Property release requirements

A detailed guide on why and how property release forms should be used and in what circumstances.

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If you intend to sell images containing recognizable places, buildings, or other property, including artwork and product names, you may be required to fill out a property release form when you submit content to Arcistock. It is a legal form and must be signed by the owner of the property. This will cover many buildings. However, if the property is owned by a company, then you will need a corporate representative to sign the form.

A property release is a document that displays written permission from the property owner identifying the subject and consenting to its use for commercial purposes. If you do not obtain a property release, your photographs can’t be used for commercial purposes.  

The following list of property types may require a property release:

  • Famous landmarks, historic locations, and modern architecture
  • Copyrighted works like art, books, maps, fictional characters
  • Identifiable exterior or interior of private homes and buildings
  • Distinctive product shapes like toys, bottles, luxury furniture, vehicles, airplanes
  • Properties with photography policies, which may include stadiums, museums, concert venues, amusement parks

Download our property release form

You can download our property release template here, so you can send the release to the property owner to sign and send back.

Private buildings

If you’re taking photographs of a recognizable properties, you will almost certainly need a property release. However, not all. Generic houses and interiors as well as urban skylines are all fine. Broad cityscapes without a single point of focus don’t require property releases.

Examples of buildings that do require a property release: 

  • Museums, palaces, privately owned landmarks, businesses or estates
  • Recognizable distinctive homes and interiors, known by their design and/or their architect e.g. Villa Savoye by Le Corbuiser

Landmarks and monuments

Many historical properties that are more than 120 years old will not require a release. But any that have had any alterations or any modifications, however small since then, will definitely need one. If in doubt, please contact the property owner or appropriate government.

Intellectual property

For products, you will need to remove any trademarks and copyright-protected items that appear in the image, such as on signage, logos, buildings etc. Please do this before you upload your photos. Products and packaging that contain recognizable logos and content cannot be in the photograph.

For recognisable works of art, permission from the artist is required (or from the estate where the works are held). Photos taken from a museum or gallery must adhere to any restrictions made by the entity in which they reside.

Recognisable art that is located in public spaces (sculptures, murals etc.), or graffiti, must have a property release from the artist or building owner.

Public transport

If you are photographing public transport, you will need explicit permission. Moreover, as with intellectual property, you will also need to remove any trademarks and copyright-protected items that appear.

For more information on which particular buildings are not accepted as subjects in photographs, view Abobe's useful Known Image Restrictions.