Jul 11, 2016 - 02:14 PM
71. Copyrighting an Appraisal Report
Question: Does registration of a copyright on an appraisal report with the U.S. Copyright Office violate the
confidentiality provisions of USPAP?
Response: The ASB is taking no position as to whether an appraisal report is copyrightable, nor does this
response constitute a legal opinion of the ASB.
If, however, an appraisal report is copyrightable, and if the process of registration with the U.S.
Copyright Office includes public disclosure of the appraisal report, such registration would disclose
assignment results and, therefore, result in a breach of the Confidentiality section of the ETHICS
RULE of USPAP, unless the appraiser/registrant had the prior approval of the client for such
In additiion, the ASB addresses the ownership of appraisal reports in FAQ #259:
259. OWNERSHIP OF APPRAISAL REPORTS Question: A property owner has requested a copy of an appraisal report I prepared for a lender. Who owns an
appraisal report, its associated research and supporting documentation? Response: USPAP does not specifically address who owns an appraisal report, the research necessary to
produce that report and the report’s supporting documentation. Appraisal reports of all kinds are, by definition …transmitted to the client… As indicated in
Standards Rules 2-2, 8-2, and 10-2, and further described in Advisory Opinion 12, Use of the
Appraisal Report Opinions of Standards Rules 2-2, 8-2, and 10-2, the decision as to which reporting
option is appropriate for any given assignment is reached by both the appraiser and the client. However, once that decision has been competently made, USPAP does not place further
responsibility upon the appraiser for the client’s use of that report. An appraiser who receives a request from any party for a copy of an appraisal report must comply
with the Confidentiality section of the ETHICS RULE which states, in part: An appraiser must protect the confidential nature of the appraiser-client relationship. An appraiser must act in good faith with regard to the legitimate interests of the client in the use
of confidential information and in the communication of assignment results. The Confidentiality section of the ETHICS RULE further states: An appraiser must not disclose: (1) confidential information or (2) assignment results to anyone
other than: • the client; • parties specifically authorized by the client; • state appraiser regulatory agencies; • third parties as may be authorized by due process of law; or • a duly authorized professional peer review committee except when such disclosure to a
committee would violate applicable law or regulation.
We hope you find this helpful.