FACTS:

A non-REALTOR® buyer has a program that allows him to manipulate the Arizona REALTORS® Residential Resale Real Estate Purchase Contract (Contract). The buyer changes sections of the Contract and then presents the offer to the seller’s agent.

ISSUE:

Can a buyer change the language of the Contract?

ANSWER:

No.

DISCUSSION:

The Arizona REALTORS® Contract is copyrighted; the state association registers and holds the valid copyright for each of its forms. Thus, Arizona REALTORS® has the exclusive right to modify and reproduce, and to authorize others to modify and reproduce the forms. The unauthorized use of these forms constitutes copyright infringement. 

The importance of protecting the Arizona REALTORS® copyright is also reflected in its Policy: 

“Those who alter [Arizona REALTORS®] forms or sell or attempt to sell unauthorized copies of [Arizona REALTORS®] forms will be vigorously pursued for violation of copyright law.” (Policy D.4)

As such, the Contract  may not be manipulated and the buyer cannot change the portions of the Contract before presenting his offer.

Note: By manipulating the Contract, the buyer has not only violated copyright law, the buyer and seller may not have a meeting-of-the-minds, if the licensee and seller fail to discover all of the changes the buyer made in the copyrighted Contract.