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geoff s

'property' definitive definition please

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re RF / RM and releases......


I hold my hand up and say that I'm still a little confused about the word 'property' in relation to releases.


I understand the concept of intellectual property and trade marks etc but I'm not sure how far the concept travels in the other direction ie into physical property.


So for example, using buildings as an example and using a scale from a world famous, landmark building (let's say the CST railway station in Mumbai) at one end  to a few ordinary houses in a landscape at the other, what are the release 


requirements here ? 


Is there some resource that gives a whole load of real world examples ? 


Thanks, and apologies if this is a dim witted question


 

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You won't get a final and definite answer answer to this.

 

Just see how different micro sites interpret this. Alamy and photographers seem to take the safe side.

Edited by Niels Quist

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Guest

True there's no definitive listing but these are the guidelines that work for the most widely distributed collections in stock, i.e. they are used/accepted on all the majors.

 

All private homes require property releases......... (you are in someone's home and/or on their property and photographing said property).
Exteriors of most individual buildings are acceptable without a release if taken from a public place, excluding TMs/logos etc i.e. intellectual property rights or other actual rights. There's (were?) is a list of exceptions for this on Alamy (borrowed from a big microstock)  - the list has some errors but it's a stay away from job for RF/commercial
        Interiors of buildings require a property release if the photograph makes the business or building recognizable..... often a moot point since you often would want to have something different/recognisable about the building but otherwise this point holds
 
Some countries have different legal issues and others like USA, specifically CA, have had this tested in court and no grounds for stopping commercial use without a property release.
 
Alamy errs on the side of caution because most people are not getting legal advice or having work run through legal QCs at other agencies, therefore it's advice is 'dumbed' down in terms of absolute caution.
 
Property releases also need to be obtained, if required, by end-users regardless of the license model. RF is not a free for all, the EULA has caveats.
Edited by Guest

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I tend to say "no property release available" for almost everything, unless it's a sunrise over the sea or Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. 

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I tend to say "no property release available" for almost everything, unless it's a sunrise over the sea or Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. 

 

 

I'm curious, vpics, as to why you say you don't need a PR for Big Ben or the House of Parliament? I think Geoff's info is good, but the world situation is complex. Alamy is conservative, yes, and so I'm forced to be conservative too. 

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Since the question of property releases can be so ambiguous, I wish it were possible in 'manage your images' to indicate that a model release is not available without having to first answer the question about whether or not the image contains property that needs a release for commercial use. I often don't know for sure if a property release would be needed, but I'd like to play it safe (just like Alamy) and indicate that I don't have one. I think that the awkward setup in manage images is perhaps one of the reasons why so many images get incorrectly marked as RF.

 

i.e. It would be less confusing to ask just one question: "Do you have property releases?"

Edited by John Mitchell
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i.e. It would be less confusing to ask just one question: "Do you have property releases?"

 

. . . and then everyone who has an image that doesn't need a property release would complain about not being able to state exactly that.

 

dd

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I'm uncertain too. Some contributors interpret the Alamy question as;

 

"Does this image contain property"

 

Therefore if their image contains any "intellectual property, or anything "man-made", or anything obviously owned by someone, they will answer yes.

 

But the question actually says;

 

"Does this image contain property that needs a release for commercial use"

 

Which implies that some interpretation maybe required to determine if the "property" shown in the image needs a release or not.

 

Given that the rules of "interpretation" seem to vary from country to country, and there are many areas that haven't actually been tested legally, interpretation is not easy and often based on hearsay and personal opinion.

 

So the easiest (and safest) way seems to be to simply answer "Yes", whenever in doubt.

 

But there are alternative views

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Fascinating reading in the link Mark

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i.e. It would be less confusing to ask just one question: "Do you have property releases?"

 

. . . and then everyone who has an image that doesn't need a property release would complain about not being able to state exactly that.

 

dd

 

 

True, but isn't the onus on the buyer to decide whether or not a property release would be needed for a particular usage?

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i.e. It would be less confusing to ask just one question: "Do you have property releases?"

 

. . . and then everyone who has an image that they think doesn't need a property release would complain about not being able to state exactly that.

 

dd

 

 

True, but isn't the onus on the buyer to decide whether or not a property release would be needed for a particular usage?

 

 

Indeed it is, as I've often stated here . . . and it's why I think an "editoral only" button is unnecessary, except where a photographer is bound by contractual requirements to strictly only editorial use.

 

But . . . my point is that contributors who have images that do not need a property release will, as sure as night follows day, complain that they cannot make that distinction.

 

dd

Edited by dustydingo

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i.e. It would be less confusing to ask just one question: "Do you have property releases?"

 

. . . and then everyone who has an image that they think doesn't need a property release would complain about not being able to state exactly that.

 

dd

 

 

True, but isn't the onus on the buyer to decide whether or not a property release would be needed for a particular usage?

 

 

Indeed it is, as I've often stated here . . . and it's why I think an "editoral only" button is unnecessary, except where a photographer is bound by contractual requirements to strictly only editorial use.

 

But . . . my point is that contributors who have images that do not need a property release will, as sure as night follows day, complain that they cannot make that distinction.

 

dd

 

 

Looks like we've come full-circle again.

 

How about an optional "property release not needed" button for those contributors who are 100% certain that a particular image would not need a release for any possible usage that the buyer might come up with?

Edited by John Mitchell
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Then the question also must include who can actually give a release for property. If it is going to be a high end advertising use then being very sure about all of this must get very complicated. Inside a rented property, is it the owner, or maybe the architect or is it going to be the mortgage provider or tenant or multiples of these?

 

If its a watering can is it the designer or the manufacturer who can give the release? The owner probably legally isn't the correct person as think of a Disney toy character being used on say a T shirt, Disney jumps on unlicensed use even if the owner of the toy said it was OK.

 

All very problematic.

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Well that's as clear as mud then. 

Any chance of Alamy sticking its oar in and clearing up what is obviously an area of some confusion ?

 

 

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I too am very confused about Property Releases in respect of what does require a release and what doesn't.

 

Shorly I'm off the the Solent (Portsmouth, UK) to photograph a Second World War restored motor torpedo boat from another boat.

 

Alamy state that I will need a Property Release as the boat belongs to someone despite it being in a public place.

 

So going by that premise, if I take an image of a city skyline, then I need a Property Release for each of the buildings in the image as each one is owned by someone.

 

It just doesn't sound right to me as I was under the assumption that If I took a picture of something in a public place then I don't need a Property Release?

 

All very confusing.....

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The whole thing is a total mess and agencies put the onus on the creator of an image when that responsibility should fall on the user as they are the only person who knows how the image is being used. I agree the question about the NEED for a release should be removed and simply ask whether there is a release available (and even who should provide that is debatable). There is a question about the access rights the photographer has been given which is a separate discussion.

 

Lawyers don't know in advance of a specific use in a particular jurisdiction (and most wouldn't give even an informal opinion) and even then it may well come down to the interpretation of the court. So how can a photographer say whether a release is needed.

 

Finally model and property releases are not defined in law (as far as I am aware) in the way copyright or patents are (and they still need the courts to assert such rights). They are a commercial contractual civil requirement so inevitably they come down to case law and the opinion of the courts.

 

At the end of the day the need for a release, or not, mostly seems to come down to the attitude and opinion of the owner of the supposed property rights (and their financial muscle of course).

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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