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


Legal Action Program

Provides financial assistance to support litigation of significance to the real estate industry and private property rights.


The latest from NAR about about COVID-19 (coronavirus), its impact on the real estate industry and events, and federal programs affecting REALTORS®.