When using pictures that contain clearly recognizable places, buildings, or other property (such as pets, automobiles, or artwork), a property release protects you against legal claims by the owner of the property for offenses such as invasion of property.
In general, property releases are obtained when using pictures of property for commercial purposes, such as in ads or brochures. Editorial use (news photos, for example) do not usually require property releases although in some cases it is common courtesy to obtain permission. Do not rely on verbal permission when taking photos. Obtain the signed release and keep it on file.
Do not assume that photos of public buildings and historic locations can be safely used without a release. Vacation photos for your scrapbook might not be a problem but for commercial use it may still be necessary to seek a property release from the entity that owns or manages the property. Ask.
When obtaining photos from third-parties, ascertain that the image is accompanied by a property release. Most reputable stock photography sources and professional photographers have model releases and property releases for their images.
If you are taking your own photos, here are some release forms you can download and use. When uploading your photos to stock photo sites, they will often have their own forms for you to use.
- Photo Release Forms at lovetoknow photography include a property release and a building release.
- Sample Release Forms at Hoover Photography are for people and property.
- Model & Property Releases at Crestock are in PDF format.
Also Known As: photo release