Copyright Infringement When a Real Estate Agent Uses Another’s Photos For Your Listing 

When a real estate agent uses another’s photos? 

When it comes to real estate marketing, one of the most important things an agent can do is provide potential buyers with beautiful photographs that represent your home in its best light. A bad photograph can be a deal breaker for a prospective buyer and lead to them moving on from the listing. 

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There are a few key ways to protect yourself from copyright infringement when reusing another’s photos of a property for your listing. The first is to ensure that the original photos are yours or that the owner has given you permission to use them. The second is to use List Hub’s data protections, which remove all listing photos from the website once a house has been sold or taken off the market. 

If a real estate agent has used other agents’ photos for their own listings, it is extremely dangerous. The reason for this is that these agents can get into legal trouble for using other people’s photos without their consent or knowledge. 

Some MLS systems impose hefty fines on copyright infringement, and these fines can build up quickly. In fact, some MLS systems will even levy a $50 per day fine on a real estate agent for every day that they infringe on another’s copyrights. 

Copyright Protections for Photography 

When a real estate agent hires a professional photographer to take photographs of a property, they have certain rights to those photos under the Federal Copyright Act. This means that the agent doesn’t just own the photographs when they deliver them; they have an exclusive right to use those photos for a specified period of time, typically the length of the contract that they signed with the photographer. 

A real estate agent may also have the option of obtaining a license from the owner of the copyright to use those photographs for a limited amount of time as long as they don’t sell them. If this is the case, the broker can only use those photos a certain number of times and must include a copyright notice that says who owns the photographs and that they are for marketing purposes. 

The broker can also impose a license fee for the use of those images. This is a way for the broker to control the usage of the images and ensure that they are being used properly. 

Other Licensed Real Estate Agency Content 

A property management company or other reselling agency may own existing photography of a property that was created by a third-party and transferred to them for use in specific circumstances (e.g., to sell a property relatively soon after it was first on the market). In this scenario, the agency may be in breach of copyright law if they use those photos for marketing purposes. 

Real estate agents can be especially prone to copyright infringement because they often use the same photographers for multiple properties. They may have hired those photographers to take the photographs for their own business purposes and then reuse them for other listings, without their client’s permission.