As our On-Line Subscriber License and Access Agreement (SLAA) Acceptance Program continues, we’ve received several questions regarding the copyright options that it presents. We’d like to take this opportunity to provide further context and address these concerns.
This acceptance program is similar to the one we conducted back in 2013, which also asked members to agree to the SLAA to continue to use the service. The current SLAA revisions were driven primarily by updates that the National Association of Realtors made to its own model guidance for MLSes, with which HIS endeavors to remain in alignment.
NAR MLS Policy Statement 7.85 emphasizes that participants minimally obtain proper licenses so that they can, in turn, grant the MLS a license to use the photos that they contribute to the service.
However, some members have raised concerns that the SLAA turns over the rights to, or provides a license for, all of their content (including photos) to HIS, allowing HIS to do whatever it wishes with it.
We want to assure our members that HIS’ use of its participants’ photos are ultimately subject to restrictions under NAR’s Policy Statement 7.85. Under this policy, HIS’ use is limited to “storage, reproduction, compiling and distribution of listing and listing information to the extent necessary to fulfill the defined purposes of MLS.”
In the event that HIS would seek to use its participants’ photos for any unrelated purpose, it must provide the listing brokers adequate prior notice of its intended use and give them the opportunity to affirmatively withhold their consent for that use. There are no plans currently for any such use.
HIS has always been in compliance with this policy, and it is not its intention to deviate from it.
HIS prides itself on giving its brokers better control over their listing information. For example, we introduced the Syndication Dashboard last year, an industry-leading initiative that allows brokers to choose which specific third-party sites should receive their listings.
We understand that many of our members incur a lot of expense for their listing photos and that they entrust HIS with their care and handling that we greatly respect and appreciate.
For Principal Broker Subscribers (PBS) who have not yet accepted the SLAA on-line and have not yet selected an option governing their contributed content: If you do not make a selection by September 15, 2016, acceptance of the SLAA and Option II will be automatic. To reiterate, Option II means that you wish to grant a license to HIS for the use of your content, and not assign ownership of the content to HIS. Note that under Option II, HIS will not include your content in its copyright filings.
Please note that PBSs are able to change their option selection at any time. It will just involve the completion of a new SLAA form.
If you have questions about this policy or how we are using your photos, please do not hesitate to contact Diana Haraguchi, VP of Administration by calling 1-800-628-3121 ext 172, by email to Diana@HiInfo.com