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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> You've heard of stupid criminals.....
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09/03/2008 01:25:06 PM · #1
...that's what this reminds me of. It's not criminal, but it is unethical in my business of real estate.

I can't believe it. lol

A while ago, I noticed an agent had copied a photo I took for one of my old listings, and was using it on her MLS (Multiple Listing Sevice) listing. It's a condo building and she was using my outside shot of the building for her unit. This is a no-brainer MLS violation - plus the building now has all new decks, so it's not even accurate.

I sent her a short email asking her to remove my photo from her listing (didn't go straight to MLS out of courtesy to her.) More than a week later I notice the picture is still there. I sent her another email telling her to remove the photo by the end of the day (yesterday.)

TODAY....I double check to see if she removed the photo and she did- but she replaced it with ANOTHER pirated photo of the building - AND IT'S MY PHOTO AGAIN! It's from another older listing in the same building.

I honestly don't think she realizes she stole from the same person twice, even though Realtor names are prominantly on the listings. I have called MLS, but I do have to laugh a little.
09/03/2008 01:32:44 PM · #2
lol, you should send her a link to a cheap point and shoot and tell her to go take her own photos!
09/03/2008 02:18:30 PM · #3
Uhm, actually.... it is criminal.

Call your lawyer. If she sells the property using your picture, you may be entitled to part of the commision. That should get the message across quite nicely.
09/03/2008 02:22:31 PM · #4
Originally posted by Trinch:

Uhm, actually.... it is criminal.

Call your lawyer. If she sells the property using your picture, you may be entitled to part of the commision. That should get the message across quite nicely.


I saw the case where a photog won something in the multi-million dollars because the photos were used to sell some expensive houses. They were registered however, and that might make some difference. (Actually IIRC I think it didn't matter in this case.)

Anybody know the case I'm talking about? It was posted here a month or so back.
09/03/2008 02:35:52 PM · #5
You have more rights and the penalties for the infringer are greater if the photo is registered, but I think the registration has to occur prior to the infringing use.

See this thread for way more information.
09/03/2008 02:47:33 PM · #6
Really, all she had to do was ask. Honestly if she would have asked up front, I would have allowed its usage no problem. It's not a work of art or useful for anything else. We all try to get along because we work deals with these other agents. If she would have just taken the photo down, that would have been the end of it.

Also understand that this property has been on the market since FEBRUARY...so it's not like she hasn't had a chance to get there. There are even multiple interior shots which really aren't bad, so someone was there with a camera.

The second time she just blatantly took my shot, I have become not so nice. I just sent her an invoice for two property photo sessions (which I do on occassion for other Realtors.) I charge $25 to do local property shots (I'll add travel if it's out a ways) and she used two, so that's $50. I copied the email along with screen shots of the violations to her manager. I demanded that she remove the photo until payment is made, then she is welcome to use either one she chooses.

09/03/2008 02:58:38 PM · #7
Originally posted by jpochard:

I just sent her an invoice for two property photo sessions (which I do on occassion for other Realtors.) I charge $25 to do local property shots (I'll add travel if it's out a ways) and she used two, so that's $50. I copied the email along with screen shots of the violations to her manager. I demanded that she remove the photo until payment is made, then she is welcome to use either one she chooses.

That seems a good approach, especially going to the manager ...
09/03/2008 03:05:18 PM · #8
Originally posted by GeneralE:

You have more rights and the penalties for the infringer are greater if the photo is registered, but I think the registration has to occur prior to the infringing use.

See this thread for way more information.


A good read. Long, but very informative. I didn't really know anything about registering the photos, so this will be helpful for the future. Thanks for the link.
09/03/2008 04:53:51 PM · #9
Was on the news also. The owners/developers used the images without paying. So the photographer sued. The defendant didn't bother to show up in court. The law says the photographer is entitled to the profit the defendant made on the sale. So, since the defendant didn't show up, they awarded the photographer the sale prie of the property. I would assume that there will be an appeal, as there surely was some cost to build the buildings. Seems to me it was on the order of $12 million.
09/03/2008 05:11:41 PM · #10
Originally posted by ambaker:

The law says the photographer is entitled to the profit the defendant made on the sale. So, since the defendant didn't show up, they awarded the photographer the sale prie of the property. I would assume that there will be an appeal, as there surely was some cost to build the buildings.

If their accounting systems are anything like those in the film industry I'm sure they'll be able to show they took a loss on the deal ... :-(
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