I don’t have any sympathy or understanding anymore for those who make conscious and deliberate decisions to steal other Realtor’s work.
From the 2008 Realtor Code of Ethics:
REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations
Copyright and stealing are basic concepts that should be easily understood by even the newest writer/blogger/Realtor. If the Code of Ethics requires that we as Realtors present a true picture in all that we do, be it online, print, etc. doesn’t it stand to reason that blatantly plagiarizing someone else’s work product is a clear, enforceable and actionable Code of Ethics violation?
If agents get so worked up about the use of others’ MLS photos and ad copy without permission (even though some MLS licenses permit such use), where is the outrage when Realtors copy others’ work product? Stealing others’ content is not a matter of misunderstanding the concept, it is a matter of wanting to benefit from someone else’s work?
Maybe I am most upset today because the inspiration for this post is a fellow Realtor from my area (who has already taken down the offending post).