Archive for the 'Legal' Category

House Bill Brings the Possibility of a Small Claims Copyright System One Step Closer

October 10th, 2017

Last week there was a post over on on the new House Bill introduced to deal with the small claims copyright problem we are all aware of. Michael Zhang says:

Can Homeowners Claim Rights to Listing Photos after Their Property Is Sold?

October 2nd, 2017

Kelvin in Montana asks: The owner of a listing I shot two years ago is claiming that because they remodeled a home, the property rights of the photos of the home when it was in that stage belonged to them… This guy was saying I couldn’t/shouldn’t be able to sell photos from 2 years ago […]

Digital Media Licensing Association Launches Special Real Estate Photographers Membership

October 1st, 2017

Last week, Brian Balduf, the CEO and co-founder of VHT Studios, contacted me about the fact that the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) is launching a registration drive encouraging real estate photographers to join their association. Brian’s company, VHT, is one of the biggest real estate photography companies in the US and they recently won a […]

Is Putting Screen Captures from Movies on TV Screens in Interior Images a Copyright Violation?

September 25th, 2017

Bruce in Connecticut asks: Recently I shot a home with a couple of movie theaters and the homeowner has asked if I could put clips of Forest Gump on one screen and a clip from Rocky on another. I am reluctant to do so as I don’t know the ramifications with regards to copyright. I […]

Does a Client Modifying Your Video Constitute Copyright Infringement?

August 23rd, 2017

Ken in Texas said: I recently shot some photos and video of a vacant lot for a Realtor. I asked him if he wanted music on the video and he declined. A few days later, I saw the video on his YouTube channel and he had added music to it. He also linked to that […]

When Flying a Drone, Do You Need a Property Release for Neighboring Properties?

July 31st, 2017

Peter in California says: Grant Johnston, who advertises on your blog, had a good question on his own Video blog. Is there an existing photo consent form that includes drone shooting as well as property release in existence? I have left this up to my clients who have photo consent as part of their contracts […]

What Are the Rules for Relicensing Real Estate Photos and Video?

June 22nd, 2017

Jack in Florida asks: I took photos and a video of a large property that has been for sale for close to two years. The Realtor I did this for contacted me and said that the seller would like to purchase the images and video from me. I was wondering if there any problems in […]

Should Real Estate Photographers Write Text for Listings?

May 5th, 2017

Daniel in New Jersey asked: I’m curious to know if any photographers are writing listing descriptions for their agents as an add-on? I’ve recently been contacted by an agent who was interested in this service and gave me some figures as to what he was willing to pay. I must admit, I’m a bit tempted. […] is Using an Image Stolen From Scott Hargis’s Book to Market Their Services!

May 4th, 2017

Matthew Stallone pointed out to me a few days ago that a marketing email being sent to many real estate photographers by Images Re-Touch is using an image stolen from Scott Hargis’s Lighting Interiors book (Figure 14.8 on page 169). They cropped the image to get rid of the “Figure 14.8” on the lower left […]

Do You Ever Need a Property Release When Shooting Real Estate?

April 4th, 2017

Craig in Virginia asks: I just wanted to pose another scenario based on your topic a week or so ago. This has not happened to me, but I can see its possibility. On that recent subject, you wrote about the problem that someone who has just bought a home is now demanding that all photos […]

The Majority of Realtors Believe that They Own Photos They Pay For

March 15th, 2017

It’s pretty clear that the majority of listing agents believe that they own the photos real estate photographers shoot for their listings. Here is some evidence:

New Homeowner Claims a Property Video Violates His Privacy

March 13th, 2017

Adam in Virginia says: Recently a broker I work for, we can call him Fred, received a letter from an attorney. In the letter it stated that the current owner of a large estate that Fred had sold in November of 2016 had seen a marketing video put out by Fred’s firm. This video contained […]

Blockbuster $8M+ Verdict Against Zillow for Copyright Infringement of Real Estate Photos

February 14th, 2017

This article by Joel Rothman reposted from VHT, the real estate photo giant, filed suit for copyright infringement against Zillow Group in July 2015 alleging that Zillow had been stealing tens of thousands of VHT’s photos and illegally using them for its own profit and gain on the Zillow Digs website. At the end […]

Should You Be Concerned When Realtors Watermark Their Listing Photos?

February 13th, 2017

Ryan in Texas asks: Should I be concerned about listing services that allow a Realtor to watermark their listing photos? The watermarking of photos appears to advertise the realtor’s services and prevent the photos’ subsequent appropriation by another realtor or broker should the listing agent lose the listing, but it seems like a slippery slope. […]

How Should Real Estate Photographers Deal with Non-Compete Agreements?

February 5th, 2017

I had two questions on non-compete agreements last week. Both readers asked for examples of non-compete agreements as if there is some right way to write one. Over the years everyone I’ve talked to about non-compete agreements they’ve signed have found themselves in a disastrous situation after wanting to work on their own. My advice on […]