Listing Photos & Copyright Law: What You Need to Know

Best Practices for Uploading Listing Photos

Recommended Minimum size: 1024 px x 768

*This is the minimum recommended size of photos to show your listing photographs at the highest quality throughout the internet display. To ensure that you meet this criteria, please make sure you are uploading the full resolution photos from your photographer or camera, not a version labeled “copy.”*

CCIMLS Photo Policy: Maximum # of Photos per listing – 35

All listings must have at least one photo prior to be active in CCIMLS. The first photo entered shall be the Primary Listing Photo, which can be updated upon the additional photo entry.

 

Properties will also be required to have one (1) exterior, front facing photo, which does not need to be the primary. This requirement was added so properties can be easily identified for showings.*

*Under Construction/To Be Built: Photo(s) must be clearly marked as such on both the proposed photo/sketch submitted and in the remarks of the listing. A detailed sketch or rendering is acceptable and should clearly state that it is proposed. Photo(s) taken from the actual land or a proposed floor plan marked as such are also acceptable.

Condominium: A photo of the sign in front of the development or a photo of the entire complex and/or unit, whatever is most applicable.

Land Listings: A photo or sketch of the property is acceptable.

 

Photo Copyright

Warning: Do not take photographs from prior listings without written consent of the copyright holder. Generally, the homeowner does not have the copyright license to the photos. Depending on the listing agent and the photographer, the copyright may lie with the listing agent or the photographer. To avoid any potential copyright conflicts, CCIMLS encourages you to procure your own original images. It does not matter whether you use ‘just one or two’ or 35 photos you do not own – using a photo without the written consent of the copyright holder is a violation of federal copyright law and CCIMLS policy. The copyright holder has a clear legal right to force a take down of violating content and can seek penalties against those who violate copyright law. 

The same policies and copyright law also applies to area photos. Photos you find on a Google Image search, social media or other sites are often protected by copyright law and are subject to the same rules and regulations as listing photos. If you want to include a photo of a beach or a sunset in your listing photos, CCIMLS encourages you to procure the photo on your own or through a hired photographer.

The CCIMLS Rules & Regulations explain that the act of submitting listing content into the MLS, which includes photographs, represents that you have been authorized to grant such content into the MLS.

CCIMLS requires you have to own or have access to the use the photos at listing input. To be a participant or subscriber to CCIMLS, a member has agreed to CCIMLS that he/she already has the rights to listing photos, that their contributions to the MLS do not infringe on copyrights, and that the MLS can use photos for all MLS purposes, which includes facilitating the sale, lease, and valuation of real property. One problem is that a lot of these photographer agreements only cover photo usage for marketing purposes, and do not extend beyond that. This puts the broker or agent at risk for copyright infringement if the broker breaches the photographer agreement.

 

What should I do if someone uses my photos in the MLS?
You can contact the MLS office. The CCIMLS Citation Policy includes language pertaining to the wrongful use of photographs, including the use of photos without getting the proper authorization.

The following video provided by NAR discusses copyright issues relating to listing photographs:

2018-05-03T16:27:00+00:00
X