The Red Dot, Vol. 1, Issue 1: May 2018

Photography and Copyrights

In April of 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the lower court’s decision in Stross v. Redfin, thereby reinstating a claim for copyright violation against Redfin.

The issue, however, impacts far more than Redfin, as it goes to the heart of what rights brokers and agents grant each other through the MLS. Because the real estate industry’s understanding of copyright law is so lacking, thousands of brokerages and agents are likely violating the intellectual property rights of thousands of photographers.

The interaction between MLS rules, photography copyright, and advances in technology creates a dangerous, volatile, and uncertain environment for brokerages, tech companies, and MLSs as well.

This Red Dot explains the issue in clear layman’s terms and makes recommendations for immediate and long-term action.

MLS Edition

Brokerage Edition

Technology Edition

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MLS Edition

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Brokerage Edition

Technology Edition