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I choose my battles as should everyone. Weigh the situation and then act or don't. Time, energy and success deserves our full attention
Pleasant Prairie, WI
Richie Alan Naggar
Stevens Point, WI
Follow the procedures of your MLS.
Lake Forest, CA
Notify your MLS of the infraction and your local board, as well. I would also send them a bill for your time and the copyright infringement with a letter from your attorney
Kathleen Daniels, Prob...
San Jose, CA
I would call them followed by a letter to remove. If they refuse i would immediately send a bill then call their managing brokers, then if ignored, call the state re commission
Nina Hollander, Broker
Tony and Suzanne Marri...
Have your attorney send them a cease and desist letter. If that doesn't get their attention, then consider the cost of a copyright or DMCA lawsuit.
Nina Hollander, Broker
Report to the MLS and follow up with what Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386 said.
Sandy Padula and Norm...
You need to report them to your mls... especially if they made a request in writing and you said no in writing.
Did they get permission from the photographer?
Anthony Acosta - ALLAT...
Absolutely have him take them down! My agreement with my photographer is that I OWN the photos that he takes - I'm the one that has to go after the theives! Good luck, Caroline Gerardo!
It is not allowed here unless you give expess consent. I had an agent do that to me 3 times.. SAME AGENT !! after I told him no, the first time, he did it again...my clients found he was using them and were upset because there were photos of her family included... I had to threatent to report him if he did not remove them immediately..
The copyrite law is likely on your side. But there is virtue and reward in being generous, especially with things that you no longer need or use.
When you are done with other things like furniture and clothing do you donate them to someone who can use them, or do you shread them so that nobody can find a use for them?
Stevens Point, WI
As Lenn Harley would say; get em Caroline Gerardo
Do you own the photos? Was that your understanding with your photographer? When we used photos that were not taken by our agent's photographer for their website, the agents buy them with an agreement that they own the photos. We have also leased on an annual basis photos and paid a fee for the use of that photo, each year. If you do own them, then I would have your attorney write a cease and desist letter. A
If it's online it's up for grabs when it comes to photos and images.
I really don't police my photos, I'm too busy thank God!
Stevens Point, WI
They are using material without permission. I suggest contacting their broker and demand the photos be removed. You can also file a complaint with the MLS that is posting them.
I would report them to the local board of REALTORS.
Give them a formal letter requesting a payment of $1000 per photo.
If they are using your photos, this is copyright infringement, and you should pursue them!
I would say no thanks also to these people.
Start with your MLS board and follow up with the agents. It happens in our area - most agents do remove the photos when asked. Good Luck!
They are using YOUR and the photographer's intellectual property to make money on THEIR website. This has nothing to do with MLS rules and regulations. Don't feel guilty about telling them to cease and desist, since that's how you feel. Period.
In our part of the world many of our photographers do not own the photos after we purchased them. I'd say take them to task!
I'd have a lawyer send a cease and desist letter to them and file a grievance with the board.
It drives me crazy when I see my photo's used on other people listing. Or you pull up a listing and see an old mls logo on the photo.. It really is a sign of the others agent lack of effort and responsibility to their sellers. I have had agents call and ask if they can use photo's and I may say yes as they asked. But not asking and just grabing the pictures is just wrong.
We are seeing a trend here after homes are sold (or right before closing) photos removed from the mls listing except one exterior.
I also brand all photo's outside of the mls with my website.. just for extra exposure
Ask them to remove them. If they don't report them to the board and/or have an attorney sue them.
If I'm not mistaken in my area, once the pics are posted on the mls we lose rights to them
I would contact the broker and the mls myself if it is an issue
I can see a couple problems here. We are allowed in my area (IL) to say we sold the property. With that we use the front photo of the house. We do not use interior photos unless it is vacant like an REO.
When I do Just Sold cards I use that frontal photo but I expect nothing more unless I personally took them.
But why do I think the frontal photo is ok is because it's just what we do here regionally in Chicago. Copyright wise it is not OK & I think we should really stop using this procedure.
Good luck reigning in a herd of cats sponsored by NAR. In other words, realtors.
Interesting to see answers on both sides of the issue. I see you contacted the broker, which was a good move. No one should be using your photos, or those of your photographer, without expressed permission.
A friend of mine used my pictures. I ignored it.
I don't list so maybe I don't get it...but with all the dishonesty, incompetence, illegal kickbacks, and agents that don't pay referral fees, is a picture worth getting upset about?
Sue your mls, franchise and brokerage for not protecting your intellectual property and CREATING a HAZARD for the new home owner that is UNDISCLOSDED..
You are correct in realizing existing practice creates HAZARD, invasion of privacy and a prevailing creepy feeling knowing images of the interior of your new home is available for any creep to explore.
Go after the ones who created the problem. Your local mls, regional mls, broker and franchise.
These enterprises have agents looking the wrong direction and attack each other instead of the cause of the problem.
Scott Godzyk nailed this one!
Caroline Gerardo - best thing is to 'request' them to take down the pictures. It works most of the time.
Move on. We have too many other things in life that need our attention. I believe what goes around, comes around .. so they will get theirs -- but rise above (when they go low - we go high?)
I think a quick response is needed.
Demand they take them down immediately or you will report to Broker, MLS, etc. If they refuse, file a complaint and send them a bill.
Now that you have contacted the broker and made him aware of the situation, you are free to move on and focus your attention elsewhere.
Try reporting it to the MLS where the property was listed. Agents agree to their terms as part of their membership in most cases. Agents need permission to use the photos if they aren't their photos.
Sounds like you solved the problem by calling the Broker.
Send them your written disapproval notice (from before) and advise them that you insist upon your images being immediately taken down or you will pursue legal recourse. I'd contact their managing broker as well with a copy of your email. That should do it.
In our area, you need to remove them before closing(COE). MLS can not remove for you. In my case, a broker walked into my open house started handing out biz cards. I hinted she needs to leave. She was selling similar properties in the same complex and when her listing came up several of my photos showed up on her listing. I called MLS and they remove these fotos.
Most of the pro-photos in my area are passed to the agent with free license to the agent that hired the work. I would go directly to the broker as you did and expect results. If you don't, it may very well be an ethics complaint.
It definitely sounds frustrating, the saving grace is that I think it is a nice compliment to your taste. :)
I would reqeust they take them down promptly, especially since you said no, and get in touch with their broker. No response, I would report to the MLS and local Realtor Board
I would move on.
demand they take them down and forewarn them that if they don't, you'll be taking them to the next level....and it's going to cost them money.... and I wouldn't stop until I got that money...
We all know that you have to have a permission to use anything that does not belong to you, but it is not easy to enforce. I'd try to email their brokers and them ( so all in writing) with a reference to copyright law and violation?
But as others mentioned, ask your photographer first, even I doubt that they bothered to get any permissions....
Caroline Gerardo, for clarification, is it the agent that sold your house (who represented you) who is now using the photos or is it an entirely different agent using them? If it is a different agent is it possible that they called your agent and asked permission and your agent gave them that permission? Who paid for the photographs? Also what are they using the photos for, is the home up for sale again? And why are multiple agents using them? I'm trying to get a clear picture of what is actually going on. There are a lot of variables here that will determine what can be done or not. -Kasey
Caroline Gerardo Call their broker. If that doesn't work send a cease and desist letter. Tey will get the hint.