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You just received a very official-looking packet in the mail from a law firm in Chicago, claiming there is a copyrighted image on your website. And the law firm is demanding that you pay for the use of the image on behalf of their client who owns the copyrighted image.
While that may be your initial reaction, this scenario is playing out all over the United States, as "copyright troll" lawyers have discovered that the real estate industry is a lucrative revenue stream.
Unfortunately, most real estate brokers are under-informed about the dangers of using other people's images on their websites and in the Multiple Listing Service.
This guide was developed to help educate brokers about the issue, and inform them of the steps they can take today to protect themselves within the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Included in this guide are the exact steps you need to take to protect yourself, including the official form from the U.S. Copyright Office, and sample language you can copy and use on your website as part of the "Safe Harbor" provisions of the Act.
Nothing in this guide is to be construed as legal advice - if you have any questions about this subject, please consult with your legal counsel.