Blog Home Contributor Contributor Support Understanding Property Releases

Note: While the information contained in this post is not intended 
to be legal advice, we hope it helps empower you 
to make informed decisions regarding your content.

When shooting on private property, it’s important 
to keep in mind that it may be subject to certain protections. Legal considerations related to private property vary by jurisdiction, but some considerations include claims of trespass; orders of a congress or administrative agency; proprietary rights 
to designs on the property; or restrictions against shooting content upon admission.

If you’re shooting on private property, or shooting private property that is distinctive from a public place, be sure to obtain a property release from an authorized representative 
of the owner of the property in order to avoid issues with licensing your content.

A property release signifies that the owner or authorized representative of the property has given you permission to use images or footage taken on the property for commercial use.

Colorful cabins on the mountain with blue sky by WitthayaP

What kind of releases 
will Shutterstock accept if 
I want to submit content 
taken on private property 
for commercial use?

We have recently expanded the types of releases we will accept, including foreign language releases (see the full list here).

We prefer Shutterstock releases, which are available at the Shutterstock Legal Center in the below languages:

• Chinese
• Czech
• Dutch
• English
• French
• German
• Hungarian
• Italian

Editorial use

If you are unable to obtain a property release for content taken on private property, then you may only submit such content for editorial use (if the content meets our editorial standards).

When do I need a property release?

You need a property release to license an image for commercial use when the image is taken on private property, or is taken on public property but features distinctive private property. Here are some examples of when a property release would – or would not – be required.

Does not require a property release:

Requires a property release:

This article is adapted from the Shutterstock “Protecting Your Content” Guide. To download the complete guide, click here.

Top Image: Castle by Alessandro Colle