General rules about photos of buildings - What is commercial and whats editorial?

Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2020

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Photos of buildings - what is editorial and what is commercial?

 

Hi There

I would greatly appreciate some clarification around the legalities of taking pictures of buildings and houses both old and new.

I am of the understanding that old buildings are okay as commercial and new ones need to be editorial.

What constitues a streetscape? and if there are no people is that then commercial?

What about a close up detail of a new building can that be commercial?

Is a photo of a house commercial or editorial?

Thanks in advance 🙂

 

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2 Correct Answers

LEGEND , Jun 06, 2020
Just Shoot Me LEGEND , Jun 06, 2020
When you say "As Commercial Photos" I think you mean can the Buyer of your image, from any source you list that image as For Sale, use it in a Commercial setting, they are making money off it in a add or similar.   In my mind, I am NOT a lawyer, you would need a release signed by the owner/owners of that particular property to do that. No matter where you are standing when you took the image.   But Agian You need to Contact a LAWYER. Which you should already have.

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Adobe Community Professional , Jun 05, 2020
Chuck Uebele Adobe Community Professional , Jun 05, 2020
While not a lawyer, it seems that you are confusing commercial and editorial with the images content, where it is how you use the photo that determines if it is commercial or editorial. If you use the photo to sell a product, then it's commercial. If you're taking photos for newspapers, educational purposes, and such then it's editorial. Art photography can be a gray area. Many stock photo agencies will require a release of photos of buildings. To take photos of some buildings, you have to get p...

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LEGEND ,
May 31, 2020

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I moved your post over from the poorly named Community Help forum, which is for getting help using this forum system, to a better forum.

 

This is a question for a lawyer or a GROUP of Lawyers.

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Community Beginner ,
May 31, 2020

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Thank you, I look forward to some guidance 🙂

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 06, 2020

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Thanks everybody for the responses, much appreciated 🙂

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2020

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While not a lawyer, it seems that you are confusing commercial and editorial with the images content, where it is how you use the photo that determines if it is commercial or editorial. If you use the photo to sell a product, then it's commercial. If you're taking photos for newspapers, educational purposes, and such then it's editorial. Art photography can be a gray area. Many stock photo agencies will require a release of photos of buildings. To take photos of some buildings, you have to get permission, if you are photographing it on private property, but you can take a photo, if you are on public property. Lots of gray areas in this. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 06, 2020

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Thanks for your reply, it is greatly appreciated.



I have an interest in architecture both old and new.

I have been getting lots of intellectual property refusals on photos of
architectural details of new buildings. With another agency I just put
those through as editorial images however here it might be a long while
before I get to 1000 downloads.



Maybe I should rephrase my question. What kind of pictures can I take of
buildings from a public place that could be used as commercial photos?



Thanks again

Rose

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LEGEND ,
Jun 06, 2020

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When you say "As Commercial Photos" I think you mean can the Buyer of your image, from any source you list that image as For Sale, use it in a Commercial setting, they are making money off it in a add or similar.

 

In my mind, I am NOT a lawyer, you would need a release signed by the owner/owners of that particular property to do that. No matter where you are standing when you took the image.

 

But Agian You need to Contact a LAWYER. Which you should already have.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 06, 2020

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Again, since I'm  not a lawyer, I'm not 100% sure. If you're using them for commercial purposes, then you need to get a release. I believe that would apply if one building is the main subject of your image. Close up shots might not need it, if you can't tell what building it is.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 06, 2020

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With using an agency, they are looking at the end use. It's not you, but the buyer of your images and how they use them. If you classify they as editorial, then, I would assume the buyer would be restricted to use them as an editorial image, which would limit your sales potential.

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Explorer ,
Jun 06, 2020

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The laws vary from country to country. Here in the UK you can shoot anything from public land, with a couple of restrictions, such as the Prime Minister's private residence, and docks. It would be foolish to point a long lens through a secret military base. But most buildings you can shoot from the outside.
Inside buildings is a different matter and one has to abide by the rules of the property owner. If they say no photography, then if you start shooting with a camera then you are committing trespass and can be asked or forced to leave.
There are a lot of security guards who will try to stop people photographing buildings, but they have no legal right to do so.

There are also by-laws in certain areas. In Trafalgar Square in London you must get a licence to shoot commercially. In one of the London parks, you can be fined if you use a tripod. 

This varies from country to country. If you are in the US then this link might be useful.
https://alj.artrepreneur.com/is-street-photography-legal/

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 09, 2020

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Adobe Stock describes when signed releases are required and when they're not below.

https://helpx.adobe.com/stock/contributor/help/property-release.html

 

Property types that 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.
  • Unique animals, such as race horses, famous pets, certain zoo animals.
  • Properties with photography policies, which may include stadiums, museums, concert venues, amusement parks.

 

Typically you DON'T need a release for:

  • Generic houses and interiors that don’t have any identifiable features.
  • Generic street scenes and cityscapes.
  • Broad skylines with no particular point of focus.

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web Design & Publishing

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