January 4, 2016 at 5:54 am #25290
What am I supposed to do on Symzio with a photo like this one:
I have no property release, all logos, trademarks etc have been removed. But, of course, someone knowing trucks very well could possibly recognize which make the truck is.
I submitted this image to a dozen (or so) agencies. Two rejected it for lacking property release. All the others accepted and seem to consider it being sufficiently generic for commercial use. On my own site I decided not to mark it “editorial only” but just clearly state that I don’t have any property release. In such borderline cases I think this is the best way.
What should I do when submitting such an image to Symzio? Would I risk it being flagged for missing editorial tag?January 4, 2016 at 6:06 am #25292
From my understanding of the way Shutterstock operates, which is what we are basically striving for since they are currently the market leaders, recognizable vehicle makes and models cannot be used without releases unless it is editorial. I think to remove any and all legal liability, you should always mark it as editorial when in doubt.
My mentality is quite empathetic – if I created that truck, designed it, manufactured it, and I saw a competitor using that image in a commercial capacity on one of their products, it would make me really angry. Accordingly, I, as a photographer, should not do that to avoid any possible worst case scenario.
I think if the truck was not the main object of the image, the case would be different.
However it is a borderline issue, because the truck does seem to be quite generic. I would mark it as editorial if it was my photograph.January 4, 2016 at 6:37 am #25293
Yes, Robin, I agree, the maker of this truck wouldn’t be happy to see this image in a commercial ad of one of their competitors. But still, excluding this image from all commercial use because of this case seems a bit excessive, don’t you think? I mean, wouldn’t the same maker of this truck be quite happy to see their truck in an ad for, say, an excavation company? “Editorial only” would forbid that, however. On the other hand, if I clearly state that I don’t have property release for that image it is up to the licensee to decide.
In any case, I understand that Symzio will regard these non-editorial/editorial/borderline cases very strict (at least for the time being) and I will tag my images for Symzio accordingly.January 4, 2016 at 6:58 am #25294
As you say, the manufacturer would be OK with this being in an excavation company ad, and a real competitor to them would never use it as they would want to use their own trucks. Everything in every photo has a designer – if you look at this one:
The truck is a very distinctive design and I am sure the manufacturer would recognize it, but it was accepted by Shutterstock as commercial. All these agencies (and Symzio) are trying to do is to minimize risk (which is already pretty small for these sorts of image) and I think the real truth is that there is so little case law that no-one really knows where the boundary is.
I’m more of the view that you state that you do not have a property release, but you don’t specifically mark it as editorial.
SteveMay 5, 2016 at 6:31 pm #26564
Just a quick question… What if all the logos and trademark images were still on the truck, that would be ok for just an editorial licence, yes?May 5, 2016 at 11:50 pm #26566
A photo is always OK for an editorial license (assuming that you took it from a public place). However, with the logos there, it would have to be editorial because the ultimate user of the photo doesn’t have permission from the owner of the logo/truck to use their name. Remember that we, as photographers, don’t control the final use of a photo and so the “editorial use” warning is our way of advising the final user that there are potential issues in using this image in certain ways. They can ignore that warning if they want but it does give us some protection.
I wrote an article trying to explain all this:
SteveMay 6, 2016 at 3:19 am #26568
Thanks Steve. I read your post and that was very helpfull. 🙂
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