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Hi,

 

More help and advice please. Almost every image will have some kind of property in it, won't it? Except maybe landscapes.

 

For example I have images of a public cigarette disposal tray, a swimming pool at a holiday camp, a cup of coffee taken at a coffee shop, etc. I have at present said No, to the 'Does this contain property' question in Attributes. But maybe I am wrong there, maybe I should say yes, as they are all obviously somebody's property. So then what about property releases for that kind of image? Impossible to obtain I would say.

 

Advise me please.

 

Ruth

Edited by Ruth Nicholls
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I'd say that the Swimming Pool and Coffee cup are definitely property.  Not 100% sure on the cigarettes, but my personal approach is always to err on the side of caution and I would have listed this as property as well.  Bear in mind that for Editorial use, the user doesn't need either model or property release, so it won't inhibit sales to Books, Magazines, Calendars or Editorial websites etc if you mark as having property and no release.  Property Release is required for Commercial use, generally advertising.  Perhaps one of the more experienced members will offer their views on the cigarette image, I'd be interested in the answer as I'm still learning even after a few years.   

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Yes, you are wrong - even old stuff and apparently anonymous things like worktop surfaces, wallpapers, curtains, chairs etc are property and may be registered designs. That's why today it is common for advertisers to create fake surfaces (using inkjet printing), or use CGI to replace detail with new textures, etc. You can get away with something like a tray of fag ends close-up on the cigarettes (I have that as No property) but if enough of the tray is shown, you would need it (I've got exactly that situation in three shots of mine - No Prop, No Model needed for a close-up, Model and Property needed for one which shows enough background and detail to identify the tray, Property only for one which shows the setting but no model).

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Thanks David and Chris. So I should change the Attributes on everything to 'Contains Property', but 'no property release'. Then the images can be used for everything except advertising - is that correct?

 

I remember you David, you used to run a great magazine? I won all 3 of Barrie Thomas's tutorial CDs with a mono photo of the Louvre courtyard - back in the heady days of the first or second version of Photoshop! My, how things have moved on!

 

Ruth

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Why can micros sell without PR and Alamy cant? I never heard of any lawsuits over a cup of coffee without a PR. I am sure Micros are not selling images that break law, so whats the catch?

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My understanding is that its all nearly impossible to second guess. Most man made objects have been designed by someone so that someone has a copyright on the design. A user of the photo needs to insure that it is legal to publish it including releases if its not editorial, but in practice they will weigh up the probabilities of legal issues. Alamy just want to play very safe in having the photographer indicate if it needs a release so passing on responsibility.

 

If the object is not the focus of attention, smaller advertisers or for less important ads the user may decide its unlikely to be a problem and use it. For a major campaign much more care will be taken, as David Kilpatrick pointed out even surfaces will be specificity created.

 

To actually obtain a correct property release is probably beyond most of us. A car, beach ball, pair of shoes, dress, fence post, paving slab, etc. at a distance, not the main subject all would still need the creator of the object to sign the release and even more so it it was a main subject not the current owner.

 

I've taken a pragmatic approach that most of my photos will not be used in a major ad campaign (sadly), and if something is relatively minor I mark it as not needing a property release. If its easily recognizable, a major part, I generally say no property release and needed but I haven't been consistent I know.

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Thanks Charles, very comprehensive answer. I'll go through my images again and try and make sensible choices.

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Hi Semmick Photo I don't have a clue why asking a question would get a vote down, but to answer the question about why micros sell without PR and Alamy doesn't my guess (only a guess) is that every agency takes a slightly differant approach to probabilities of legal actions.

Alamy is conservative in this, others may be less so.  Think of all the crowd sceans with model release, Alamy list 6,484, many from other agencies which are not as conservative but still, maybe older ones, from individual photographers. As I said earlier, it's impossible to second guess and only partly useful to have out tick box on releases.

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What about buildings, that might be public, but have for instance a coffee shop or something. Does this require a PR?

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It's such a mine field and seems that anything and everything is owned by someone or other - apart from the sky - that I mark model releases and property releases as  - no, I don't have any. That way, I'm covered (I hope). So this limits me to RM licence only. Which is fine.

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