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Sally R

Property release question

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Hi Alamy folk,

 

I'm trying to make the right decision regarding some images featuring musical instruments. I've uploaded some images of a guitar that belongs to me and a ukulele that belongs to my brother. In both cases the brand/logos of the instruments are not showing.

 

I can easily produce property releases from my brother and myself as owners of the instruments. However, although the brand logos are not showing, if the companies who manufactured the instruments thought they were still identifiable, it may possibly be best to say I don't have releases. This is probably unlikely as the images are fairly generic, but I'm thinking maybe I should be on the safe side and say there are no releases.

 

So basically, working out if I should say yes, there are releases (from my brother and myself as the owners), or no, there are no releases (from the respective guitar and ukulele manufacturers)?

 

I've had a look at another recent related thread on this topic which was helpful (just tried to copy and paste link but turned into an error below which I can't seem to delete), but still a bit unsure of how to proceed. Thinking probably best to say no releases?

 

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The most important property release would be the one from the maker. Designs are often recognisable without any visible brand name. I know Micro sites often treat this differently, but this is not a micro site. I won't tell you what to do - but I know what I would do - tick the box telling that there is property in the image - and that you do not have a release. 

Edited by Niels Quist
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Thanks Niels,

 

I did previously have these images on a micro site. I've removed them from there deciding I prefer to sell through Alamy (I am progressively moving images from there and will probably close that account down). There they did not require the property release, but I thought things might be different here at Alamy. Yes I think you are right, it is best to err on the side of caution and mark them as not having a release.

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2 hours ago, Sally R said:

Thanks Niels,

 

I did previously have these images on a micro site. I've removed them from there deciding I prefer to sell through Alamy (I am progressively moving images from there and will probably close that account down). There they did not require the property release, but I thought things might be different here at Alamy. Yes I think you are right, it is best to err on the side of caution and mark them as not having a release.

 

 

"did not require property release" is a bit of a misnomer.  They accepted it without one, allowed to sell commercially, and hoped nothing wrong happens if it got licenced. 

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15 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

"did not require property release" is a bit of a misnomer.  They accepted it without one, allowed to sell commercially, and hoped nothing wrong happens if it got licenced.

 

This is where I am still a bit unclear. I'm trying to understand how generic something is before a property release is required. If, for example, I owned a Steinway piano and I took a close-up of the black and white keys, does this still need a manufacturer property release for commercial uses even if the brand is not identifiable?

 

With one of my guitar images, a vertical one, I had wondered about whether it might be of use for a music flyer or poster, or even a book cover. Of course, no one may ever want it for those purposes, but in the hypothetical situation that they did, would they then contact Alamy to contact me to find out the make and model of guitar, so they can then request a property release from the manufacturer? Or should I even state the make and model in the caption, even if these details are not in the image, so that potential buyers know from the outset who the manufacturer is if they wish to seek a property release?

 

I am also trying to factor in two layers of meaning for a property release, one based on who owns the property, and one based on who has made the property. It seems best to always say there is no release for any object made by a human, but I guess I'm just trying to clarify whether there is a point at which something is so generic that it almost no longer makes sense. For example, a generic soccer ball with no branding or a cutlery item such as a metal fork. I guess by always saying there is not a release, it is always up to the purchaser then to seek a release, but sometimes this won't be possible from just looking at the object if the manufacturer is not identifiable.

 

I don't want to infringe anyone's copyright and want to do the right thing. Overall it seems like it is best to indicate that there's no release for any object that I have not made myself, even if I own the object and it has been photographed without showing branding, or it is a generic item that I might not even have a brand name for. I even wondered about the wallpaper in the background of the musical instruments I photographed. Again, that was designed and made by someone, even though the designs are somewhat generic.

 

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

"did not require property release" is a bit of a misnomer.  They accepted it without one, allowed to sell commercially, and hoped nothing wrong happens if it got licenced.

 

This is where I am still a bit unclear. I'm trying to understand how generic something is before a property release is required. If, for example, I owned a Steinway piano and I took a close-up of the black and white keys, does this still need a manufacturer property release for commercial uses even if the brand is not identifiable?

 

With one of my guitar images, a vertical one, I had wondered about whether it might be of use for a music flyer or poster, or even a book cover. Of course, no one may ever want it for those purposes, but in the hypothetical situation that they did, would they then contact Alamy to contact me to find out the make and model of guitar, so they can then request a property release from the manufacturer? Or should I even state the make and model in the caption, even if these details are not in the image, so that potential buyers know from the outset who the manufacturer is if they wish to seek a property release?

 

I am also trying to factor in two layers of meaning for a property release, one based on who owns the property, and one based on who has made the property. It seems best to always say there is no release for any object made by a human, but I guess I'm just trying to clarify whether there is a point at which something is so generic that it almost no longer makes sense. For example, a generic soccer ball with no branding or a cutlery item such as a metal fork. I guess by always saying there is not a release, it is always up to the purchaser then to seek a release, but sometimes this won't be possible from just looking at the object if the manufacturer is not identifiable.

 

I don't want to infringe anyone's copyright and want to do the right thing. Overall it seems like it is best to indicate that there's no release for any object that I have not made myself, even if I own the object and it has been photographed without showing branding, or it is a generic item that I might not even have a brand name for. I even wondered about the wallpaper in the background of the musical instruments I photographed. Again, that was designed and made by someone, even though the designs are somewhat generic.

 

Update: I've just re-read Alamy's info on property releases, and with regard to book publishers, that is considered editorial so not requiring a release. I'm not sure if a book cover is regarded differently to book content, but in any case, I will indicate there are no releases from now on unless I made the object myself, or obviously if I have direct contact with the maker of the object who has signed a release. I think the grey area for me was whether you can sign a release for something you own without an identifiable brand, even if you haven't made it. I'm moving more in the direction of editorial photography now anyway, and feel Alamy is a better fit for me in this regard. Sorry for my long and convoluted thought processes!

 

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It is a difficult question. I am not at all always sure, but if in doubt I definitely tick property and no release to be sure. Recognisable design (or close to) and brand is a sure sign. You have to be careful but not obsessive in this matter. The more you know about copyright and previous legal cases (when happens often referred in the forum), the better you can judge. 

When you tick the property/no release boxes the buyer is responsible for the correct use of the photos. So by ticking  in this way you transfer (most of) the responsibility to the buyer. Ticking so can easily make sales for uses I would consider to be borderline. By ticking "editorial only" is a stricter matter. I have heard that sometimes customers have contacted contributors through Alamy to lift that restriction as an exception in special cases.

But I am no expert in this, have only  had more years to learn by doing and listening.

 

Edited by Niels Quist
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Thank you Niels. I think I was also initially confusing myself between releases based on manufacturers/creators and releases based on ownership of the object. As you point out above, the release from the manufacturer is the most critical in the example of the guitar I own.

 

Basically, anything with property in it I have marked as such, and now made sure they all indicate no releases even where I own the item and branding doesn't show. I have made two images editorial where there are artworks involved (and not taking up more than a third of the image as per Alamy's requirements), and have identified the artists too, which hopefully helps protect the artists.

 

And yes I am probably over-thinking it a lot and getting a bit obsessive! Will now go and make myself a cup of tea!

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2 minutes ago, Sally R said:

Thank you Niels. I think I was also initially confusing myself between releases based on manufacturers/creators and releases based on ownership of the object. As you point out above, the release from the manufacturer is the most critical in the example of the guitar I own.

 

Basically, anything with property in it I have marked as such, and now made sure they all indicate no releases even where I own the item and branding doesn't show. I have made two images editorial where there are artworks involved (and not taking up more than a third of the image as per Alamy's requirements), and have identified the artists too, which hopefully helps protect the artists.

 

And yes I am probably over-thinking it a lot and getting a bit obsessive! Will now go and make myself a cup of tea!

 

If only all Alamy contributors were as careful and common sensed as you are 😉

 

Enjoy your cup of tea. I just finished my coffee 😀

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On 30/01/2020 at 07:31, Sally R said:

 

This is where I am still a bit unclear. I'm trying to understand how generic something is before a property release is required. If, for example, I owned a Steinway piano and I took a close-up of the black and white keys, does this still need a manufacturer property release for commercial uses even if the brand is not identifiable?

 

With one of my guitar images, a vertical one, I had wondered about whether it might be of use for a music flyer or poster, or even a book cover. Of course, no one may ever want it for those purposes, but in the hypothetical situation that they did, would they then contact Alamy to contact me to find out the make and model of guitar, so they can then request a property release from the manufacturer? Or should I even state the make and model in the caption, even if these details are not in the image, so that potential buyers know from the outset who the manufacturer is if they wish to seek a property release?

 

I am also trying to factor in two layers of meaning for a property release, one based on who owns the property, and one based on who has made the property. It seems best to always say there is no release for any object made by a human, but I guess I'm just trying to clarify whether there is a point at which something is so generic that it almost no longer makes sense. For example, a generic soccer ball with no branding or a cutlery item such as a metal fork. I guess by always saying there is not a release, it is always up to the purchaser then to seek a release, but sometimes this won't be possible from just looking at the object if the manufacturer is not identifiable.

 

I don't want to infringe anyone's copyright and want to do the right thing. Overall it seems like it is best to indicate that there's no release for any object that I have not made myself, even if I own the object and it has been photographed without showing branding, or it is a generic item that I might not even have a brand name for. I even wondered about the wallpaper in the background of the musical instruments I photographed. Again, that was designed and made by someone, even though the designs are somewhat generic.

 

Update: I've just re-read Alamy's info on property releases, and with regard to book publishers, that is considered editorial so not requiring a release. I'm not sure if a book cover is regarded differently to book content, but in any case, I will indicate there are no releases from now on unless I made the object myself, or obviously if I have direct contact with the maker of the object who has signed a release. I think the grey area for me was whether you can sign a release for something you own without an identifiable brand, even if you haven't made it. I'm moving more in the direction of editorial photography now anyway, and feel Alamy is a better fit for me in this regard. Sorry for my long and convoluted thought processes!

 

 

On Alamy you can take a simple approach. If there's any property in the image, answer "Yes". It's not necessary for you to make the judgement as to whether that property requires a release or not. Indeed making such judgements is a complex topic which can be dependent on the subject, the image composition and local legislation where the image was taken and the use to which the image might be put (which only the publisher will know). If you don't have a release then say you don't have a release. The publisher can make the decision as to whether to use the image for their application. They can see the content of the image, they know what their application is, and how they will use the image (may even be just a small crop), they also know the photographer has said it contains property and they don't have a release. It's the publisher's decision and responsibility (as Alamy purchaser T&Cs make clear)

 

If you want to actively want to restrict the use to editorial only, then tick that box too to provide additional protection, but many here don't do that (myself included except in particular circumstances, e.g. where the image features 2D or 3D artwork)

 

Mark

 

Edited by M.Chapman
Corrected comment to include 3D artwork

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Thank you Mark, that is very helpful!

 

And thank you for your kind comments Niels 😊

 

People are very helpful here on this forum and I really appreciate that 😀

 

 

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4 hours ago, Sally R said:

 

This is where I am still a bit unclear. I'm trying to understand how generic something is before a property release is required. If, for example, I owned a Steinway piano and I took a close-up of the black and white keys, does this still need a manufacturer property release for commercial uses even if the brand is not identifiable?

 

With one of my guitar images, a vertical one, I had wondered about whether it might be of use for a music flyer or poster, or even a book cover. Of course, no one may ever want it for those purposes, but in the hypothetical situation that they did, would they then contact Alamy to contact me to find out the make and model of guitar, so they can then request a property release from the manufacturer? Or should I even state the make and model in the caption, even if these details are not in the image, so that potential buyers know from the outset who the manufacturer is if they wish to seek a property release?

 

I am also trying to factor in two layers of meaning for a property release, one based on who owns the property, and one based on who has made the property. It seems best to always say there is no release for any object made by a human, but I guess I'm just trying to clarify whether there is a point at which something is so generic that it almost no longer makes sense. For example, a generic soccer ball with no branding or a cutlery item such as a metal fork. I guess by always saying there is not a release, it is always up to the purchaser then to seek a release, but sometimes this won't be possible from just looking at the object if the manufacturer is not identifiable.

 

I don't want to infringe anyone's copyright and want to do the right thing. Overall it seems like it is best to indicate that there's no release for any object that I have not made myself, even if I own the object and it has been photographed without showing branding, or it is a generic item that I might not even have a brand name for. I even wondered about the wallpaper in the background of the musical instruments I photographed. Again, that was designed and made by someone, even though the designs are somewhat generic.

 

Update: I've just re-read Alamy's info on property releases, and with regard to book publishers, that is considered editorial so not requiring a release. I'm not sure if a book cover is regarded differently to book content, but in any case, I will indicate there are no releases from now on unless I made the object myself, or obviously if I have direct contact with the maker of the object who has signed a release. I think the grey area for me was whether you can sign a release for something you own without an identifiable brand, even if you haven't made it. I'm moving more in the direction of editorial photography now anyway, and feel Alamy is a better fit for me in this regard. Sorry for my long and convoluted thought processes!

 

 

 

this is why i prefer the Alamy approach.  I'm not a trademark expert, nor an international copyright lawyer, i'm a  photographer.  I figure the rules of what i am allowed to take picture of and offer for licencing.  The image user makes a decision if it fits all it's needs.

 

For me if there is any physical thing on the image, i put that there is property and i have no release for it.  The buyer can decide if it fits their needs.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

 

 

 

If you want to actively want to restrict the use to editorial only, then tick that box too to provide additional protection, but many here don't do that (myself included except in particular circumstances, e.g. where the image contains 2D artwork where a crop could appear as a direct copy of someone else's work)

 

Mark

 

 

Mark interesting.  So you do not but editorial for 3D art work?  that's interesting 

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22 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

Mark interesting.  So you do not but editorial for 3D art work?  that's interesting 

 

Sorry you’re right, I was confusing editorial only with Alamy exclusive. I usually mark 2D and 3D artwork as editorial only, if I don’t have a release. I've updated my posting. Thanks.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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