DMCA Safe Harbor: Do You Have Your Risk Management in Place?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Get It Done For Me Virtual Services DRE# SL641317

DMCA Safe Harbor- keep you and your agents safe from copyright lawsuits. 


Your DMCA must be completed by December 31, 2017. 


Time is ticking! 


Every website you have - needs to have a seperate filing for protection. 


What is the DMCA Safe Harbor?


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a federal copyright law that protects website owners from copyright infringement liability.

In most cases, your MLS was the designated agent but because some rules changed at the copyright office, the MLS can no longer be your designated agent. 


This is super important for you if you have an IDX on your website. 

Some other agent can upload a listing to the MLS that they do NOT have permission to upload to the MLS. 

Then you get the nasty attorney letter because the photo was found on your website. 

But you did not put it there. 

You don't even know the agent or even the property! 

There is a provision in the DMCA Act called the Safe Harbor, which, after you file and pay the fee, can protect you from those kinds of situations. 

Now, someone can still decide to sue you, that is the case no matter what. 


Lawsuits against you for copyright infringement can go up to $150,000! That is no small change! 

This provision does not excuse you from YOU putting copyrighted content on your website. It DOES protect you from third parties distributing copyrighted content and that ending up on your website. 


You have to redesignate a designated agent every 3 years. 

You must also abide by the DMCA takedown procedure. You must take down the content as soon as you get a take down notice. 


You can get the instructions on how to do this from your MLS or Board of Realtors. 


 Go to:


For more information, this is the counsel for NAR: 


You can do this yourself or you can have our team do it for you. Contact my at 561-502-1577 to get your DMCA Safe Harbor done now. 



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  1. Zurple Marketing Team 12/20/2017 08:26 AM
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Martin Kalisker
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS - Boston, MA
Professional Standards & Legal Assistant

Katerina -

Many MLS Boards did not, in fact, elect to take on the liability of Designated Agent on behalf of their REALTOR members, for the very fact that they were Board owned entities.  Some, like MLSPIN in Massachusetts did, on behalf of all subscribers, but that was only for data provided by the MLSPIN IDX feed to broker or agent web-sites. 

The DMCA encompasses so much more than just a simple IDX feed.  ANYTHING on a Broker or Agent's website is fair game to claims of alleged copyright infringement.  Blogs, pictures, web copy - plus links from third party sites AND IDX feeds are subject to the DMCA.  The safe-harbor provisions of Sec 512 are much more detailed and require careful insight from professional advisors, including attorneys.  The initial electronic registration of the Designated Agent under the DMCA and compliance under the safe-harbor is not a simple 1-2-3.

Dec 07, 2017 06:02 PM #1
Betsy N. Robinson - Serving the Sandhills, NC
Everything Pines Partners, LLC. - Whispering Pines, NC

Thanks for sharing this, Katerina.  Our Association has not made any reference about this yet to its members.  Will be looking into that as well as how we can at least start the compliance process by following the NAR recommendations you have posted.

Dec 08, 2017 05:36 AM #2
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I couldnt help but appreciate the "keep it simple solutions" known as KISS after reading the post

Dec 08, 2017 07:10 AM #3
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

Thanks for telling us about this. We all need to be up to date on all copyright protections. 

Dec 08, 2017 08:03 AM #4
Corinne Guest
Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
The Choice of Professionals for Luxury Home Buying

Yes our MLS has passed this responsibility on to us. Thanks for the reminder to get it done.

Dec 08, 2017 11:29 AM #5
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hello Katrina: I had no idea this existed. Of course, I am one of the few agents in Sacramento with my own IDX. Most agents don't know what it is. I just signed up, it was only $6.00 and not complicated to complete.

Thank you soooo much for posting this. If we wait for our own boards and state associations to tell us, we could be waiting a long time.

And btw I thought you were referring to the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) at first, LOL, and I thought wow how nice, Katrina is helping them. Two different things.

Dec 08, 2017 01:32 PM #6
Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate
Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming

Ugh!  Let me run screaming to the woods now!! 

Dec 08, 2017 06:58 PM #7
Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate
Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming

But, then again, thank you for bringing this to our attention. 

Dec 08, 2017 06:59 PM #8
Cynthia Larsen
Safe Haven Realty - Cotati, CA
Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA

Katerina Gasset WTH? I usually know about this stuff. Question for you, does this include our blog(s) as well as our websites since folks can (and do) post photos in comments?

Dec 08, 2017 07:54 PM #9
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Bend, OR
Curator of Happy Endings

Katerina - MLS's ARE allowed to be the "Designated Agent," although many are choosing not to be.  It's best for each Agent to check with their MLS first before choosing a Designated Agent.

Dec 08, 2017 08:38 PM #10
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Results - Edina, MN

Our MLS board has made no mention of it. Will check in with them. 

Dec 09, 2017 05:16 AM #11
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

This is a new thought for me.

I will contact my MLS to see if we are using DMCA.

Thanks for the heads up.

Dec 09, 2017 08:49 AM #12
David Wright
Benchmark Realty, LLC - Brentwood, TN
Real Estate Refined

This is another great reason to be an ActiveRain member! I have never heard of the DMCA Safe Harbor. I have asked the question to my Broker for our website & MLS.  Thanks so much for sharing this.

Dec 09, 2017 09:34 AM #13
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists

Katerina, Do you have a short verbage to use on sites under DMCA? I tried to  look up but can't find a short version.

Dec 09, 2017 10:09 AM #14
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Goodness. Bookmarking, thank you for the heads up.

Dec 09, 2017 10:12 AM #15
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

Katarina thank you for this very important and valuable information. I knew about this risk but not about this easy solution to protect us.

Dec 11, 2017 05:43 AM #16
Victoria CB Trees
Crater Lake Realty, Inc. - Chiloquin, OR
Principal Broker

Excellent post, and thank you very much!  I'm not sure how I missed seeing this information elsewhere, but I did.  We are now almost in compliance.  Registered, but I need to work on the website.  Again, thanks so much!

Dec 13, 2017 06:03 PM #18
Isabella Scott
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Port St Lucie, FL
South Florida & Treasure Coast Luxury Homes/Condos

I registered an account a few days ago and wanted to come back to finish it but then I forgot yesterday.  So if I am doing this today, it does not apply for this next 3 year period?  Since we are with the same Board, I assume we need this?  Thanks  and Happy New Year to you Katerina!

Jan 01, 2018 08:41 AM #19
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Katerina Gasset

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