Archive for the 'Legal' Category

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 […]

Can Previous Listing Agents or Homeowners Control the Use of Your Real Estate Photos?

January 16th, 2017

Jim in New Mexico asks the following question: I recently shot a home for a new broker who just got the listing. Since I photographed the same home 1 year ago for another broker and the previous seller, I felt compelled to use some of the previous summer season shots of the yards. All interior […]

Do Real Estate Photographers Need to Ask For Permission to Use Listing Photo For Their Own Marketing?

October 17th, 2016

Summer in California asks: Do I need to ask permission from the realtor, or homeowner to use the photos I take of their listing for my own marketing (website, social media, mailers, etc.)?

Copyright Registration Workflow For Real Estate Photographers

October 11th, 2016

I got a question from Brandon on copyright workflow: I can’t find anything definitive in either the Flickr group or on the website/blog. Is there a general consensus (or at least a fairly reliable source) on the current exact recommended procedure for “bulk-registering” image copyrights? For example, registering four times per year as groups of […]

What are the rules of selling a license to images with posters or art on the walls homes?

September 26th, 2016

Brian asked the following question: Recently, I was shooting a property that was being relisted. The homeowner had lots of images of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley on the walls of a 2nd-floor loft/pool table area. And this dawned on me; What are the rules of selling a license to images with posters or art […]

Licensed Agent/Photographers May Not Be Able To Retain Photo Copyrights For Their Listing Photos

September 22nd, 2016

Alexander Stross who is a licensed agent in Austin, TX and a photographer sent me a link to Venkat Balasubramani’s article over at  describing a suit that Alexander filed against Redfin. The 5th circuit court recently ruled against Alexander. The essence of the case is as follows: Stross is a photographer and broker who participates […]

What To Charge For Neighborhood Photos For Real Estate Use

September 18th, 2016

Brad in Idaho asks: I live in a resort town and have a couple clients that would like to use my touristy (non-real estate) photos on their listings and websites. I have a lot of questions and I’m not sure how to go about charging them. Do I charge a per listing fee? Is $25-50 […]

Are Real Estate Photographers Open To Risk Of Liability From Privacy or Security Issues?

September 8th, 2016

Jonathan asked the following question: I just got off the phone with a potential client whom after nit-picking my service agreement brought up a point that made me wonder if I’m missing an important indemnification point in my contract: She told me that her new listing agreements state that there may be “residual exposure” After […]

Can I Relicense A Photo? Do I Need A Property Release?

July 26th, 2016

Nicola (on the West Coast of the US) asked the following: I was hired by a local newspaper to photograph a real estate piece for a high profile house sale that used to belong to a celebrity politician in the old days but was owned and redone by another owner. The house looked completely different […]

Update On The CoreLogic Class Action Suit

July 12th, 2016

Today Joel Rothman sent me the following status update on the CoreLogic Class Action suit we’ve been following for the last 2 years: On behalf of plaintiffs Robert Stevens and Steven Vandel, we are disappointed at the decision of the District Court for the Southern District of California dismissing the plaintiffs’ complaint against CoreLogic for removal […]

Are There Photographers Rights Violations Going On Here?

June 20th, 2016

Thomas in Houston pointed out this listing and said: I was surfing RE porn and this listing came up. I noticed that Zillow claims the copyright to the photos. I doubt that anyone from Zillow took those pictures. I guess this happens when the portals strip the meta-data and claim the works as their own. […]