iStock - Stock Photography Training Manual

6.0 Model & Property Releases

6.2 Property Releases

Sometimes we will need to see a signed and witnessed property release indicating you have obtained permission to photograph a particular location, building, or object.

The requirements for a property release isn't as clear-cut as for a model release, because there is no specific right of privacy that attaches to property, as it does to people. Having said that, there are at least two reasons for obtaining property releases: a) on the theory that a person's identity might be connected to the property in question (such as where a person's property is used in a manner that might defame the person as owner); and b) on the basis that to use someone's property for commercial gain without their consent may amount to an offence called “conversion”. Also, if you go on someone's property to take a picture of them or their property, it could amount to trespass.

iStock recommends that a Property Release be obtained when the image contains identifiable property wherever possible (this isn't just for houses, it could apply to pets, cars and other personal property. The more recognizable and unique the property (and the more the owner's identity might be connected to or determined from the property) the greater the need for a property release.

The Property Release needs to signed by the legal and beneficial owner(s) of the property or their authorized agent. Many of the same formalities apply as for Model Releases.

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