Also, how can we know if a building needs a release? Often I find RF photos of buildings that should need a release (built after 1990) here on DT. And to add to the confusion, I got a rejection last week for a building built in 1912, which should not require a release. I want to submit a photo but I'm not sure if it should be Editorial or RF and I don't want to get needless rejections. I usually try to research myself to see if buildings are copyrighted but is there a simpler solution?
I received twice rejections for pictures of Puerta de Alcalá and Puerta de Europa (need of property release) while after a closer look at other pictures on the website i discovered that pictures of the same buildings are published on the website without any property release.
I think that the question is: how do we know if a building needs a property release (is there a standard requirement about this?) and if it needs one, how can you go about getting one? Thanks for answering these questions.
It is up to the photographer to find out if a property release is needed. The easiest way to find out is to ask. If the property in question is a public building ask the owner/manager if you can take photos and sell them commercially. If it's a famous building or site do your research on the internet before you shoot. A property release is definitely needed to shoot anything that is privately owned. If the owner grants you permission to take a photo that's when you have them sign the property release. Commercial use of an image of private property is not allowed if a signed property release is not obtained.
You can take photographs of many public places but that does not mean you can use those images in a commercial manner (images used editorially need no releases). Some legal purists might disagree but it's not worth a lawsuit. Trademark may also come into play when you are submitting images of buildings and places. The Eiffel Tower lit up at night, the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House, the Gherkin building in the City of London, the inside of most art museums, many zoos, major theme parks (Disney) and other famous buildings that the public can visit and take photos of for enjoyment may claim trademark infringement if those same photos are sold as stock. Some monuments and historic locations also have photo restrictions.
It would be impossible to list all the places that are trademarked so you have to do the research yourself before submitting photos of possible property release required locations. Different countries have different requirements and laws but since DT is legally based in the US, those laws apply.