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Model and Property Release

Updated on 3rd January 2020

What is a Release Form?
If a photo you want to use contains recognisable people or property, the photo may require a release form in some cases.
It is your sole responsibility to decide whether the content you license from us requires any releases, consents and permissions for your intended use.
If you are unsure, we recommend that you seek legal advice.

There are two types of release, a model release and a property release.
Both types of release are signed legal forms which state that the people or the owner of property appearing in a photo have given permission for it’s use.
*(Additional restrictions apply).
Property can include works of art, trademarks, logos, brands, buildings or landmarks.
To use a photo, you don’t need an actual copy of the release, you just need to know the appropriate release form has been signed. You may be asked in the future to provide a release form for a photo you have used.
If you need a release for your chosen photo but it shows that no release form is available, you can contact the photo owner for permission or ask us to contact them on your behalf.

If the property or people in a photo are not recognisable, you don’t usually need a release.
Remember, you are solely responsible for deciding whether the content you license from us is suitable for your intended use.
*(Additional restrictions apply)

Not all the photos we have available for license are model and/or property released.
You must check for releases on the photo page.

Photos featuring copyrighted works of art sometimes require additional third party permissions for editorial or commercial use.
In this case, we suggest you seek specialist legal advice.

Commercial, Non-Commercial or Editorial?
If you intend to use a photo for commercial, promotional, advertorial or endorsement purposes or your photo features people or property then you will usually need a release.
*(Additional restrictions apply).

There are also occasions when a release isn’t needed.
If the property or people in a photo are not recognisable, you don’t usually need a release.
You also don’t usually need a release for editorial use.
Photos without a release can usually be used for newspapers, magazines, editorial broadcasts, non-commercial websites and blogs if they are newsworthy and illustrating matters of general public interest.
*(Additional restrictions apply).

We recommend you seek specialist legal advice for use of any photos featuring people, trademarks, brands, logos, copyrighted works such as works of art and other similar intellectual property.

Photos with or without standard releases cannot be used in a way that could be deemed to be distorting the truth, be controversial, illegal, sensitive or defamatory of someone’s character or of a business or corporation.
Extra permissions may be granted if requested, if unsure seek legal advice.

If the model or property owner is deceased a signed release may still be required from the heirs or estates for up to 70 years after death.

Extra release advice for publishers:
In some cases, you can include photos in an educational product without additional permission from third party property owners or the models featured with the exception of photos of works of art. If the work of art is still in copyright (if the artist is still alive or within 70 years of their death) you might need third party permissions.
You may not need additional permission if you are reviewing the artwork or artist or creating a new piece of art using elements of the imagery.

Please Note:
You must always make sure the photo you are using has the correct release, licence and permissions for your project.
When you obtain a licence to use a photo, you are solely responsible to ensure that your use of the photo does not violate or infringe third parties’ rights, such as brand or property owners or individuals appearing in the photos. You must also obtain any necessary permissions, such as releases and licences from these third parties.
If you do not secure the relevant releases and licences before using a photo, you or your company will be liable for any claims.
This is part of the agreement you make when using a photo from South of France Media.
See more information on our Terms & Conditions page.
If unsure, you should always get legal advice when any form of intellectual property is included in your project.

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