What’s a release?
A release is written permission from an individual or property owner allowing the use of that individual’s likeness or property (e.g., building) in still photography or footage for commercial purposes. Photos or footage for which no releases were obtained at the time it was created is referred to as “unreleased.”

What’s “commercial use”?
Generally speaking, commercial use means a message intended to sell a product, raise money or promote or endorse something.

My proposed use is of a commercial nature, but the photo/footage I want to use is unreleased. Am I out of luck?
Not necessarily. Contact your local office to see how our Rights & Clearance experts can help you navigate clearance issues, including whether obtaining clearance makes sense for your situation. There’s no charge for an initial consultation.

What clearance services does Getty Images provide?
We offer clearance services when a third party or property in a photo or footage can be identified and located. We do the legwork, contact the individuals and/or rights-holders, acquire permission to use their likeness and/or property and negotiate a fair fee on your behalf. We can also suggest alternative imagery to meet your needs and budget.

What happens if individuals or property owners can’t be identified or located for clearance?
Depending on the photo/footage and the use, we may be able to offer an Image Guarantee, which works like an additional layer of protection to our standard terms and conditions. In such cases, we assume the risk and address any issues with potential rights-holders.

What is the value of the clearance and Image Guarantee™ services Getty Images offers?
These services provide you with broader creative options by expanding the imagery available for commercial and promotional use. Properly clearing photos and footage removes the risk of third-party claims and brings peace of mind, while an Image Guarantee makes using unreleased material a secure option. Both services are available on a case-by-case basis for rights-managed, rights-ready and editorial imagery, and fees are based on imagery and intended use.