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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3171
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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Im considering a business that would need to use a single photo

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Im considering a business that would need to use a single photo of famous golf courses around the world. There are many photos of single holes on these courses on the web. I want to attach a qcode to them so people could scan it and that would attach them to their website to learn about the golf course. Would I need to secure the permission of these courses to do so. Its basically free advertising for these courses.

Anytime you take photographs of private property to be used for commercial purposes it is recommended that you seek permission from the property owner. The law is actually a little unsettled in this area, but the legal theory of this is that you are basically using another person's property for your own personal gain. And thus you are converting someone else's property to your own. And with respect to "free advertising", it may not be the private property owner's desire to advertise in that particular way or to those to whom the "free advertising" is directed. While the law is a little unsettled in this area, you don't want to have the hassle of dealing with a property owner if they object. You would seek permission by having the property owner sign what is known as a "Property Release" form.

If the golf course is a public golf course, then you would not need permission.

For additional you may want to take a look at Using Property Releases from the American Society of Media Photographers. And for a sample Property Release Form, take a look at: Property Release Form.

I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So would I need to get permission of the land owner or the owner of the photo which i would want to use or both?


In my original response, I thought these would be pictures that you would be taking yourself.

Yes, for pictures taken by others, you would definitely need to ask permission to use them to avoid any copyright infringement claims which is an entirely separate issue. The copyright to the photo may be owned by the photographer himself, or some other organization. You will have to do some research as to precisely owns the copyright to the photo.

And again you would need permission of the property owner if you were going to use the photos for commercial use.

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