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Legal Eagle
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Real estate law NYC, A owner had his commercial property for

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real estate law NYC,
A owner had his commercial property for sale with a brokerage house for 3 months. The exclusive expired. The brokerage house had sent the owner a color booklet of extensive research documents of comps and their opinion of value and the offering memorandum booklet they used to market the property. two color brochure type booklets. Now that the exclusive expired, can the owner freely send this information to other new brokers and new buyers that express interest, that the old broker did not have contact with? Are these booklets, the brokerages house intellectual property or the owners since it is representing his building information? Will it be construed that the old broker was part of a future sale if the book has their name on it, hence they get a commission?

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The answer to your question is probably not. The reason is due to copyright law. Because the brokerage house developed that color booklet that included the research documents of comps and their opinion of the value, any redistribution of this document may violate the Copyright Act. However, it is possible that the owner could defend on the grounds of the first sale doctrine, where their purchase of the copyright allows them to do with that one specific document as they see fit. The only issue is that the owner may not submit copies, but rather only the original document. As such, they may just have to submit that one copy to other houses and then request that one copy back in order to stay compliant with the law. It won't be construed that the old broker was a part of the future sale simply by preparing marketing materials.

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Customer: replied 4 days ago.
The booklets were sent to the owner as a pdf file. He does not have the originals. does this no still apply? can he show a new broker a papercopy of the pdf document for educational purposes and not let the broker keep it.?

Good question. The PDF is going to be the original document that was prepared for the owner. The owner can probably show the new broker the document on their computer or even send them that document as an original.

Practically, it is not going to be a big issue. Legally, if the owner takes some specific steps, they can avoid getting sued.

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