January 23, 2010
Recently I had been informed by one of my clients that the local MLS service here in the Atlanta area had started "giving" free virtual tours to each realtor listing with them. How this works is that FMLS has taken a software package called "Property Panorama" and builds a virtual tour comprised of the still photos that the realtor has loaded with their listing. One of the services we provide is all of our still photos. ALL of our work is Copyrighted which means that when they take MY photographs and produce a (and use the term loosely) "virtual tour" and put the "Property Panorama" logo on the bottom they are infringing on my Copyright. The problem too is that our tour is loaded in addtion to this slide show and several large real estate brokerages who have data bases that feed from FMLS get the FMLS virtual tour as the default instead of the one that the realtor has paid for. I will be contacting FMLS tomorrow to see what their explanation is for this. I'd be curious to see if anyone else out there is dealing with this. Obviously somebody didn't do their due diligence on this as they've left themselves wide open for a law suit, not just from me but any Virtual Tour provider who Copyrights their work.
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