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There is often debate about the need to provide model release for people pics, but what about inanimate objects?

 

In a typical case I take a photo of a friend or relative riding a bike. They agree to provide a model release, but what about the bike? It's their bike, but clearly the copyright for the design resides with the designer/manufacturer. Do I need a property release from the manufacturer before marking the shot as RF?

 

Taking this further, it's unlikely that the the clothes they are wearing were hand made, so another set of companies are involved!

 

The same applies to my house, I own the house, but not the rights to the design.

 

It occurs to me that, taking this very literal approach, very few shots including "property" can be considered for RF use (except maybe very old public buildings with architect long dead and maybe forgotten), This limits RF to photos of the countryside, where any property may be considered incidental to the purpose of the image. 

 

Indeed is the need to mark as requiring a property release dependent upon the importance of the object within the image? Is it the principal reason for using the photo, or does it just happen to be present.

 

Clarification would be useful.

 

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This limits RF to photos of the countryside, where any property may be considered incidental to the purpose of the image. 

 

- and be sure there is no farm animal of a special breed in the photo.

 

There is no easy answer to your question, I am afraid.

 

But sometimes you are surprised to see what is sold as RF.

Edited by Niels Quist
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This limits RF to photos of the countryside, where any property may be considered incidental to the purpose of the image. 

 

You need a PR from God. :)

 

Allan

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This gives some useful insights:

 

http://www.danheller.com/model-release-copyrights.html#1

 

Interesting, I wonder how much of it is accurate in UK law though? Is this subject the same where ever you sell the photo from or to?

 

There is no legal or statutory requirement for any sort of model or property release in the UK, except for a few locations in London. It's just sort of become custom and practice. Plus other people (Alamy for instance) set their own rules.

 

I think that this applies to many other countries too.

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Thanks for the responses, it's not simple is it?

 

That Dan Heller book takes some reading, and probably a re-reading, but gives the flavour.

 

However, as Russell says,  Alamy appears to take a different approach.  I have recently been told  to re-classify a photo as RM that I had assumed would be OK as RF, due to the lack of a property release. It is showing a detail of Gaudi's cathedral in Barcelona, the Sagrada Família. It was one of my earliest submissions and I would probably have gone for RM today.

 
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There is no legal or statutory requirement for any sort of model or property release in the UK, except for a few locations in London.

Where might they be?

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Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square require written permission from Boris (or whoever else is Mayor or whoever manages the Squares) if the intended use of the image is commercial. A fee is also payable. The Royal Parks also require permission if an image is to be used commercially.

 

There may be others but these are the ones I know about. 

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A few thoughts:

I THINK the Duke of Westminster owns the locations above. Also Durdle Door requires permission (and possibly a fee) as it is part of the Lulworth Estate. Don't know how strict that is as you often see DD splashed on mag covers!!

Alamy operates to ITS rules as its jurisdiction is worldwide, I suspect, and every country has its own laws on this. In India it used to be you couldn't photograph bridges.

nj

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Isn't Durdle Door only off limits if you snap it from land owned by the Lulworth Estate? If you snap it from out at sea or a nearby footpath, I think you're OK.

 

There's also an interesting debate to be had regarding owners restricting photography on their land. I *think* that if you snap without permission, they can only claim that you're trespassing and can eject you from their property using "reasonable force". Trespass is not a criminal act so you cannot be "prosecuted". They do not have the right to delete your images but they also do not have the right, once you have the images, to restrict how you use them. The only recourse to the law that they have is to sue you if you cause a loss to them, either financially or to their reputation. 

 

Pissing off landowners by being bloody minded isn't the best way to go about things, mind.

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Thanks for clarifying, it's a civil matter, one doesn't commit an offence so it's low-profile time. One's presence might turn into a trespass if it was too obvious what you were doing, but the Mayor of London's office isn't strongarming Alamy the way the NT is, because the bylaws don't prevent photography, they merely mandate a fee for certain uses.

My rule of thumb in the UK is that if I'm not actively and lawfully prevented from taking photographs, or unless it's an explicit condition of entry to private property, notified in advance, then I use them. Of course I never identify myself as a professional photographer.

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There is often debate about the need to provide model release for people pics, but what about inanimate objects?

 

In a typical case I take a photo of a friend or relative riding a bike. They agree to provide a model release, but what about the bike? It's their bike, but clearly the copyright for the design resides with the designer/manufacturer. Do I need a property release from the manufacturer before marking the shot as RF?

 

Taking this further, it's unlikely that the the clothes they are wearing were hand made, so another set of companies are involved!

 

The same applies to my house, I own the house, but not the rights to the design.

 

It occurs to me that, taking this very literal approach, very few shots including "property" can be considered for RF use (except maybe very old public buildings with architect long dead and maybe forgotten), This limits RF to photos of the countryside, where any property may be considered incidental to the purpose of the image. 

 

Indeed is the need to mark as requiring a property release dependent upon the importance of the object within the image? Is it the principal reason for using the photo, or does it just happen to be present.

 

Clarification would be useful.

 

Relative to riding a bike - if you can determine what kind of bike, pedals, bike seat (Brooks Saddle?), bike frame, etc., then you should have a release. If it cannot by determined from the image, then not necessary.

 

With relation to clothes, there are aspects that are subject to copyright such as the three stripes in Addidas branded sweat pants or shirts or shorts.  If you can determine the brand from the photo, then you need a release.

 

With relation to architecture - at least in the U.S. - if the architecture was designed after December 1990, then it could be copyrighted. => http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ41.pdf NOTE - EVERY COUNTRY IS DIFFERENT

 

With relation to your home - if you remove the house number, you are probably OK as long as it is a generic home.

 

The basic premise is if the designer or the owner can identify it in a photo, then you probably need a property release.

Edited by Ed Endicott
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