A lawsuit originally filed in May and amended in August by attorneys for two real estate photographers, one of whom is based in California, accuses CoreLogic, Inc., of large-scale intellectual property theft. The company is accused of a deliberate failure to credit the creators of numerous photographs of real property.
According to the complaint, CoreLogic allegedly scrubbed legitimate copyright metadata from millions of images uploaded to online multiple listing services and sold unauthorized, uncompensated access to the images through its own subscription database. The complaint alleges that CoreLogic engaged in this behavior with the understanding or expected understanding that it would facilitate infringement. It also alleges that CoreLogic placed its copyright image beside the images, creating a potentially deceptive impression of ownership.
The plaintiffs are seeking monetary relief for themselves and other professionals. Their intent is to expand the lawsuit into a class action representing many other photographers affected by CoreLogic’s alleged actions, and such action could later include some multiple listing services who worked with CoreLogic and may have received the photographs.
The upholding of copyright law is vital to a healthy economy. Entities who appropriate the legally protected creations of workers without accountability could be denying those creators of what might be a substantial source of income. A creative professional looking to safeguard his or her works against situations similar to this case could take various steps to prevent intellectual property infringement. Measures such as drafting an individualized license agreement, maintaining metadata records and using effective watermarks might all help a person to protect created media and keep a solid body of evidence should legal action become necessary.
Source: Inman News, “CoreLogic’s use of listing photos prompts copyright lawsuit“, Andrea V. Brambila, September 03, 2014