COPYRIGHT VIOLATIONS ARE ON THE RISE
MIAMI REALTORS®’ members have seen an uptick in demand letters and lawsuits alleging copyright infringement based on the photographs in MLS listings. REALTOR® members across the state are also seeing this – even when the alleged copyright violation stems from a listing that is not theirs. To learn more about copyright laws, watch our legal education video on Miami Realtors Live.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COPYRIGHT VIOLATIONS WITHIN YOUR IDX FEED
There are five steps you can take to protect yourself from copyright violations within your IDX feed. This is called the “safe-harbor” protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). You, and each of your agents, as service providers and/or website providers, MUST take five steps to protect yourself if you are republishing images.
5 STEPS TO GET COPYRIGHT SAFE HARBOR PROTECTIONS
- You cannot have actual knowledge of the infringing content.
- You must be unaware of the facts/circumstances from which the infringement is apparent.
- Do not receive any financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity.
- Act quickly to remove the infringing content when notified. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Provide a way for receiving notice of the infringing content. Register a person with the U.S. Copyright Office as the designated agent to receive notices about infringement, and post that person’s name, address, phone number and email address on your website. Use the template that NAR has provided (see below!).
TEMPLATE FOR YOUR WEBSITE
NAR and FLORDA REALTORS® recommend that the following information should appear on every REALTOR®’s website:
If you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated by [brokerage name] or by a third party who has uploaded content on our site, please provide the following information to the [brokerage name]-designated copyright agent listed below:
a. A description of the copyrighted work or other intellectual property that you claim has been infringed.
b. A description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the website.
c. An address, telephone number and email address where [brokerage name] can contact you and, if different, an email address where the alleged infringing party, if not [brokerage name], can contact you.
d. A statement that you have a good-faith belief that the use is not authorized by the copyright or other intellectual property rights owner, by its agent or by law.
e. A statement by you under penalty of perjury that the information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright or intellectual property owner or authorized to act on the owner’s behalf.
f. Your electronic or physical signature.
[Brokerage name] may request additional information before removing any infringing material.
[Brokerage name] may provide the alleged infringing party with your email address so that person can respond to your allegations.
[Brokerage name] has registered a designated agent with the Copyright Office pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 512(c). If you believe your copyright material is being used on this site without permission, please notify the designated agent at:
[Brokerage’s Designated Agent name, address and contact information].
SOURCE: FLORIDA REALTORS®, “Uh Oh! Your IDX Used My Copyrighted Photo— Now, Pay Me $800,” last accessed July 12, 2022.