Members of Texas REALTORS® have been served with cease-and-desist letters and threatened with lawsuits related to their brokerage websites displaying copyrighted photos through the IDX feed from their MLSs.

That’s the kind of situation the safe-harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was designed to address. The safe harbor applies to content on your website that you don’t control but that infringes someone else’s copyright. As long as you comply with the safe harbor’s requirements, you are protected from liability for copyright infringement.

Texas REALTORS® has a free model policy for members with information about the DMCA to help you comply with the safe harbor.

Designating an agent with the U.S. Copyright Office is one requirement. Posting certain contact information on your website is another requirement.

To download the free model policy, visit > For REALTOR® Members > Legal & Ethics > Resources > Manuals and Guides.