When I went to NYC, I took some picture of empire state building. I am trying to figure if I can put this image on getty or istockphoto? What is the licensing around such buildings that not really public?
From what I understand new buildings (since 1990) can be copyrighted, meaning you are free to take pictures of them but not for commercial purposes. Older buildings (apparently) would not be a problem. You would think that copyright would be hard to enforce on an iconic structure like the Empire State building, Big Ben, Eiffel Tower. Check the US copyright law referenced in the article below. I would imagine the stock agencies can advise you
Edit: found another reference here, which even uses the Empire State Bldg as an example
US copyright law explicitly permits photography of copyrighted buildings from public spaces, commercial or not. This includes interior public spaces.
Otherwise Street View would be illegal.