The First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS), a 55-year-old MLS that serves more than 30,000 agents throughout Georgia, was in the news last weekwhen Lane Bailey, a Realtor in the state, discovered that when uploading photos to FMLS, agents and photographers unwittingly transferred copyrights for the images to the MLS.
The story sparked quite an uproar among agents and photographers, and we figured we would chat with Debra Boza-Valledor, the COO and Chief Marketing Officer for the Miami Association of Realtors, for some perspective on how YOUR MLS handles copyright issues.
- Before agents even consider uploading images, Boza-Valledor said, they must be absolutely sure that they are authorized to use the images. Any unauthorized use of photos from, say, Getty Images, will be certain copyright infringement.
- Once photos are posted, though, Boza-Valledor said MAR's policy is exactly that of FMLS, details of which are explicitly explained in the MLXchange contract.
- Photos are not limited to the MLS itself, but they can only be transmitted via approved methods, such as an IDX feed, Boza-Valledor said.
- Therefore, it will be the agents responsibility, Boza-Valledor said, to be aware of the policy, and how it may impact images and photographers.