PHOTOS ON WEBSITES
Do you have the legal right to the photos that you post on your website or put into the MLS? If not, you could be forced to pay due to a copyright infringement. Even worse you can be legally obligated to pay, even if you are not the one who posted the photos. Here is a true life example: One of our members took a photo from the internet of a beach shot and added it to his listing. That photo displayed on another agent’s website via an IDX feed. The “Displaying Agent” was billed $580 for displaying copyrighted photo. The Displaying Agent may not have an out without creating a “Safe Harbor” through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
5 steps for DMCA Safe Harbor Protection:
- No posting of the infringing content yourself;
- No actual knowledge of the infringing content or awareness of facts or circumstances which really should have tipped you off that the content infringes a copyright;
- No receipt of a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity;
- Must act expeditiously to remove the infringing content when notified;
- Must have provided a means for receiving notice from copyright owners of infringing content (i,e. DMCA Takedown Notices), which INCLUDES registration of designated agent with U.S. Copyright Office.
The registration form can be found here: http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/agent.pdf
NAR has posted a video explaining this further. It can be found here: http://www.realtor.org/videos/window-to-the-law-copyright-infringement-safe-harbor