2018 MISMO License FAQs

What are MISMO® licenses?

MISMO licenses govern the terms and conditions for the use of MISMO standards and collateral issued by MISMO.  The licenses contain information regarding how MISMO standards and collateral (collectively, "MISMO products,") can be used, copied and shared with others. Organizations must agree to the terms and conditions in the applicable license in order to use MISMO standards and collateral. The new licenses will soon be available on mismo.org.  

Why is MISMO revising its license requirements?   

MISMO expects industry participants will need new MISMO standards to help meet new and changing mortgage lending requirements. MISMO also expects a much greater need for new types of collateral that will help the industry implement MISMO standards. Supporting these efforts will require expanded industry participation and involvement in the standards development process.

The new licenses will better enable MISMO to understand MISMO product adoption which in turn will help influence MISMO's priorities. The new licenses are also designed to expand awareness across the industry and to incentivize those who benefit from the standards to get involved and participate in the standards development process.  MISMO's current license, implemented in 2004, does not support these new priorities.  

Who needs a license?   

Up to today and going forward, any organization that downloads MISMO standards or develops technology based on MISMO standards is required to have a license. In addition, as part of the revised licensing scheme, an organization will also be required to have a license to use other collateral developed by MISMO.   The type of license required is dependent upon the version of the MISMO standards or collateral you are using as well as how your organization is using it.  

How do I obtain a MISMO license?  

A MISMO license is obtained when you, or someone from your organization, first downloads the MISMO product from MISMO.org and selects the applicable license.  

What types of licenses are available?  

2004 End-User License - Applies to all MISMO products (standards and collateral) issued prior to January 1, 2018.  This license is automatically granted when an organization downloads any MISMO product (MISMO standards or collateral) with an issue date through December 31, 2017.  

2018 End-User License - Applies to all MISMO products issued on or after January 1, 2018.  The 2018 End-User License is appropriate for organizations that download MISMO products or develop technology that incorporates MISMO products released after December 31, 2017, where the MISMO products are used for internal company use when the organization does not make the MISMO products available to customers or external partners.

2018 Distributor License - Applies to all MISMO products issued on or after January 1, 2018.  The Distributor License is appropriate for organizations that develop technology that incorporates MISMO products and makes that technology available to customers or external partners.   

Which MISMO products remain subject to the 2004 End-User License? 

MISMO products released prior to 1/1/2018 are subject to the 2004 End-User License.  

It is important to understand that the license is based on when the MISMO product (standards or collateral) is created, not when a company decides to use the product.  For example, if in the year 2019 a company decides to use a standard issued in 2016, the 2004 End-User License is the governing license.  

In the event that Version 3.5 of the MISMO Reference Model is released on or after January 1, 2018 it will be grandfathered in and subject to the 2004 End-User License.  

Are fees required to obtain or use MISMO products (standards or collateral)? 

Depending on the specific MISMO product you want to use, a fee may be required.  Generally speaking, using standards released prior to January 1, 2018 will not require a fee.  Some collateral issued prior to January 1, 2018, such as the HMDA Toolkit, may require a fee for non-members.  Accessing or using MISMO products released after December 31, 2017 may require a fee for organizations that are not members of MISMO.  Licenses are a benefit of membership for MISMO members.  

Will a license fee waiver be available for small organizations?   

A license fee waiver will be available for organizations that would experience financial hardship by paying a license fee. These organizations will be required to submit a license fee waiver request form. Financial organizations that originate less than $500 million or fewer than 1,000 loans within a calendar year will be eligible for a license fee waiver.  Service providers and vendors that have 10 or fewer employees will be eligible for a license fee waiver.  It is important to note that these organizations will still be required to have a license to use MISMO products.  The waiver is only a waiver of the license fee and must be renewed annually when the related license comes up for renewal.  

MISMO never charged for a license in the past. Why now?  

As the mortgage industry expands and becomes increasingly interconnected, the need for the development and timely delivery of new standards and other collateral has grown tremendously. Meeting these demands in a timely manner will require MISMO to add professional staff, tools and other resources. Since MISMO members receive licenses as a benefit of membership, the new license fees will incentivize organizations to join MISMO and become involved in the standards development process, ensuring that organizations that benefit from the standards contribute to their development and maintenance.   

How much will the new 2018 Licenses cost for MISMO members?   

The new 2018 End-User License and 2018 Distributor License are included as a benefit of membership for MISMO members. This applies to all versions of the MISMO standards and logical data dictionary in addition to all MISMO collateral that are related to MISMO standards. However, MISMO reserves the right to change this policy at a future time.   

How much will the new 2018 Licenses cost for non-members?  

For non-members the 2018 Distributor License will cost:

  • $2,250 if non-members are using MISMO standards or collateral to build technology for commercial sale and
  • $1,500 if non-members are building technology they share with partners.

  For non-members the 2018 End-User License will cost $1,500 if non-members are using MISMO products to build technology for internal use.  

Both the 2018 End-User and 2018 Distributor Licenses cover the use of MISMO products released on or after January 1, 2018.  In some cases, access to the standards may be free if the organization is using the standards for research or other purposes that do not result in the use of the standards to build new technology. For a tabular view of license scenarios and pricing, please see page 5 of the License Initiative Briefing Deck.  

The 2004 End-User License is free to non-members and is automatically granted to anyone accessing or using those standards.  

Costs for MISMO collateral will vary for each MISMO product.   

How long do the 2018 Distributor and 2018 End-User licenses last?   

The 2018 Distributor License must be renewed on an annual basis.  The duration of the 2018 End-User License will be determined by the terms under which the end user acquires the license.  In most cases the 2018 End-User License must be renewed on an annual basis.  In some instances, such as for the purchase of an implementation guide, annual renewal is not required.  Licenses held by MISMO members will be renewed automatically when membership is renewed at the beginning of the calendar year.  License renewal will be on a calendar year basis, consistent with membership.   

Is it better to join MISMO rather than pay non-member license fees?  

Yes. Membership in MISMO is $2,500 annually, only $250 more than the cost of a Distributor License and $1,000 more than the cost of an End-User License.   If you plan to use MISMO standards and one additional MISMO product, such as an implementation guide, you will save money by joining MISMO. In addition to getting licenses included as a member benefit, MISMO members receive early access to standards and collateral in development and access to MISMO Connect, our member only collaboration portal, as well as many other benefits.   

Do the new licenses and fees apply to all MISMO products?  

No. The new 2018 licenses and fees only apply to standards and collateral released on or after January 1, 2018. The 2004 End-User License continues to apply to standards and collateral released prior to January 1, 2018.  

When will the changes take effect?  

The new license structures will be applicable for MISMO standards or collateral released on or after January 1, 2018.   

Do MISMO license holders need to acknowledge use of MISMO?    

Yes.  If you have a 2018 Distributor License, you will need to use appropriate language that states your technology or product uses MISMO standards or collateral and make a reasonable effort to encourage end users to register as MISMO product users.   If you have a 2018 End-User License, you will need to acknowledge to users of your technology that you are using MISMO standards or collateral, just like the requirement today.  

How do I determine when a particular MISMO product was issued?   

All MISMO products contain a release date. Each MISMO product also contains a reference to the license that governs its use. MISMO products are available on mismo.org.  MISMO is in the process of updating mismo.org to ensure release dates are clearly marked for all products. During the transition to the new license scheme there may be an exception to the release date rule such that in the event that Version 3.5 of the MISMO Reference Model is released on or after January 1, 2018 it will be grandfathered in and subject to the 2004 End-User License.   

We developed software that uses MISMO standards, but only use it in-house. Do we need a license?  

Yes, a license is required by any organization using the MISMO standards.  

I purchased software that uses MISMO standards from a vendor. Do I need a license?   

No. Organizations that rely on third-party technology (e.g., LOS) that incorporates MISMO products do not need a MISMO license. However, if the third-party technology that you are using incorporates MISMO products issued on or after January 1, 2018 then your vendor is required to have a valid MISMO Distributor License.   MISMO will be posting a Distributor License Registry on mismo.org.  Once available, you should check the Registry to make sure your vendor has the appropriate license.  If they don't, you may want to inquire as to the release date of the MISMO product they are using to determine if a 2018 Distributor License is required.     

We use the standards, but we have not developed any technology. Will we still need an End-User License?  

If you've downloaded the standards directly from MISMO but do not plan to develop any technology, you will still need an End-User License but there will be no fee.    

We want to use MISMO implementation guides to create products for our clients. Do we need a license?  

Yes. Under the current and new license provisions, you need a license to use all MISMO products, including implementation guides or any work created through MISMO. If your product is based on MISMO standards or collateral (which includes implementation guides) released after December 31, 2017 and you are sharing these products with others or using them to create your own products or services that are shared with others, you will need a Distributor License.  

Our product is certified MISMO compliant through the MISMO software certification process. Do we still need a license?  

Yes. MISMO software compliance certification is not the same thing as a license to use or distribute technology created using the MISMO standards.      

I'm not a member of MISMO. Our company distributes three different products based on MISMO standards. Do I have to pay for three different licenses?   

No. Each MISMO license is a corporate license. If you have a Distributor License you can develop and distribute as many technologies based on MISMO collateral as you like as long as the License remains in good standing; however, there may be an additional fee to obtain certain pieces of collateral.   

I am an appraiser.  Do I need to have a license?   

No.  So long as the MISMO based software you are using to conduct the appraisals was developed by a third party you do not need to have a license.

Our technology is only partially based on MISMO standards, but is completely different. Do we still need a license?  

Yes. If your organization utilized any MISMO product in any way to develop technology, a license is required. If the MISMO product you are using was released on or after January 1, 2018, either a 2018 Distributor License or a 2018 End-User License would apply depending on whether the technology will be used internally or distributed to others.  

I'm a freelance developer/consultant building technology for someone else. Do I need a license?  

If you are under contract as a consultant to build MISMO based technology for someone else you do not need a license so long as the organization that hired you has the appropriate MISMO license in good standing.  Your rights in this scenario are limited to use of the MISMO standards or collateral solely for the benefit of the licensed company to whom you are under contract.   

If I distribute products based on some MISMO standards and use other MISMO standards internally, do I need both the 2018 End-User License and the 2018 Distributor License?  

No. The 2018 Distributor License also covers the internal use of MISMO products.  However, if you originally obtained a 2018 End-User License for internal use of MISMO products released after December 31, 2017 and later decided to distribute them or any other product you have created then you will need to obtain a 2018 Distributor License.   

We're a very small startup and every penny counts. What if we cannot afford a license?  

A license fee waiver will be available for organizations that would experience financial hardship by paying a license fee. You will need to submit a license fee waiver request form to request the waiver.  The form must be re-submitted annually. If you are a lender and originate less than $500 million or fewer than 1,000 loans within a calendar year, you will be granted a license fee waiver.  Vendors that have 10 or fewer employees will be granted a license fee waiver.  MISMO recognizes that the fee waiver criteria may not cover all possible scenarios.  MISMO may grant a fee waiver in other circumstances as it deems appropriate in its sole discretion.  

Keep in mind that the waiver is only a waiver of the license fee. You will still be required to have a license to use the MISMO standards or collateral.   

My question wasn't answered here. Who can help me?   

Contact MISMO staff at info@mismo.org or by calling 202-557-2880.    

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Endnote:

Future modifications of the terms and conditions of the MISMO Licenses are subject to review and approval by the MISMO Board of Directors.