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Can I sell a stock image taken on private property for which I don't have a property release but of which is not recognizable and has been edited? Nobody on the property has technically told me I couldn't take photos, then again, no one really knew I was. Additionally, I there are no trademarks or logos visible in the photos, the subject is clearly an object (not a room) and the photos have been edited. I guess I'm more curious to learn whether editing a photo enables me to sell stock without property releases.

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  • This is likely to vary by jurisdiction. Also, was this your private property, and if it wasn't, did you have permission to be there, or were you trespassing? And was it just something like a neighbors yard, or something with posted "Private Property" or "No Trespassing" or other indicators (fences, gates, security guards, security cameras, ...) that you might possibly be forcibly ejected if you were found there?
    – twalberg
    Nov 27 '19 at 15:34
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    How are the property owners going to come after you if they can't recognize the property?
    – xiota
    Nov 27 '19 at 19:08
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You don't need a property release in order to sell the image as a stock photo. If a property release is required; it is required by the end user, not you.

With stock photography they are unlikely to accept an image w/o release even if the end use doesn't actually require it... part of that is because they don't know what the end use will be when accepting images, and as a general (over)protection policy. If the image is rather generic, they may accept it w/o a release.

The other implied part of your question is "was it legal for me to take, and now posses/sell, the picture?" I can't answer that definitively... but if you were not doing something you believe/knew to be illegal (against policy/etc) then it was/is probably fine.

You said the subject of your photo is clearly "an object." If that object is also a piece of creative work (i.e. a statue/painting) then your photo could be in violation of someone else's copyrights (varies by region and installation).

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  • Thanks, Steven!
    – Quin
    Nov 27 '19 at 16:16

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