– Crystal Vagnier – Select Group – Writer/Editor
It’s important that Realtors® understand the act of securing the copyrights of their listing photos. It’s not an easy topic to digest as multiple parties will insist they own their real estate images: real estate listing websites, MLSs, the listing agent, the broker, real estate photographers, and homeowners.
Many websites and MLSs will include in their Terms of Service’s fine print regarding the copyright of photography uploaded. If an agent or broker pays a photographer for their services, many photographers will have an agreement or contract stating that they own the rights to their images. Some Realtors® will find that some photographers will grant clients a limited license to use the images up to a certain time frame, for example, up to a year for marketing purposes. It is important to always read the fine print to see who actually owns the images before a lawsuit takes place.
Depending on what your needs are, it may be beneficial for a Realtor® to work with a photographer who is willing to release sole rights over a property’s images. When paying for images, research to see if you own unlimited rights. It will save you time and money along the way.