February 24th, 2016
Remember the Class Action suit we talked about last May? Well, it’s not settled. Today I talked to Joel Rothman and Darren Quinn the lawyers that filed the suit on behalf of real estate photographers and the need your help. The following is their request for help with this suit.
Many real estate photographers have learned that photo metadata can be used by photographers to track their photographs and identify infringements. Joel Rothman and Darren Quinn are two lawyers who have filed a nationwide class action lawsuit on behalf of real estate photographers against CoreLogic Inc., the country’s leading providing of software to upload photos to a multiple listing service (MLS).
The federal lawsuit alleges that CoreLogic systematically stripped out metadata (including Artist and Copyright) from images uploaded to MLS’s operated by CoreLogic or that use CoreLogic software. The lawsuit alleges that CoreLogic distributes the photos with the stripped metadata through various CoreLogic services.
The law CoreLogic is accused of violating (17 U.S.C. §1202) was adopted by Congress in 1998 as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA. The DMCA protects copyright owners from the removal of information embedded in digital image files, such as information that identifies the photographer, the title of the work, and its owner. Copyright Management Information, or CMI, is used by photographers worldwide to protect against piracy.
Joel and Darren filed the class action lawsuit with the help of two professional real estate and architectural photographers, Robert Stevens of Florida and Steven Vandel of California. Stevens and Vandel seek class certification on behalf of all real estate photographers whose photographs have had CMI stripped out by CoreLogic without authorization.
Since the lawsuit was filed, CoreLogic claims to have fixed their software. Joel and Darren want to test whether CoreLogic has really fixed their software to see if all the important metadata fields (including IPTC Core and IPTC Extension metadata fields (more info here) are being saved and not stripped when photographs are uploaded to CoreLogic software.
Will you help Joel and Darren? They need real estate photographers who license their photos to agents that are members of an MLS that use CoreLogic software (Matrix or Innovia) to take part in a test of photo metadata to see what photo metadata fields are preserved by CoreLogic’s software. If you are not sure if your MLS uses CoreLogic software Joel or Darren can tell you (the majority of MLSs in the US use CoreLogic).
Specifically, Joel and Darren need volunteers who can either provide an address for photographs they have licensed in the past year with full photo metadata, including Basic, IPTC and IPTC Extension, or add this metadata to photographs for a new listing and provide that address. More information on adding photo metadata using Lightroom or Photoshop can be found here:
If you email Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org and Darren at email@example.com they can explain further.
Thanks to all PFRE readers willing to help with this important issue!