National Association of Realtors Fights Copyright Ruling Over Floor Plans

The National Association of Realtors is challenging a court ruling that says homeowners who post floor plans of their homes on Zillow, Redfin, and other websites could face copyright lawsuits. ‘author.

NAR today filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in an effort to protect American consumers from a recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

At the center of the issue is NAR’s claim that the ruling misrepresents federal law and would invalidate decades of legal precedent by allowing copyright infringement lawsuits to be brought against owners who create or display plans. floor of their own house.

The brief was presented alongside 18 groups representing consumers and professionals in the US real estate industry, including Redfin Corporation, Zillow Group, American Property Owners Alliance and CoreLogic.

“The U.S. real estate market accounted for about 18% of our nation’s GDP in 2020,” said NAR General Counsel Katie Johnson. “The Eighth Circuit’s ruling not only exposes countless consumers to costly and time-consuming litigation over developing a floor plan of their own home, but it also puts a strain on a key sector of the U.S. economy. and threatens an essential transparency tool for potential buyers.”

NAR states that Congress specifically permitted owners to create “pictures” or “other pictorial representations” of architectural works without fear of liability when crafting the Copyright Act of 1976.

“Many home buyers rely on real estate listing floor plans to decide whether or not to purchase a residence, and their ability to obtain financing for this transaction often depends on an appraisal that requires the creation of a a floor plan,” according to the brief. “After acquiring a home, landlords often make floor plans to help them tackle fixtures, organize furniture, and complete DIY projects…And many jurisdictions require landlords to submit floor plans before renovating their property.”

NAR’s 2021 Generational Trends of Home Buyers and Sellers Report found that about two-thirds of home buyers rated floor plans as “very helpful” in the home buying process. online, ranking behind only “photos” and “detailed property information” as their most valuable resources.

Floor plans are so important to the average American consumer, as they make one of the most important decisions of a lifetime, that this category ranked ahead of other key educational resources and disclosures such as “neighborhood information”, “virtual open houses” and price data. recently sold local homes, the report says.

NAR is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.