January 6th, 2016
I recently watched a video on Realtor.org about “Listing Photo Copyright Issues”
In it, they present 3 types of agreements for realtors to use as templates when hiring photographers (all available for download)
The first is a “Work for Hire” which I know few RE Photographers would agree to as it transfers ownership AND all rights to the realtor.
The second is an “Assignment Agreement”, again – transferring title and ALL rights to the realtor
The third, however – while a more ideal agreement type “Exclusive License Agreement”, but the reason for my email is they have included the below language:
“Photographer hereby grants to Brokerage an exclusive worldwide royalty-free license in perpetuity to reproduce, distribute, display, prepare derivate works of, and publicly perform the Images in connection with the real estate industry, including without limitation such uses of the Images in connection with advertising real property and to authorize and sublicense such rights to third parties at Brokerage’s discretion.“
While this does allow the photographer to retain ownership of the images, if I were to agree to this language – the realtor would be able to authorize and sublicense MY images to 3rd parties – (I.E. other agents after the initial listing ends, architects, designers, stagers, etc).
I’m pointing this out here as these are the agreement suggestions from the NAR, and I would guess that many realtors will prefer to use them as opposed to generate one on their own. I want to make sure we photographers understand exactly what we are being asked to agree to.
Excellent point! Thanks for pointing this language out. I’d seen the video but I didn’t download them and look at the text carefully. Obviously, this was written by the NAR legal counsel who probably has never discussed this subject with a photographer. So it’s slanted toward making things convenient for the Brokerage… totally up to their discretion!
The point is because the NAR has created these licenses agreements photographers are likely going to encounter them. You may even get push-back from Realtors who would rather use the NAR agreement than yours but as Derek points out the NAR Exclusive License Agreement allows the Broker to “sublicense such rights to third parties at Brokerage’s discretion.”
As an alternative, in my Business of Real Estate Photography e-book I have a license agreement written by Joel Rothman, an IP attorney who has represented PFRE readers in successful litigations. Joel’s license agreement is written to with photographers rights in mind.