Playstock FAQ: Model Release vs. Property Release

In response to the demand of customers and continuous changes in the future, Playstock will be frequently updating our FAQs. 

When do you need a release?

You need a legal release if you want to designate your footage that contains a certain logo, brand, a public figure for commercial use. Without a model/property release, such footage will be categorized to Editorial Use Only. However, if you submit the release, they can be used for commercial purposes as well. Also, it is required for publication where personality rights or privacy rights can be infringed. If the clip has the possibility of violating the property/portrait rights, a related model/property release has to be submitted. 

What is a Model Release?

A model release is a contract that provides legal protection to the content creator, model, and the customers who purchased the content. The necessity of model release is limited to footage that pictures recognizable people. Your content can be rejected if you fail to submit releases for all of the models in your footage or your footage contains a public figure that the majority of people can notice. There are mainly two types of model releases, release for adult models and minor models. For models who have at least reached the age of 18, an adult model release would be required whereas those who are minors will have to have a parent/legal guardian to sign the release. 

A model release is required under the circumstances stated below:

  • When the model is recognizable.
Credits to Playstock

You do not need a model release for the woman on the left. Her face doesn’t show and therefore is not recognizable.

  • When the footage is blurred, but can still identify their faces.
Credits to Playstock

In this footage, there are three identifiable people. The guy at the back is out of focus, but still identifiable. You need to submit a model release for each of them if you wish to upload this footage for commercial use available.

  • When the model partly hid his/her face but is still recognizable
Credits to Playstock
  • Footage showing a partial silhouette but is partially identifiable
Credits to Playstock
  • Illustrations or artwork that features a recognizable person
Source: Pixabay

What is a Property Release?

A property release is a documented agreement that the owner or an authorized representative of a certain property has given permission to use its figure for a profit-seeking purpose. If the footage you took gives an implication that you were filming a certain figure or a building, you need to submit a property release. If what you filmed is generic, a release is not obligatory.

Here, the property includes:

  • Recognizable private/public buildings owned by a business or an individual (an interior/exterior of a house, an office, hotel rooms)
Credits to Playstock

-If it is taken on public property(e.g road, sidewalk), and does not show any information that can cause privacy violation (house/street number, postal code), a property release is not required

  • Private property used as a public space
Credits to Playstock

-There are places that are open to people for free but still have a policy regarding filming the interior. In that case, you need to submit a property release

  • Public places with photographic/filming restrictions
  • Logos and Brands/Design(e.g. Instagram logo, Like icon, etc)
This photo contains a BMW vehicle. You can identify the brand logo on the back of its trunk.
  • Please note that certain brands of vehicles such as a Volkswagen Jetta, Porsche 911, or Honda Civic, are protected by copyright law. Content containing these vehicles cannot be accepted as commercial use even with a property release.

You can download Playstock’s release forms below, or submit other agencies’ release that grants the same permission of use:

Related FAQs:

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