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Real Estate, MLS,criminal charges and homeowners Part II

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I see I need to clarify some things. Again this is for the US only even though we are a signee of the Berne Convention.

The thing about the real estate system is that it is basically on autopilot. It is designed to generate income for all parties with little exception for legal issues as they use TOS to cover their backsides. If you do images for hire, you really have no claim depending on the agreement and who you signed it with. Of course if they transfer the copyright to you it is a different story. Remember, to give up the rights to your images that are not work for hire usually requires a written document or a matter of law. If they are registered the ownership does not transfer until the copyright office is notified in theory but do not count on that.

You need to think about how to proceed. The issues of the criminal charges are yours to deal with unless the authorities decide to prosecute the case without your input. That is not really very likely. They can be done separately, at the same time or not at all really depending on how you wish to proceed. I suggest a long talk with an attorney about the criminal side of the story. Can you file? If you meet the standard then of course you can. You can pull in many people into that web if you wish if they were possibly involved. The question really is not can you but is it necessary?

Finding the person is not really that hard and easy to show you made an effort. You can send letters to relatives, government agencies and casual acquaintances. They do not have to respond to the civil request for contact information. It looks really bad if they do not and a judge can make them disclose the information if they choose to do so. You may or may not want to find them. There are channels to do the claim without them and get a judgment for the full allotted statutory damages. I personally think you are better off filing for statutory damages as you have to prove nothing about the work. Statutory damages are really what the congress has set as punishment for the violations. Currently they run from $ 750.00 to $ 150,000.00 for infringement for each image and if there are DMCA violations that can run from $ 2500.00 to $ 25,000.00 for each image on top of the infringement case. The Morel decision came out to the full fine for infringement of $150,000.00 for each photo. It is a good indication that you should file for the statutory damages as you have to prove nothing about the value of the images. It is set by law and has a good range for the values. That is also a good way to get a jury trial and we all see how those seem to go.

The issue with the real estate claim in my case is that not only do I have to go after the real estate company and the MLS plus others and then I have to go after the homeowner due to the reasons I listed in the article about Colorado. I have an issue with that as they should have been informed by the RE Agent about the liability being the homeowner's so they have to protect everyone else. The letter to the governor stated my views on the Colorado listing agreement. I have as some have said backed off of that to a point as the Governor has been busy with wildfires and floods. The issue is really a copyright matter and will be addressed as these all move forward.

The concept of how to proceed with each case is different for each case. The individual case and the real estate case are under review at this moment. They may be handled by the same attorneys or different ones depending on the results of the reviews.

I am not an attorney. These are my personal opinions and general information only. These are not legal advice and should not be used as such.


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