I have seen many photos of public places/ government offices (outsides) and monuments in which there are lot of unidentified people. Adobe do not accept editorial images(As far as I know). Also for commercial use of photos of other people a property release is definitely required. It surely not possible that contributor got and provided the model release form from unidentified people on road who appeared in his/ her photos. Also there was no tag on photo page that the photo is only for editorial use.
Kindly suggest if photos having unidentified people and public identifiable property can be sold for commercial use without release. There are lot of chances that those people can raise issue at later stage.
You could answer your question if you read the terms for uploading in the Fotolia/AS contributor rules:
"Remember:"Recognizable" means that the model can identify itself. This can be due to external factors (especially clothing or equipment, specific location...) or personal factors (tattoos, physical peculiarities...). That's why it's always safer to get a model release, even when you're close-up of a body part. For images of large crowds, there may be exceptions where you do not need model releases. The more people appearing on the photo, the safer you can be"
So, you never can be sure to do it right...In the end you, as the photographer, are in Responsibility and liability.
So if I am covering an event like a blues festival and get shots of the crowd looking for reactions to the artist what is the position on that? On other stock sites that would be considered editorial content. However Adobe has segregated editorial to invitation only.
this is a question that is currently even harder/impossible to answer, as there is a regulation (DSGVO) in the EU where there are even more restrictions regarding digital photography of people without its consent. There is still a lot of uncertainty here and this is currently being intensively discussed among photographers and stock suppliers. According to this regulation, for example, only professional employed press photographers are apparently allowed to take editorial pictures and sell them.
But as I said, everything is still in the balance and people are generally waiting to see what will happen after 25 May 18, when the transitional period for the regulation ends, and whose interpretation will be made clearer by court rulings.
Regarding the European Union (EU), Yes, there is this new law which comes into effect this Friday 25th- in English it is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is connected to the EU and is designed to protect privacy laws.