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Releases – Alamy says Relax

Anna Berkut / Alamy Stock Photo

No, we’re not heading off to Hollywood, and we’re not planning a tribe war anytime soon, but we do want to help you relax when it comes to the releases.

We’ve already written a blog explaining the basics, but we still keep getting questions from worried contributors who don’t have releases and think that they can’t sell their images without them.

So, everybody repeat after me…

You don’t need a release to upload and license your images for editorial uses.

A release is a signed legal document from the subject of an image (be that people or property) that gives you, the photographer, permission to license the images for commercial uses i.e. Advertising and Consumer Goods.

Without a release, you are free to upload your images to license editorially. All you need to do is;

  • Make sure you are not breaking any laws by taking the photo in the first place (like whilst trespassing)
  • Annotate that your images contain people and/or property
  • Mark that you don’t have any releases
  • Sit back and relax and let our sales team do the rest

If you have annotated the images per the above, customers are notified with the following; “If you want to use the image commercially, you might also need permission from the model, artist, owner, estate, trademark or brand”. This puts the onus on them to ensure that should they wish to use an image commercially, they will need to seek releases themselves.

There may be occasions where they risk using and unreleased image commercially e.g. crowd shots of unrecognizable people, but so long as you have correctly annotated your image, it isn’t your responsibility.

So, what is the take away from all of this…

You don’t need a release to upload and license your images for editorial uses.

We hope that this clears it up once and for all, but if you still have any questions, just drop us an email at contributors@alamy.com.

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