Making a New Home

Zillow to Pay $1.9 Million in Copyright Case

2 min read

In 2014, Zillow made use of listing-agent shots for a new part, Zillow Digs. The great covers ongoing photo use soon after the copyright owner despatched a cease-and-desist letter.

SEATTLE – A federal judge this 7 days ordered Seattle-primarily based Zillow to shell out almost $2 million as the end result of a copyright infringement circumstance from an Illinois-dependent images corporation.

The case stems from Zillow’s 2014 use of images on a property improvement area of its website, identified at the time as Zillow Digs. The website allowed homeowners to cost home renovations and provided pictures taken by VHT, a genuine estate pictures organization that licenses images of households for internet marketing uses.

In a conclusion Wednesday, U.S. District Judge James Robart uncovered “Zillow’s infringement of 388 of VHT’s images before July 10, 2014, was innocent, and that its infringement of 2,312 of VHT’s pictures right after July 10, 2014, was not innocent.”

VHT sent Zillow a stop-and-desist letter on July 10, 2014. Robart ordered total damages of $1.93 million together with desire.

Zillow spokesperson Viet Shelton stated Thursday, “We recognize the court’s ruling and consider it to be an overall favorable determination on the subject.”

According to scenario information, VHT contacted Zillow after viewing its pictures on the web site and the two companies mentioned a probable licensing arrangement. In the end, Zillow determined to “go in one more way,” and VHT later on despatched the cease-and-desist letter. Zillow taken off the pics in 2016.

Zillow accesses pics by agreements with actual estate brokers and listing companies and “reasonably believed” these companies experienced accredited the pictures and Zillow could article them, according to Robart’s determination.

The situation has wound its way by the courts due to the fact VHT sued in 2015. In 2017, a federal jury purchased Zillow to pay $8.3 million, but the court docket reversed a portion of that verdict and both equally sides appealed. The Ninth Circuit Courtroom of Appeals later sided in section with Zillow and a portion of the situation was returned to the lower courtroom.

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