What types of subjects require a property release?
A property release signifies that the owner or authorized representative of the property has given you permission to use images or footage taken on the property for commercial use. A property release may also be used to release objects like artwork or custom designed vehicles.
When shooting on private property, it’s important to keep in mind that it may be subject to certain protections. Legal considerations related to private property vary by jurisdiction, but some considerations include claims of trespass; orders of a congress or administrative agency; proprietary rights to designs on the property; or restrictions against shooting content upon admission.
If you’re shooting on private property, or shooting private property that is distinctive from a public place, be sure to obtain a property release from an authorized representative of the owner of the property in order to avoid issues with licensing your content.
Here are some common locations that would require a property release if images from these locations are to be licensed commercially:
Unique identifiable building interiors (buildings with visible street names or numbers)
Zoos or private wildlife parks
Below are some common subjects that may require a property release:
Recognizable animals (race horses, unique pets, certain zoo animals)
Scans or photographs of artwork (see our article about non-digital artwork)
Studio shots of exotic or uniquely identifiable animals
Unique and/or custom designed luxury boats with visible call letters, unique paint job, or other markings
Unique and/or custom designed vehicles, airplanes, etc.
The foregoing list is not all-inclusive and should be used for general guidance only. As a contributor, it is your responsibility to do the research and determine if a release is necessary. Each specific instance must be considered individually.