Releases: When Are They Required?

Posted on 1/7/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

A subscriber asked recently, “What is the best way to find out all the legal compliance issues associated with selling stock images of individuals and/or groups?” The issue is very simple. If the image is used for any type of commercial use you need a release. If it is being used for editorial use to illustrate a magazine or newspaper story of something that actually happened, and was taken in a public place, then a release is usually not required. However, it can get a little fuzzy if a picture of someone is used to “illustrate” an editorial story that has nothing to do with the subject of the photograph’s lifestyle.  

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Copyright © 2014 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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