Who’s photos are these anyway?

Many real estate agents post their listings on Zillow, Trulia, and the MLS with “borrowed” photographs from other agents past or current listings. Most real estate agents do not know if they are actually “stealing” these photos and infringing on copyright issues until they receive a cease and desist letter from a professional photographer or Agent who owns those rights.

Real Estate Attorneys are jumping in as lawsuits are arising as more and more Real Estate agents are using professional photographers consistently for their listings. These photographers have very specific right of use agreements they have been contracted under. Agents are paying for these professional pictures in hopes to stir greater attention and sell properties faster! Certainly, great pictures capture attention and stir excitement.

With more money being spent, a greater desire to protect these photographs is taking the internet by storm. Some programs prevent anyone from copying and pasting, however, even encrypted photographs can still be worked around and captured.

So what’s a real estate agent to do? Most Professional photographers already have a policy and system in place. Contact your photographer and let them know someone is infringing on your copyrighted photographs. If you didn’t establish an agreement with your photographer yet or your looking to hire someone, photography agreements can be found on Realtor.org, however if your hoping for a more clear picture, you’re hiring a photographer, or you’re being sued –  Call Jim at 561-838-9595 or email at [email protected]

*Photo credit to Adrian Wilcox, with Adrian Wilcox Photography and Modern Living Real Estate

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