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A newcomer considering releases, can you tell me if a release is ever required for wildlife where images are taken within a wildlife park or maybe a zoo  where photography is freely allowed and there are no obvious restrictions and the image is wholly of the creature with no buildings, ads or property in view in the image?

 

Thanks for looking.

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Depends on the zoo/wildlife park (even if it is publicly funded - as an Example, the San DIego Zoo allows photography freely as long as the images aren't used commercially without permission).  It's best to ask the question first.  Many times, guidelines are laid out on their website and there's usually a contact email where you can ask the public relations person.

 

A newcomer considering releases, can you tell me if a release is ever required for wildlife where images are taken within a wildlife park or maybe a zoo  where photography is freely allowed and there are no obvious restrictions and the image is wholly of the creature with no buildings, ads or property in view in the image?

 

Thanks for looking.

Edited by Ed Endicott
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 I made the post and I live in Malta but the Wildlife Park in question is in UK and we visited it recently.

So I did as Ed said, got the right reply and an easy mind

I emailed them yesterday and received a very friendly reply saying I can use my images of the park as I wish, they would like a mention where possible and maybe some shots on Facebook. (I dont have Facebook so sent them a couple of shots to upload themselves if they want)

.

Thanks for all replies.

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I did say technically. I suppose most zoos would not care as long as it is a cropped shot of the animals. It could be a different matter is you are taking photos of the buildings and people around the zoo.

Furthermore, I think it is contentious in that could anyone actually own a wild animal, even as a pet or property.....or is it just a captive wild animal.

I think the problem could arise if you took a photograph that put the zoo in a bad light (pardon the pun) and it got out into the media when technically you are on private property without direct permission to take photographs for commercial gain. I hve sent a couple of years as the photographer at a local zoo and offered to shoot for their own promotional use and newborn press realeases etc. In return I have enjoyed a full property release on anything I take at the zoo.

The only other thing that may be relevant is that they don't tend to sell, unless, of course, it's meercats.

Andy

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My concern was that if you need a release for a dog, even though none German Shepherd may look just  another one, because the owner might recognise it and object then what about a rare animal or parrot etc that may well have cost the zoo/park money and time to obtain . I simply wondered if in that case where the beast could be easily recognised and could be considered in the same way as a domestic animal is considered as property, especially as the park is on private space.

It as quite possible that a species exists in only one zoo in say the UK or wherever.

Useful exercise and I will do the same again in cases of doubt but Im not going to start worrying about all those common animals that look the same as each other and are in every zoo.

Also very nice for my first time ever to have a piece of paper saying I can.....

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 I made the post and I live in Malta but the Wildlife Park in question is in UK and we visited it recently.

So I did as Ed said, got the right reply and an easy mind

I emailed them yesterday and received a very friendly reply saying I can use my images of the park as I wish, they would like a mention where possible and maybe some shots on Facebook. (I dont have Facebook so sent them a couple of shots to upload themselves if they want)

.

Thanks for all replies.

Is there any reason why you cannot mention this enlightened Wildlife Park by name?  It is like a breath of fresh air after reading of the problems with the National Trust and English Heritage who seem unable to understand that publicity and exposure are valuable assets which cost them nothing........

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It is really up to the publisher licensing the image if a release is needed for the indended, specific usage. I simply mark all my images with people as needed releases but not having one and then let the publisher determine if they can use the individual image(s) for their particular needs. Never had any issues so far and I photograph law enforcement, prisons, crime scenes etc. Meaning people being arrested, cars stopped for speeding and various other traffic related issues, inmates in prison, victim(s) and cop(s) at crime scenes etc. I never get a release of any kind.

 

Mainly my images are used in textbooks, magazines etc but I have the occasional commercial license as well. I clearly state that my pics need releases and check the box indicating I have none. If the publisher wants to run the risk of getting sued by Joe Six-Pack for a photo of him being pulled over when they use it for an ad, that's really up to the publisher and the vast majority of publishers are legally savvy enough to know where to draw the line. As long as we as photographers are honest about the fact that the image(s) might need a release and that we don't have one, all is good. I'm no lawyer so don't take this as legal advice but I've done this for quite some time now and have yet (knock on wood) to have any legal issues. Hell, I even had a dude we busted for running a meth lab come up to me and say he had seen a photo of himself in a magazine. Dude wasn't even the slightest bit upset but just asked if I maybe had a copy of the magazine so he could get a copy...

 

I'm in the US and maybe it is different in the UK, but here it would be far more likely that if someone got their knickers in a wad and decided to sue that they'd go after the big, rich publisher rather than an individual photographer with not very deep pockets... Then again, having liability insurance isn't a bad move. My $2 million umbrella policy costs me less than $100 a year.

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Many institutions, not only, but including zoos, both in this country and abroad say that photography is allowed, but if you read the small print on their website/and/or ask about then selling the images even if just for editorial use, then you find that the rule is you cant, in theory, use for "commercial" purposes. We photogs have a problem here because we tend to associate the word "commercial" with advertising or making money usages as opposed to editorial, but what the institutions mean I believe, by "commercial" use, is any use, including editorial, where the photographer is paid for the usage, ie. makes money out of it.

 

Definitely animals in zoos are property and hence need a property release, or if for editorial only, needs to be stated that a property release is needed but you dont have one

 

There was a useful thread on the old Alamy Forum about this where I seem to remember David Kilpatrick said that he wasn't aware of any photographer actually having been sued/fined for this kind of usage

 

And someone more recently on this forum made the point that although the publishers are the most likely to be sued, the ball can "keep on bouncing" and involve the photographer as well.

 

Interested to hear other views...

 

Kumar

Edited by Doc
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