WHO OWNS THE PHOTOS?
Under the Federal Copyright Act, photographs are protected by copyright from the moment of creation. Photographers have the exclusive right to reproduce their photographs. Unless you have permission from the photographer, you can’t copy, distribute (no scanning and sending them to others), publicly display, or create derivative works from photographs. Professional photographers are dependent on their ability to control the reproduction of the photographs they create. It affects their income and the livelihood of their families. Even small levels of infringement can have a devastating impact on a photographer’s ability to make a living. Copyright infringements—reproducing photos without permission—can result in civil and criminal penalties.
Images cannot be sold to another agent who takes over an expired or withdrawn listing.
In order to provide you with the best service and support at reasonable pricing, we do not sell our photos for Real Estate Photography. We are licensing use of the photos. My low rates are dependent on using the photographs for a limited period and protecting you, myself and the clients by retaining copyright. The service agreement is a Limited License Release. Only the licensee has permission to use the images.
Generally my photos are Licensed for use - *The photographer issues a limited license for the client to use the images under this contract in his or her MLS listing and in other promotional materials intended to sell the property under his/her current contract with the property owner. Those images may NOT be transferred to subsequent listing agents or the client in the event that the property does not sell under the terms of the current contract.*
- Builders, stagers, designers, or “third parties” that wish to use images must contact the photographer directly for licensing and fees.
- Photo credit must be given to Elevated Coastal Photography when used on any and all social media sites
- Unauthorized use of images is a copyright violation.
I actually do offer exclusive licensing of photos for use by the purchaser and photographer only for an additional fee. This licensing means only that Client and the photographer will have use of the photos and they will not be permitted to sell/give/transfer or license elsewhere not by the photographer or Client.
Home sellers and buyers may certainly request a copy of the photos from photographer only. Licensees may not give rights to, give copies or 'transfer' the photos to anyone else. Please have home sellers and buyers contact me.
Another Agent Wants to Use the Photos
I always prefer to re-shoot a home as the cost to re-license usage of a property is the same as if it was just photographed. Not all photo sets are available as they may have exclusive licensing. No photos can be sold/transferred to any other agent by a client. Only by myself.
What can't the agent do?
Even if an agent has a copy of the photograph, they cannot give it to any person or entity to use that is not outlined in the usage license. The photos are simply not theirs to give. Only the copyright holder can grant further licensing. The photos have in essence been rented as outlined by who can use the photos, for what purpose and the time frame in addition to any other stipulations. The licensee cannot assume more usage than they are granted. They also cannot transfer the usage to someone else.
Sometimes people just think they can save photos out there on the internet and use elsewhere or give to other agents when they relist- but when someone uses copyrighted material without permission a variety of things can happen. It can range from nothing to take down orders and/or payment including damages to a Federal Lawsuit with damages up to $150,000 per photo. Also be aware that watermark removal is also a crime.