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.  

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, an organization is also 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.    

What kind of MISMO license do I need? The type of license an organization is required to have and the associated license fee, if any, depend on when the specified MISMO Product (standard or collateral) was released and how the organization uses and or shares the MISMO Product.  For more information and detailed scenarios, see section 1.4.1 License Types and Related Terms and Conditions with MISMO's Policies and Procedures document.

What types of licenses are available? MISMO provides several licensed usages of products including Read Only, Internal Use Only, Non-Commercial Distributor, and Commercial Distributor. Each MISMO product includes an indication of the type of license and usage that are provided and allowable.   

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.  Each MISMO product includes an indication of the type of license and usage that are provided and allowable.  

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. 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.  For more information regarding the license fee waiver, contact info@mismo.org  

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.     

Is it better to join MISMO rather than pay non-member license fees?   Yes. Membership in MISMO is $3,500 annually. 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 MISMO license holders need to acknowledge use of MISMO? Yes.  Depending on the type of license attached to the MISMO product, you will need to use appropriate language that states your technology or product uses MISMO standards or collateral and you are required to make a reasonable effort to encourage end users to register as MISMO product users.   If you have an End-User License, you will need to acknowledge to users of your technology that you are using MISMO standards or collateral.    

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 and within MISMO Connect, MISMO's member-only access collaboration site .   

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 Commercial Distributor License.   If you would like to check whether or not your vendor is on MISMO's License Registry, send an email to info@mismo.org.  

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 for Read Only access.      

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 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.  

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.     

We're a very small startup and every penny counts. What if we cannot afford a license? A license fee waiver, per product, will be available for organizations that would experience financial hardship by paying for a MISMO standard. You will need to submit a 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 waiver.  Vendors that have 10 or fewer employees will be granted a 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 fee, should there be one. 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.