I want to understand the copyright situation when it comes to selling stock images of products. Are they supposed to be editorial use only? Let's say if there is an image of a particular brand shampoo, a photographer wants to sell it. Does he have to take permission from the shampoo brand? ( that shapoo was bought by him for example )

  • 3
    If their logo is not visible then no. Physicalbobjects do not have copyright but their design may have been patented. But to answer we need your locale
    – joojaa
    Dec 27, 2017 at 8:01
  • 3
    This is a really good question. Ex: You're designing a sales flyer for a mom and pop shop. Do you need to ask permission from Tide to display it will be half off this week? Jan 29, 2018 at 21:53
  • A good question indeed. How are you supposed to sell second hand merchandises if you are not allowed to take pictures of what you want to sell?
    – John
    Jun 29, 2018 at 8:55

2 Answers 2


Does he have to take permission from the shampoo brand?

Yes. He'll need to acquire permission from the respective owners. Generally, this type of signed permission is called Property Release.

What types of subjects require a property release?

As Adobe Stock says:

  • Famous landmarks, historic locations, and modern architecture
  • Copyrighted works like art, books, maps, fictional characters
  • Identifiable exterior or interior of private homes and buildings
  • Distinctive product shapes like toys, bottles, luxury furniture, vehicles, aeroplanes
  • Unique animals, such as race horses, famous pets, certain zoo animals
  • Properties with photography policies, which may include stadiums, museums, concert venues, amusement parks

You can also read What types of subjects require a property release? - Shutterstock

Are they supposed to be editorial use only?

If the photographer couldn't acquire the release, then he is supposed to sell it under Editorial Use Only.

Sources & Guidelines

n.b. If you're selling stock photos online, make sure to check their help articles and resources. Please note that I'm not a lawyer. I answered this based on the information found on the internet.


Depends in the country you want to use your photo and on the specific Shampoo brand. Generally speaking, I wouldn’t use it since in most countries and most brands the answer will be No.

  • 2
    Do you have any citations? I find it hard to believe you can't advertise in a flyer generic or name brand items in a mom and pop shop type scenario. I'm not a lawyer but this answer needs more Jan 29, 2018 at 21:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.