreading the word, Hector.

Oct 19, 2008 04:59 AM
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

Hi Judy!
I didn't realize the context of the complaint and I agree...grandfathering in would seem appropriate.

Oct 19, 2008 05:07 AM
Anonymous
Anonymous

Judy - Thanks for your comment and you are welcome. I have been sending e-mails, writing blog posts, and linking to Marc's website from my home page. As I told Marc in an e-mail I sent him this morning, I think in the end he would be allowed to redirect his domain name.

Oct 19, 2008 06:12 AM
#6