I recently submitted some photographs of airliners landing at a nearby airport for appoval. They were rejected with an IP refusal. There are many similar photographs on Adobe Stock and so I'm trying to understand if the IP refusal is because the aircraft is recognizable, e.g. Boeing 737, or because it has an airline logo on the aircraft, a tail number (e.g. N123TL) or some combination of these.
If anyone has experience of obtaining property releases from companies such as an airline, I'd be very interested to learn about how you go about getting that. Unless I'm mistaken, it looks like a release is required for each separate day of shooting photographs rather than the airline granting general permission.
A product release is needed if any of the marks on the planes, or anything else included in the image, can identify it as someone's property. That includes airlines logos, tail numbers, signs, etc. You can try removing those, but that's all but impossible on a commercial airliner. I doubt that you would get a large commercial airline to provide a release for you to commercialize an image of their property, but you can try contacting their PR department.
If you see any such images already in the database, they're marked for "Editorial" usage only. Contributors with 100 or more images sold can submit Editorial images, though, in my experience, it's hit or miss as to whether they'll get accepted.
So, such images that are marked "Editorial" only would not necessarily require the property release?
If they do, are there other differences in the approval process beyond the need to have 100 or more images sold to be able to submit?
While I did look at the documentation your provided, I'd appreciate any further insight you can share from your own experience.
I don't know much about it beyond what is stated on the Adobe help page I linked. I have had some accepted and some rejected. The reject reason given is pasted below. The focus seems to be on current events and issues, so it's hard to say if airplane images meet that criteria.
Thanks for submitting your file for review.
Unfortunately, during our review we found that this file does not meet the Adobe Stock’s Illustrative Editorial Guidelines.
We are looking for imagery intended to illustrate articles on current events and news, focused on conceptual imagery using real brands and products to convey strong ideas.
The most common cases for rejection from that collection are:
Thanks Jill, appreciate the insights.
If you can submit Illustrative Editorial assets, you need to have the same quality requirements as normal assets, but you can keep the logos on the picture. If you have 100 sales, you will see the "Illustrative Editorial" flag enabled during the submission. If you do not have those 100 sales, but a considerable number of "Illustrative Editorial" pictures with a different stock provider, you can contact Contributor support, and they will check your assets and enable you, when they think that you are a valuable contributor for this kind of pictures.
But your pictures will be of limited use.
Maybe you are one of those photographers called "spotters". For you it is the machines you are interested in, perhaps a 737 belonging to a particular series, or the first commercial flight of a particular model with a specific company. You are in a way the paparazzi of the airports :-). But for Stock, these are brands of planes and airlines. So permission! I understand your frustration. It's not just in aviation. Logos, monuments, people, etc. copyright and authorisation. That's crazy ! But fortunately we can still take pictures of mushrooms without asking permission.....but for how long. ;-)) I remember with nostalgia the 20th century before smartphones and social networks. We had none of these problems then. Hang in there !
Appreciate the thoughts Claude!
I'm often at county airports as I fly and have a passion for aviation and photography, so why not combine the two. It's a shame there are so many restrictions on stock photography but I understand why product and copyright owners want control over their intelectual property.
You have plenty of possibilities to work around restrictions. But if you have a whole plane that is branded, it will be difficult. Property releases are needed to protect peoples's privacy, model releases are needed for the same reason. For stock photography, these restrictions were in place for a long time. It's now also in place for lesser critical situations.
I always asked people, if they would like to be in the picture, when doing corporate photography. Most accepted happily, a few dropped out. However, it was informal. I still have brochures where a picture of a younger me has been published. But I never signed a release. However, my latest pictures in employee branding are all accompagned by signed releases, even in the cases, when the employee himself wanted the picture to be taken.
It's a restriction, yes, but it protects also the photographer.