Coldwell Banker Previews International Release Asks For Exclusive Licensing Of Property Photos

BecarefulA couple of days ago Dan Ryan if Southfield Media in Sterling, NJ sent me a copy of a photo release that Coldwell Banker Previews International ask him to sign. Here is the first paragraph of the release:

I hereby assign to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, its agents, assigns or successors in interest (“Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage”), my entire right, title and interest, if any, in and to photographic pictures/video (“Photos”) provided by me to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage such that the Photos may be used in any and all publications, advertising, news media, video, internet and any other media hereafter devised. I waive any right to inspect and/or approve the finished advertising copy or other product incorporating the Photos.

Dan’s attorney advised him that by signing this release he would be giving up all his rights to the images to Coldwell Banker. Also, it could prohibit Dan from using those images on his website or in any promotional material for his business.

Dan ask me if I’ve heard of brokerages asking photographers to sign this kind of release. And I have not. Has anyone else been asked to sign a release like this? I could be wrong, but my guess is that this release was created by a corporate lawyer that was over focused on protecting Coldwell Banker without understanding the interests and conventions of real estate photographers. The standard conventions of real estate photographers are:

  1. To license photos to their clients only for the duration of the specific listing in the photos, not to sell all rights to the client.
  2. Many real estate photographers also license the same photos they shoot for agents to other clients for various uses.
  3. Most real estate photographer also use the photos they license to agents for listings for marketing their own business.

So anyone who’s going to sign a release like Coldwell Banker Previews is asking for should be charging WAY more than you would if you were just licensed the photos to be used for the listing.

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