Yesterday I was sent a link from a friend to an article about my Airbnb by a travel writer. As far as I know this person has not been a guest. Its a flattering little write up on a blog that's pretty popular. All the pictures were taken directly from my listing.
I had no awareness that this might happen...no one reached out to ask us if we would be interested in having this story if if they can use our photos. We had gotten several bookings in the past week since this appeared....also some very strange inquiries because the price he quoted is not the price for every night as we use a peak demand pricing tool. Some folks demanded the price in the article.
My husband has a legal background and is upset that we were not informed this was happening. I'm happy for the additional exposure but it does seem a bit strange not to give us a heads up. What are your thoughts? Anyone have anything like this happen?
No. My husband had a somewhat aggressively worded email he wanted to send but I talked him out of it. I think he probably just stumbled on the listing He links back to it and used a few phrases from it .
It ultimately doesn't matter how it happened. It's out there. Whether the writer was a guest or not he didn't ask for any permission.
@Laura2592 I'm guessing they don't need your permission, at least if they have Airbnb's. "By creating, uploading, posting, sending, receiving, storing, or otherwise making available any Member Content on or through the Airbnb Platform, you grant to Airbnb a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual (or for the term of the protection), sub-licensable and transferable license to such Member Content to access, use, store, copy, modify, prepare derivative works of, distribute, publish, transmit, stream, broadcast, and otherwise exploit in any manner such Member Content to provide and/or promote the Airbnb Platform, in any media or platform."
@Lisa723 that is what i told my husband...like so many things on Airbnb there not a lot of normal protections. He said that the images are copyright eligible because we had a professional photographer take many of them. And that at the very least we should have had some indication that this was about to hit the street even as a courtesy. Just wondering if something similar has happened to anyone else.
@Lisa723 yes its very nice! It just came from out of nowhere as I didn't recognize the writers name at all. My spouse often has a very different perspective on things. I was ready to thank the guy and he was ready to lambast him. Hah.
I don't really know anything about this but does he need permission? You're advertising your business on a public website for the world to access. I have been made aware of shorts write-ups reviewing/mentioning some aspects of my family's business without anyone ever contacting us beforehand. I even had to go out and pay for the magazine just like everyone else!
@Emilia42 according to my husband, if its a review like on Yelp, no, no permission is needed. If its using images and writing a story, they should ask or inform in varying degrees of "should ". Im not an expert in any way. I was surprised and pleased, if a little confused by some of the pricing messages before I saw the article. My husband looks at it totally differently.
@Laura2592 It seems to me that using the pro photos you paid for without permission is a violation. And that part in the TOS which was quoted above refers to Airbnb using your listing info, not some 3rd party.
If it were me, I would definitely contact the writer of the article, not necessarily aggressively-worded, but firmly worded as to him asking permission before doing such a thing.
There are so many people nowadays who appear to have no concept of privacy and assume that everyone would be happy to have their business promoted in any way whatsoever- all the "influencer" is concerned about is hits on their website or blog. They need to be disabused of this assumption.
This one is very awkward for AirBnb.
if you pay one of their photographers to photograph your listing, AirBnb will not let you use those photos elsewhere.
You, employing a photographer to photograph your place will provide you with a license to use those photographs for the intention purchased. They would not be licensed for publication elsewhere (I.e. “an article”) without further payment to the photographer.
The person infringing these rights is the journalist publishing the photographs without license as well as the use of your Intellectual property without permission. Your husband would be better placed than many to make a realistic judgement.
@Laura2592 Both @Sarah977 and @Ian-And-Anne-Marie0 are correct. My business deals with the representation of intellectual property and the terms quoted above definitely do not give permission to any rando - only to Airbnb. I'm more on your husband's side on this.
There is a middle ground. You can approach the blogger and thank him for highlighting your place, but ask him to run a correction about prices and to credit the photographs (whether you took them or someone else took them).
Bloggers get away with this because they're not journalists and don't have to abide by any journalistic ethics.
Interesting, @Emilia42 !
Yes, @Laura2592 , had it happen. My place appears on 10-best style blogger lists, complete with (my) photos and wrong prices and typos/misinformation ("wooden stove" instead of "wood stove", for instance, and, weirdly, saying there is a washer and dryer...). I've never been upset -- a bit like you, thinking it can't hurt -- but I see your husband's and @Ann72 's points. I should write and make them get it right.
Especially if they are getting rich on that 30% of the service fee!
Hang on! @Emilia42's post brings this to a new level. If the content appears through the arrangement described in that email, this clause from the above - "sub-licensable and transferable" - means hosts would have no rights at all.
But if there are bloggers who actually take Airbnb up on this, they're motivated by that 30% to push the content, which in turn could increase bookings. So not a terrible thing, but - no rights or claim on use of content, even if the text is copied exactly and the photographs you or a photographer took are lifted directly.
@Lawrene0 - how hard is it to get things right? Definitely ask for corrections - if they run them it's just more publicity so win/win.