What is a Property Release?

About xFrame Jul 20, 2022

Hi everyone, this is xFrame!

Thank you very much for using xFrame 🥰

In addition to Model Release, Property Release is an important document you must achieve when producing your content.

1. What is a Property Releases?

A Property Releases is a consent form for the owner of the subject of the photo to give approval for the content to be sold as stock photos, in case you have taken photos of subjects owned and managed by individuals or corporations other than yourself, or of subjects that have their rights reserved (such as buildings and owned lands, pets, and artworks).

When you shoot pictures and produce stock content, it depends on the subject various rights may come into play.

For example,
・ Logos and products of companies that are registered as trademarks and designs
・ Copyrighted characters and artworks
・ Pets and goods that are owned by third parties

When you sell products including those and others not listed as stock contents and without permission of their rights holders and owners, it may lead to legal trouble such as claims and lawsuits from the buyers as well as the rights holders.

In particular, if the content you already sold violates the regulations, you will be held responsible for the infringements, including the cost of suspending the use of and recovering artifacts that contain that content.

As described above, before selling content that displays subjects owned and managed by individuals or corporations other than yourself, or subjects that have their rights reserved (such as buildings and owned lands, pets, and artworks), please take the necessity of consent into consideration carefully, and obtain Property Releases as needed.

2. When is a Property Release necessary?

“Can I sell a picture I took of ×× without a problem?”
“Is a Property Release necessary for the photos I took at ××?”

We frequently receive inquiries such as these, but at xFrame we ask that the contributors perform checks of the rights of each subject on their own. Please note that at xFrame we are unable to perform checks on rights or provide information about any individual subjects (※ See xFrame Terms of use).

The need for a Property Release varies depending on the subject and contents of the photos, the terms and use of the content, etc. Please recognize that deciding whether consent is necessary, as well as obtaining the consent when it is deemed necessary, is under the responsibility of the contributors themselves.
(※ For example, during a photo shoot at the zoo, support may vary - there are signs that say, “personal commemorative photos are okay, but commercial photography of any kind is prohibited,” or, “it is possible to take photos for use as stock photos if you apply for permission in advance,” or, “there aren’t really any restrictions established,” or ones that say, “photography is prohibited only of certain subjects or in specific on-site locations.”)

In addition, it is not necessary to submit the Property Releases obtained to xFrame. Please store them safely on your own in case there is an inquiry from the purchaser.

The following examples of subjects are highly recommended for the contributor to confirm whether consent is needed for a stock photo on sale (please keep in mind that it is not intended to cover every subject that needs consent).

  • Artworks that are protected by copyrights (in which it has not been more than 50 years since the contributor died)
  • Products with characteristic designs (please be extremely careful of one-of-a-kind furniture, miscellaneous goods, daily necessities, etc.)
  • Pets and famous animals, etc.
  • Pictures that were taken on lands owned and managed by third parties (commercial facilities such as theme parks and zoos, historic structures, at the house of an acquaintance, etc.)
  • Other places that have sort of regulations on taking pictures (for commercial use)

As contributors that take pictures and produce content for sale, please behave as such a purpose, and conduct research in advance on whether you need consent from the subject of your photographs.

Basically, take pictures of subjects or places managed and owned by a third party, or in an area with restrictions in regards to photography. You will better check whether you need permission beforehand.

Also, unlike personal photography works, stock photos are part of “Commercial Photography”, and they may be used for advertisements or commercial purposes.

Please take note when you obtain the consent. There are cases in which it is permitted to take pictures as personal memorabilia or photography works, but the sale of photos as stock photos is prohibited.

*Please download and use the latest form available in the link below

Download Property Release

(Property Release input example)

All of the photos you have taken are so beautiful and we appreciate them.
We can't wait to see more of your works on xFrame.


The xFrame Team


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