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 )
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
- What Is a Property Release? - Lifewire
- Photography StackExchange
- Property and model releases explained - Alamy
- Does your content have model/property releases? - Shutterstock
- Property release requirements - Adobe Stock
- Model & Property Releases - Getty Images
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.