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Mortgage Bankers Association Orders Wall Street Examiner to Cease And Desist

The Mortgage Bankers Association has sent me legal notice to “demand that immediately remove all WAS data (Weekly Applications Survey) data, from its systems and cease and desist from further reproduction or distribution of all MBA data, past and present, in any format.”

Regrettably, I must comply with this demand. I am not in a position to defend a lawsuit brought by a major commercial organization. The cost would be prohibitive.

I have published my analysis and a chart of the mortgage applications data several times recently. I used only information that was widely disseminated both by the MBA in its press releases and published by major media to illustrate the critical public issues involved. MBA’s demand was based on my use of this data without a license: “The WAS is a revenue-generating data service of the MBA,” and the MBA has not granted the Wall Street Examiner a redistribution license, nor any permission to republish data points from the WAS.

I was not aware, and do not believe, that compiling data from publicly available sources would violate a copyright. However, the MBA has given me notice that the MBA believes that it does. The MBA stated that redistributing the WAS through the Wall Street Examiner deprived the MBA of a redistribution royalty and revenue from users who were able to access the data via this website. The MBA indicated that republishing the WAS data “from any source in the future will cause MBA future harm.”

Finally, the MBA warned that “failure to cease and desist from using MBA’s data without authority may result in legal action.”

I am not in a position to bear the immense costs of defending in court my belief that in compiling freely disseminated publicly available data, that I did not violate the MBA’s copyright. I believe that the public has a vital interest in knowing this data because it represents critically important current information about the state of the housing market. However, due to the realities of the costs of lawsuits, I am not in a position to defend publication of information that I believe is not copyrighted, and is the public’s right to know.

This Week Will Tell If The Bear is Really Coming Out of Hibernation

Last week’s selloff did less damage than it may have felt like. The drop stopped in the area of 3 crossing uptrend lines, ranging in length from short term to long term. Here’s what would tell us whether the uptrend is still in force, or signal that something evil this way comes. I have added 8 new stocks to the swing trade chart pick list, including 2 shorts.

Therefore, to comply with the MBA’s terms of use, and their letter to me, I have removed the instances where this data had been reported on this website and will no longer be publishing any charts or data that quotes or redistributes the MBA’s WAS data. If you would like to access the information, the MBA posts a press release every Wednesday morning at their website.

Lee Adler

I’ve been publishing The Wall Street Examiner and its predecessor since October 2000. I also publish, and was lead analyst for Sure Money Investor, of blessed memory. I developed David Stockman's Contra Corner for Mr. Stockman. I’ve had a wide variety of finance related jobs since 1972, including a stint on Wall Street in both sales, analytical, and trading capacities. Prior to starting the Wall Street Examiner I was a commercial real estate appraiser in Florida for 15 years. I was considered an expert in the analysis of failed properties that ended up in the hands of bank REO divisions, the FDIC, and the RTC. Remember those guys? I also worked in the residential mortgage and real estate businesses in parts of the 1970s and 80s. I have been charting stocks and markets and doing analytical work since I was a teenager. I'm not some Ivory Tower academic, Wall Street guy. My perspective comes from having my boots on the ground and in the trenches, as a real estate broker, mortgage broker, trader, account rep, and analyst. I've watched most of the games these Wall Street wiseguys play from right up close. I know the drill from my 55 years of paying attention. And I'm happy to share that experience with you, right here. 


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