Property Release

Better safe than sorry — and essential for Royalty Free images.

The suggestions on this web site should be regarded as guidelines only and not as substitutions for professional legal advice. Laws and their interpretation differ from country to country, and these notes relate mainly to the prevailing situation in the European Union and North America.

Tick the box at Upload stage if you have obtained written clearance from the property owner or their legal representative to market the picture you are uploading.

Not ticking the box does not necessarily mean that the picture cannot be sold. However some high-paying buyers will demand full clearances before purchasing a picture. You may have the opportunity to acquire those clearances later.

It's clear and fair that businesses should copyright their logos and brand names, but in the search for yet more income some organisations have copyrighted their buildings. This can lead to the peculiar situation that, having taken a photograph in a public place, if you then sell that photograph without the permission of the owners of one of the buildings in the shot you could be prosecuted. So far this is NOT a criminal offence; you are NOT breaking the law, but who knows what might happen in the future?

Our advice is to proceed with great caution and try to get clearance from the owner if you intend to make a detailed photographic study of a building. Nothing will protect you from a really ravenous attorney, but a written authorisation may stave off an attack.

Commercial establishments may well make a charge for this. If you do pay a fee, make absolutely sure you get the permission in writing as that is what you have paid for. Although this form cannot offer you full legal protection, it is much better to have it than not.

A simple property release form for you to complete and for the property owner to sign is available for download here.

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