December 8th, 2014
Craig asks the following:
One of my agents called me the other day to say that a seller she had been working with had decided to go “FSBO” and was using the photos I had shot for her. I sent him an email that basically said “stop by midnight tonight, or I’ll consider legal action…”
He apologized profusely and promised to take the photos off his site (by the way he is a copywriter and has language on HIS website that forbids un…).
Here’s the problem: The agent called late to say that she had received another email from the seller stating that he had to take the photos down, but wrote “Here is a link to some fabulous photos!” which linked to a Trulia page of those same photos. I think the guy is a tool and I’m intrigued by his apparent lack of ethics …but do I have a leg to stand on? I know you’re not a lawyer, but do you have any thought on the subject?
In other words, do you think I can forbid him to even link to the photos since I own the rights? Can I single-out a user to keep them even from linking to a site like Trulia?
Craig, you’re right, I’m not a lawyer but here is my non-legal opinion:
- Per dmpl.org: “courts generally agree that linking to another website does not infringe the copyrights of that site, nor does it give rise to a likelihood of confusion necessary for a federal trademark infringement claim. However, different kinds of linking raise different legal issues, and the law is not entirely settled in all of these areas.” See: http://www.dmlp.org/
legal-guide/linking- copyrighted-materials for complete details.
- The original listing agent can get an account on Trulia or Zillow, claim the listing and delete it. If the agent doesn’t do this the listing and listing photos will eventually go away, but it will take a while. I have personally done this for listings on Zillow but never done it on Trulia.