Can I Use That Photo? Certifying Images in Matrix

Key Points:

  • Listing photos and floorplans are protected by copyright law.
  • Verify that you have permission to use the images before uploading them into the REcolorado MLS system, Matrix.

As you’re uploading photos into REcolorado Matrix you’ll notice that you are asked to validate that you have permission to use the photos.

Why? Because listing photos are creative works protected by copyright law. Before you use a photo, make certain you own the copyright or have the proper license to use it. REcolorado will remove any photographs where the property license or copyright has not been granted.

Pro Tip: Floor plans may also be subject to copyright law. Ask permission to use a floor plan before including with listing photos or documents. If you are not the owner of the floor plan or image, consider adding a credit such as “courtesy of {owner}” in the caption field. You will still be asked to certify and save.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a law that gives you ownership of the things you create. In our business, copyright includes protection of listing photos, which are classified as creative works. When you take a listing photo, you have the exclusive right to determine how it is used by others. In other words, copyright means you need to give permission for others to use your photos and you need to get permission to use others’ photos.

How do I know if I can use a photo?

Generally, it’s easy to answer this question. Did you take the photos? Did you create the floor plan? If you did, then yes, you own them and can use them however you want. Did you use a professional photographer or vendor? Then no, you likely don’t own the photos.

But wait. I paid the photographer or vendor for the images. That means I own them, right?

Not necessarily. You did pay for the photos, but the answer comes down to the agreement you signed with the photographer. You likely only paid for the rights to use the photos in a limited capacity, meaning you (and only you) have the right to display the photos in connection with the real estate industry. In other words, the photographer intended for you to use or reproduce the photos to be marketed and published in the MLS compilation.

Why Permission Matters

Since copyright protects creative works, the owner of the copyright has the authority to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, and prepare derivative works. By having permission to use photos you can do all these items. If you do not have permission, you could be setting yourself up for a Copyright legal battle.

Certify and Save in REcolorado Matrix

The final step to adding photos in REcolorado Matrix is Photograph Upload Certification. Clicking the ‘Certify and Save’ button in REcolorado Matrix when you’re uploading photos helps you clarify that you have written permission to use the photos. 

Pro Tip: There’s more than one way to upload listing photos to Matrix. If your media provider has signed up with Media Bridge, you’ll be able to access your media package where you can customize, order, edit, and caption as needed. Then, publish to your listing in the MLS!

Have questions? Our Customer Success team is happy to help. Contact them at 303.850.9576, option 1, or