BETHESDA, MD -- CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP), the leading provider of information services to the commercial real estate industry, today announced the launch of a new service that will enable its CoStar Property Professional® subscribers to lawfully post CoStar photographs on Internet listing services.
CoStar Photo Express™ will allow licensed users of CoStar Property Professional to pay an additional fee of $360 to post a photo on up to three different online listing services for up to one year. The service is designed so that users pay only for the photos that they want to post.
Until now, CoStar has not allowed CoStar Property Professional subscribers to post CoStar photos on Internet listing services. The reason is simple: Imagine if you did all the work in putting a deal together and at the last minute someone else got the commission. Would that be fair?
CoStar has spent millions of dollars and driven millions of miles to photograph commercial properties for the benefit of its customers – not competing listing services. If CoStar allowed all of its valuable, high-quality CoStar photos to be posted to Internet listing services for free, it would jeopardize the photos CoStar customers rely upon and would cause the price of a regular CoStar subscription to skyrocket.
CoStar photos represent the work of hundreds of professional photographers -- men and women who go building-by-building across the country capturing images so subscribers don't have to. "The unlawful copying of CoStar photographs on the Internet could leave me without a job," said CoStar photographer Karen Dougherty. "The photos I shoot are for the benefit of CoStar subscribers, and Internet listing services shouldn't get to take a free ride at the expense of CoStar photographers like me."
Unfortunately, Internet listing services like LoopNet and its subscribers are doing just that. In fact, in 2005 alone CoStar identified thousands of its photos on the LoopNet website. The copying of CoStar's photographs without permission is just like illegal uploading, downloading and trading of music through services such as the old Napster and Grokster. Now, however, CoStar will offer a lawful alternative for its CoStar Property Professional subscribers to post CoStar photographs on Internet listing services. "We know our customers need to market their properties in many venues and we believe this new service will meet their needs," said Andrew Florance, President & CEO of CoStar. "It will also safeguard CoStar's work from unauthorized users, support our photographers -- the backbone of our business, protect our customers that play by the rules, and create incentives for continued innovation by companies like CoStar in the real estate information industry."
A standard CoStar Property Professional license will continue to provide CoStar customers with the same broad usage rights that they've always had, and will also continue to disallow the resale of CoStar photographs, their transfer to a competitor, or their posting on an Internet listing service. Those rules have not changed, and subscribers can continue to use photos in the ordinary course of their business, including:
- By incorporating them into a print brochure to market real estate;
- By incorporating them into a digital brochure to market real estate;
- By emailing them to prospective or existing clients as part of a customer presentation; and
- By posting them on their own website to depict properties that the licensee owns, controls, represents or holds the exclusive.
Now, through CoStar Photo Express, a CoStar Property Professional licensee can order and pay for a particular photo through the CoStar website. CoStar then emails the licensee a photo that contains a special logo clearly designating it as one that can be properly and legally accessed on an Internet listing service. Costar Photo Express also enables CoStar to protect its photos by identifying where the CoStar photos are being posted. "We believe this service will provide needed flexibility to our customers, while protecting the rights and welfare of the hundreds of photographers that enable us to produce top-quality work that customers expect from CoStar," said Florance.
For more information about CoStar Photo Express, log on to http://www.costar.com/photoexpress.
About CoStar Group, Inc.
CoStar Group, Inc., (NASDAQ: CSGP) is the leading provider of information services to commercial real estate professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom. CoStar's suite of services offers customers access via the Internet to the most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information on over 60 U.S. markets and the United Kingdom. Based in Bethesda, MD, the company has approximately 1,000 employees throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, including the largest professional research organization in the industry.