Getty Revises Model and Property Releases

Posted on 4/8/2009 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Getty Images has revised, simplified and made its model and property releases more visually appealing with larger text. These releases are available in twelve languages and anyone can use them, regardless of whether or not they license images through Getty Images. All photographers should consider using these releases.

Getty releases certainly set the standard for the industry. If a photographer is submitting images to another agency with less strict requirements, the Getty release will certainly be satisfactory.

One of the changes in the property release is that Getty removed the following statement: “Unless permission is obtained, Photographer/Filmmaker and Assigns agree that the Property’s owner, tenant and/or location (with the exception of reference to general region, country or state) will not appear in the Content caption or in any other information presented with the Content for licensing purposes and all trademarks, names, and logos will be removed from the Content prior to promotion, marketing and licensing.”

Due to the fact that newer cameras now embed location data in the IPTC header, it is no longer possible for Getty to make this guarantee. If this issue is an important consideration for the person whose property is being photographed, Getty suggests that the photographer remove the location information from the IPTC header before submitting the image.

For Getty photographers, the revised property release is effective immediately and should be used in place of the one introduced earlier this year. However, Getty will not reject any content using the previous property release, if submitted before May 30.

Other changes include:

  • The “witness” field on both model and property releases is now optional, however, it is still strongly recommended that releases be witnessed as an additional layer of protection.

  • The adult and minor model releases have been combined into a single release, eliminating the need to carry both.

  • A new “date signed” line must be filled in by photographers and filmmakers. All dates on the forms must conform to the European date-writing standard of DD/MM/YEAR.

  • References to “images” have been changed to “content” throughout, and the definitions have been amended to better accommodate footage and audio licensing.

  • Where appropriate, the releases allow the governing law to be determined by the location of the model, eliminating the need for local law versions of releases in the same language. For example, the single English language release can be used in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

  • Gender tick-boxes and a field for the shoot’s country and region or state have been added. Getty has made it mandatory that both of these be filled in.

  • On the property release, a single “ownership information” box section replaces the previous “for individuals” and “for corporate ownership” sections. Getty also provides additional guidance on describing the property.

The releases will eventually be used by all Getty Images contributors, including iStockphoto and Flickr Collection photographers.

Copyright © 2009 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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