CoStar Licensing Rights – FAQs

Is it okay to take text or photos from a CoStar service about a specific property and feature them in a printed flyer marketing the property?

Yes, absolutely. A CoStar customer may do so in connection with the ordinary course of its business.


What about taking text or photo from a CoStar product relating to a specific property and including it within a digital brochure that markets the space?

Yes. A CoStar customer may do so in connection with the ordinary course of its business.


May I email to a prospective or existing client a report or presentation that includes content from CoStar products?

Yes. A CoStar customer can send a presentation with property-specific and/or market trend information and imagery via email to its prospective or existing client. This CoStar content should be reasonably tailored to the needs of the client or prospective client.


What about market statistics? Can I include them from CoStar products into a general market research report for in-house use? How about clients’ or prospective clients’ use?

Yes. A CoStar customer may do so in the ordinary course of business. But such general market reports should not contain building-specific or tenant-specific data obtained from CoStar, nor should the reports be sold or generally distributed.

(Note – This doesn’t limit the subscriber’s ability to create a report with property-specific and/or market trend information, whether for internal research or for presentation to a client. Rather, this solely addresses the creation of a general market report profiling a certain geographic area and is intended to preclude the use of the CoStar service to create a fungible listing directory.)


Can I incorporate market statistics from CoStar products into a press release or article?

Yes. A CoStar customer may incorporate a limited amount of market statistics (i.e., not building-specific or tenant-specific data) from CoStar products into a press release or an article, so long as (i) “CoStar Group,” is cited as the source, and (ii) the statistics are calculated and described accurately.


I have an internal database (or other software) I’d like to populate with CoStar information, reports, photographs or other images. Is that okay?

CoStar customers use CoStar services to conduct internal research, market properties, prepare valuations, and provide their clients with discrete amounts of information or imagery to aid in market analysis or leasing or purchasing decisions. In connection with such uses, CoStar customers may copy some material from CoStar into word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation programs. Other than this, CoStar customers should not integrate or incorporate textual information, reports, photographs or images from CoStar into any database or software program for any purpose, including storage, analysis or later use or retrieval, unless specifically authorized by CoStar in writing.


What about another information service? Can I take CoStar information, reports, photos or other images and submit them there?

No. A CoStar customer cannot take content from CoStar products and post it on an Internet listing service or provide it to other commercial real estate information services. CoStar has invested and otherwise continues to invest significant resources to build and maintain the valuable content in its services, and it is unfair for CoStar’s competitors to profit from CoStar’s efforts.


My company has a website. Can I post information or photographs from a CoStar product here?

A CoStar customer who is a subscriber in good standing to the CoStar Property Professional® service may display solely on its own web site photographs from the CoStar Property service that depict properties that licensee owns, controls, represents or holds exclusives. In no event should any photographs from CoStar be provided to or appear on the website of another commercial real estate information service or Internet listing service (e.g., CommercialSearch).


Do I lose ownership rights when I submit a photograph, information or imagery to CoStar?

No. You still retain your ownership rights in the content you provide to CoStar. You are not transferring ownership of a photograph or other information or imagery when you submit it to CoStar’s research professionals and can freely use or distribute such information, photos or other imagery.


How are CoStar’s services licensed and priced?

Like other providers of information and software, CoStar restricts use of its database services to those who have entered into proper license agreements. These license agreements specify the number and location of authorized sites as well as the number and names of authorized users at each such site.

Customers generally pay fixed monthly amounts rather than fees based on actual system usage. Monthly charges vary depending upon a number of factors, including number of sites, a company’s business focus and the number of services and markets to which a client subscribes.


Some customers enter into separate license agreements with CoStar for each office and product. Others enter into one national or regional agreement that covers multiple offices, products and markets.


Do subscribers need to renew their CoStar agreements or do they renew automatically?

In order to avoid service interruptions, the standard CoStar license agreement renews automatically for successive one-year periods when the initial term expires. CoStar has been fortunate to experience a very high renewal rate among its customer base, and its Accounting, Sales Administration, and Customer Service systems have been set up to process agreements with auto-renewal provisions.


Who can be Authorized Users under a customer license?

Authorized Users are those designated individuals included on a customer’s list of Authorized Sites and Users for the CoStar services. That list accompanies the license and may be modified from time to time. However, that list may include only the Customer’s employees or, if applicable, independent contractors who work solely for the Customer; they cannot be an Authorized User if they also work for another firm with commercial real estate information needs.


As a CoStar customer, do all my employees need to be included as Authorized Users?

Typically, that is not required. In general, the number of individuals at a shop benefiting from the CoStar subscription (i.e., the pertinent organization size) should not exceed the number of licensed Authorized Users. If it does, then additional Authorized Users must be added. People who are not Authorized Users may not use a CoStar subscription product or receive customer service from CoStar.


Does CoStar compete against real estate brokers?

No, absolutely not. CoStar does not engage in traditional commercial real estate brokerage activities, nor does it derive any commissions from the leasing or sale of commercial real estate.


What about passcodes? I’m an authorized licensed CoStar user. May I share my passcode to CoStar products with other employees in my office or with people outside my office?

No, absolutely not. Each authorized user’s UserID, Password and, if applicable, variable key token (collectively, “Passcodes”) are meant for that individual user’s sole use and benefit in accordance with the applicable license terms and conditions. To protect CoStar and its customers, sharing passcodes is strictly prohibited.


The preceding answer mentioned key tokens. What is a key token?

Each licensed authorized user’s access to the CoStar services may be limited to the computer s/he uses in her/his office. However, if you need occasional portability (e.g., when you’re traveling, visiting a client site or working from home), you may purchase from CoStar an electronic apparatus called a key token that enables you to access the CoStar service from different computers. A key token is not to be used for sharing a single UserID/Password or otherwise circumventing an appropriate license, Authorized User count, or Authorized Site count.


What can I do to stop the unlicensed use of CoStar services by competitors?

Just like any online business, CoStar must fight piracy and unauthorized use. Such unlicensed use or copying of CoStar’s commercial real estate information services hurts you, the CoStar customer, because it reduces CoStar’s ability to maximize CoStar services to their fullest potential and deliver them with high quality at reasonable prices.


Please alert us to any suspected misuse of CoStar services by sending an email to  When you help CoStar bring or refer successful legal action against those involved in data theft or illegal sharing of passcodes that generates at least $10,000 in payments to CoStar, you can earn a sizable reward.  CoStar is prepared to share the greater of $10,000 or 25% of any net monetary payment to CoStar resulting from prosecution (subject to our Reward Program Terms and Conditions – see link to the right).


Are there exceptions to these answers and the standard license agreement?

CoStar account executives and other CoStar representatives are not authorized to grant any exceptions to the rules noted here or the standard license agreement. Only authorized officers of CoStar can make any exceptions to the standard license agreement, and such changes must be made in writing.