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Thread: Legalities of Photo Sales

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Legalities of Photo Sales

    I'm wondering if anybody can chime in on this...

    Eventually, if the opportunity ever comes up, I would like to sell some of my pictures. However, if the pictures are of airliners, am I required to acquire a property release from the airline/company? Military aircraft as I understand are "Public" so that is the only exception to the rule.

    For those of you who have sold any of your images, how have you dealt with the ownership legalities that go along with it?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Re: Legalities of Photo Sales

    Your photos are YOUR photos, and you do not need permission from airlines or the government (for military) to sell them.

    I've come across airlines who think they have free reign to use any photo taken of their airline because...it's their airline. This is NOT the case. If you take a photo from a place that you were allowed to take photos, it is yours and, with rare exception, no one can tell you that you're not allowed to sell it.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  3. #3
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    Re: Legalities of Photo Sales

    As Phil said, the photo is yours and you own the copyright. You should know that if there are recognizable/identifiable people in a shot you have taken, then you need a "MODEL" release in order to sell it, and technically to even exhibit it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Re: Legalities of Photo Sales

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellyrose
    You should know that if there are recognizable/identifiable people in a shot you have taken, then you need a "MODEL" release in order to sell it, and technically to even exhibit it.
    That all depends on usage...it's much more complicated than that. You don't need a model release to exhibit a photo with a person in it - you can post it on your web site, etc., provided it was taken in a publicly accessible location - I can take a shot of a person riding a bicycle in a park, and post it on my web site without getting that person's permission. If you sell it for commercial purposes, you need a model release - that same shot of a person riding in a park, if the bicycle company wants to buy it from me to use in an ad, then I need a release from the person in the shot. On the other hand, if someone comes to my web site, sees the photo, and wants to buy a print to hang on their wall, I don't need a model release, since it is not for "commercial use". In a case like that, you should notify the purchaser of any such usage restrictions - not really an issue for an "art print", but it can avoid problems in the future.

    One notable exception to the "commercial use" rule is for news/editorial use. If that same person in the park was riding away from a wildfire, and a newspaper wants to pay me to run it to illustrate a story about the fire, again, I don't need a release from the rider.

  5. #5
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    Re: Legalities of Photo Sales

    It's all so complicated. You know that in some circumstances, you need a model release for a SELF portrait? :?

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