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I have read up on property releases and find it a little bit confusing. Regarding, skylines and individual building, such as The Shard in a London photographed from across the river, I am really not sure if these are OK for commercial use or if they should be editorial only? Also, photos such as a ships wheel taken from the deck - would this need a property release to be commercial use? - the ship is not obviously identifiable and the public were invited onboard during a Tall Ships regatta and no restriction on photography were visible.

 

Any help or guidance on this subject would be gratefully received .

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There is no unconditional answer to this question.

 

I always assume that if there is a problem with a release, or no release, the buck will be passed on to me by everyone involved.

 

Street photographers beware.

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I honestly don't understand why photographers worry about releases at all. As long as you're honest and indicate that you don't have a release it is the responsibility of the publisher to make sure the image is suitable for the specific usage. Besides if someone were to file suit, would they rather focus on a publisher or an individual stock photographer? Where are they more likely to collect?

 

I never get releases. My images are marked as having no releases, and yet some of them are sometimes used in commercially. I don't worry about it at all and I photograph people getting arrested, crime scenes, traffic accidents, search warrants being served, etc in the most lawsuit-happy country on earth...

Now, would I get releases if it was feasible? Sure, to make my images more marketable. But I know there's a big market out there for unreleased images in my fields too and the same holds true for most areas of stock photography. Releases are good when you can get them but if you can't, mark your images as not having releases and let the publishers worry about it - they typically have huge legal departments filled to the brim with attorneys and the like that handles these kind of issues...

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This is very good advice.  In editorial photography access is far more important than releases.  And if you had both it's hard to see why you would have gone to all that trouble and then be uploading to Alamy anyway.

 

It is also true that unreleased editorial images are sometimes used commercially.  A year or two ago I had a photo of four detached houses, taken at night, curtains not drawn, used in an ad campaign.  No calls from lawyers yet.

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I honestly don't understand why photographers worry about releases at all. As long as you're honest and indicate that you don't have a release it is the responsibility of the publisher to make sure the image is suitable for the specific usage. Besides if someone were to file suit, would they rather focus on a publisher or an individual stock photographer? Where are they more likely to collect?

 

I never get releases. My images are marked as having no releases, and yet some of them are sometimes used in commercially. I don't worry about it at all and I photograph people getting arrested, crime scenes, traffic accidents, search warrants being served, etc in the most lawsuit-happy country on earth...

 

Now, would I get releases if it was feasible? Sure, to make my images more marketable. But I know there's a big market out there for unreleased images in my fields too and the same holds true for most areas of stock photography. Releases are good when you can get them but if you can't, mark your images as not having releases and let the publishers worry about it - they typically have huge legal departments filled to the brim with attorneys and the like that handles these kind of issues...

Many others have been saying exactly this for some time now (yourself included Mike of course).

This is very good advice. In editorial photography access is far more important than releases. And if you had both it's hard to see why you would have gone to all that trouble and then be uploading to Alamy anyway.

 

It is also true that unreleased editorial images are sometimes used commercially. A year or two ago I had a photo of four detached houses, taken at night, curtains not drawn, used in an ad campaign. No calls from lawyers yet.

As with Mike's post above, I fully agree. The example I give most often is a non-released shot of a young Balinese dancer I took, clear view of his face, that was some years ago licensed for commercial use and a 4 figure fee. I had indicated I had no release, the rest was up to the publisher. It's the reason I do not see the need for an "editorial only" button . . . although on second thought, if others want and use it, perhaps it increases the chance of more commercial sales for me . . .

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo
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Just a few years ago I came across this statement in two articles about property releases in the USA: the ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) has never been involved in a case that concerned not having a property release. Yes, it said "never." But I wonder if things have changed more recently. Privacy laws have changed . . . in France, in California, and elsewhere. 

 

This is what the ASMP has on their site today:  http://asmp.org/tutorials/property-and-model-releases.html#.VBhE1EssCco

 

Edo

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Photographers selling through agencies are protected by enduser agreements. The only case, cited in that article, of a potential lawsuit against a photographer, concerned a photo of a girl shown in an art gallery.  In this case the photographer himself (Peter Beard) is effectively the enduser, rather than an ad agency or publisher. 

 

.

Edited by Robert Brook
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