When do I need a Model or Property Release?

When uploading footage, audio, images or photographs that depict recognizable human beings or identifiable buildings you must acquire a signed release form.

What are Model And Property Releases?

A model release is a legal release signed by the subject of a photograph or video granting permission to use or publish the photograph or video in one form or another. You can read a full description of what a model release is at Wikipedia.

If you are including in your item the face or identifiable features of any person on video, photograph, or a traced illustration, you will need a signed model release from that person.

A property release is a legal release signed by the owner of property used in a photograph or video granting permission to use or publish the photograph or video in one form or another.

If you are including the depiction of recognizable private property on video on video, photograph, or a traced illustration, you will need a signed location release from the property owner.

Authors do not need one for public property, such as government buildings (although you  may run into problems just from photographing/videoing them, for security reasons!). But for images of private property — and particularly of objects that are closely identified with specific people —  photographers are urged to get a release.

Most animals in zoos are the property of the zoo and usually cannot be used for commercial purposes without the consent of the zoo.

Commercial vs Editorial Use

If an image featuring people or property is used in an advertisement or promotion it requires a release form, but the author may be able to sell an image for “Editorial use” even if it doesn’t have a release. Since, at this point in time Envato does not offer Editorial licenses, any image, likeness, or depiction uploaded to the PhotoDune site containing an easily recognised person or prominent, trade-mark protected property must have attached to it the correct forms.

Commercial Use: Defined as any media to which money exchanges hands. Money could be paid for the subject of the photograph/footage/media or the media itself. Wholesale, retail, and professional uses of photography would fall under this definition. The commercial photographic world could include: Advertising photography – photographs made to illustrate and usually sell a service or product. These images are generally done with an advertising agency, design firm or with an in-house corporate design team.

Editorial Use: when an image is used in conjunction with, and to illustrate, a news related story or any non-commercial text demanding imagery. Examples include magazines, newspapers, features and books.

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