Real Estate Photography image rights

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Diafine Regular Member • Posts: 116
Re: Real Estate Photography image rights

You’re getting incomplete and misleading answers, partly because your question is unclear (and may be that way in order to elicit the answers you want.)

First thing: You need to tell us exactly what your agreement with the Realtor says. What specific rights are you licensing to him/her?

Yes, you own the copyright to the photos you made. That may or may not be important in this case. If, for instance, you’ve licensed the photos for the promotion of an individual property, in media commonly used by real estate agents for that purpose, while you do own the photos the Realtor is allowed to use them to showcase that home (in print or on the web.)

Further, if this website guy is making sites to sell individual properties at the behest of the Realtor, and for the purpose of marketing those specific properties, you may not have anything to complain about. The case would be no different than if the Realtor hired a graphic designer to make a flyer for the property, using your photos. That's why he/she had you make them in the first place, right?

It all comes back to your agreement with the Realtor. In the absence of a written contract, enumerating specific licensed rights (including duration), it would likely come down to your verbal agreement AND/OR whatever the customs, standards, and practices are for that industry. If the Realtor paid you to make pictures, it's assumed that he/she did so in order to sell that property — and since Realtors use the web to do so in this day and age, it would be reasonable for the website guy to make a site using those pictures. Follow?

Again: you own the pictures. That is (likely) not in dispute. What you agreed to allow the Realtor to do with those pictures is what the discussion needs to be about, and to get proper answers you need to divulge what you agreed to.

(Yes, I have done a lot of photographic work in the real estate industry. Yes, I have taken legal action against agents who infringed my copyright. I learned a lot in the process.)

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