Use of Photographs in a Multiple Listing Service

This page provides information about the use of photographs in a multiple listing service.

  • Prior to submitting a listing to the MLS, the listing broker should own, or have the authority to publish, all submitted photographs and images related to the listed property. Also, an MLS cannot require participants to transfer any rights (including intellectual property rights) as a condition of obtaining or maintaining MLS participatory rights, with one exception.
    Read the applicable MLS policy
  • A Multiple Listing Service, at its discretion, may require submission of photographs of the listed property.
    Read the applicable MLS policy
  • Copyright considerations for MLS photographs vary depending on who takes the photographs: an MLS employee, an MLS participant, or a hired photographer.
    Read more
  • The National Association of REALTORS® offers resources to help brokers, agents, and multiple listing services manage the contractual and intellectual property rights of listing content, including photographs.
    View resources
  • During the 2018 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings, NAR’s Board of Directors voted to adopt a new enforcement process to protect the brokerage community from potential copyright infringement lawsuits and the statutory damages involved in those lawsuit.
    Learn more



Real estate professionals must be cognizant of copyright issues when it comes to listing content, most notably in connection with listing photographs.

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