Compliance Corner- Copyright and Your Photos





Please note: this article is a snapshot of a message that was posted on the MLS system at some point within the last year.  Things evolve rapidly in our industry, and the information in this article may have changed since it was first published. Compliance Corner articles are not updated after they are published, even if the information contained within has changed.

For the most up-to-date information on this (or any other topic), please visit our SmartDesk.


Compliance Corner #54

April 13, 2022


Did you know that SmartMLS recently put new rules in place to protect you from copyright issues when uploading photos and other media to your listings?

This change was implemented to protect listing agents and the photos that are uploaded to their listings.  Listing photos are creative works that are protected by copyright law. It is vital that you either own the copyright or have the proper license to use any photos that you upload to your listing within the MLS. 

We have adjusted the tab in Add/Edit formerly known as Virtual Tours. It’s now known as Photographers & Virtual Tours and includes a section called Photographer Information:



There are three new fields you will find:

  • Photographs Taken By is a required field that allows the list agent to give the proper credit to the source of the photos.
  • The Photographer MLS ID field enables the list agent to select the verified photographer that will be providing the photos for the listing. It also gives that photographer permission to access the listing to manage the photos and/or virtual tours.   
  • Allow Photographer to edit photos is a Yes/No field that allows you to control whether the MLS Verified Photographer you are using to shoot the property will also be able to manage the photos and/or virtual tours on your listing. You only need to worry about this field if you are using a MLS Verified Photographer. If you choose any of the other options but MLS Verified Photographer you can skip this field completely.
  • Note: you do not automatically have to allow the verified photographer to manage your listing's photos/virtual tours. You can still use them to provide the media to you, and then you can manage it within Matrix yourself.


Follow this chart to determine what you should choose for the PHOTOS TAKEN BY field when entering your new listings:




Please stop by the special page on the SmartMLS website,, dedicated to providing additional information on all things related to photos, photographers, copyright and your listings.

The Compliance Team values your opinions, comments and suggestions.

Never hesitate to contact us at or 203-750-6000.

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