Model and Property Releases

Release Requirement

Model and property releases are required for all media to be sold as cleared for commercial use. Model and/or property releases may not be necessary for media intended for Editorial use (that is, media which is newsworthy or documentary in nature).

You can find our standard releases templates on our Legal page, under "Downloadable Release Agreements." It is not required that you use our releases for the media you upload, but if you use a different release it must contain essentially the same information.

Screen_Shot_2018-07-04_at_12.30.21_PM.png   Screen_Shot_2018-07-04_at_12.53.39_PM.png


Model Release

  • Required for each recognizable individual
  • Required for recognizable voices
  • Must include at least one witness name and signature, or a recognizable still frame photo of the model that is not a frame grab of the model from the item submission itself.

You can download this illustrated guide here  


Property Release

  • Required if a recognizable landmark, building or property appears in the work
  • Required if copyrighted music/sounds are in an audio track
  • Required if media contains trademarks, logos, or brands
  • Required if media was recorded at a ticketed event. *In this case, the event owner must allow you not only to create the content but to sell and profit from the content created at their event. 

 Attaching a Model/Property Release

There are 2 steps in assuring you have appropriate releases on Pond5 - upload your release and attach the release you uploaded to your media.

Acceptable formats of signed releases


  • .jpeg
  • .gif
  • .png
  • .pdf
  • .doc
  • .tif

Files must be at least 5KB in size. Releases can be uploaded via browser or via FTP.

Uploading Releases Via Browser

  • Log into your account > Hover cursor over account avatar > Click on Uploads > Releases


Uploading Releases Via FTP

  • Log into the FTP as you normally would when you upload media.
    • If you are not familiar with the FTP uploading process, check Uploading Media
  • Create a root directory releases, if you do not see one already there already


  • Drag and drop your release files inside the HTML5 uploader area or inside the releases folder of the FTP.

Release files are usually small file sizes, so the upload will finish almost instantly.

After you've uploaded the attachments, they will hover in your FTP releases folder for typically 2-10 minutes, depending on the FTP server load.

When the upload is finished, you should see the files that uploaded successfully in your Releases page.


Attaching Releases To Files

When your releases are uploaded and registered by the database, you can then attach them to your files.

  • Log into your account > Hover cursor over account avatar  > Click on Uploads
  • Select the file the release will be applied to
  • Scroll down to Actions:
  • Choose attach release from the drop-down
  • Select the corresponding release from the drop-down menu
    • If your list of releases are too long to scroll through in the drop-down, simply type the first few letters of the release filename in the Filter field and hit Update. Then select the relevant release file from the drop-down menu and 
  • Click Execute
  • A pop-up confirmation window will appear if the attachment of your release file(s) is successful


Checking Attached Releases

You can verify how many releases are attached to your clip(s) by refreshing the Uploads page.

  • Find Clip Details tab
  • Under the Attachments column the number next to the attachment icon indicates how many releases have been associated with your clip.
  • To check which release is attached to a specific clip, hover cursor over the number next to attachment icon and click. A list of the release filenames will display.


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  • Avatar

    This is so incredibly combersom but not only that. I have to download a PDF file, that can't be altered. Cut and Paste it into a word document, fill it out. Print it. Sign it. Scan it and re digitize it and then upload it. Can't you at least provide a Word document at the start to try and minimize the aggravation?

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    @Scott - You should be able to simply print the PDF documents, there aren't any restrictions in the files that would prevent that.

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    Great new site, but wish the model release attachment was also available in the EDIT section...

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    Our model release can be found under our Legal section. If you still cannot access it with this link, please write to us at and we can send you a pdf document. 

    Balazs, I will pass your feedback onto the team, however if you have several files needing the same model release, it is much more efficient to quickly select each of them, and go to Actions - Attach Release, rather than individually :)

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    Thanks for that, yes it's useful for multiple images needing the same release (although it would be nice if the "execute" and "release" wasn't WAY on the bottom. May we can have one on top too?

    Anyways bigger question, does your site somehow read the EXIF/Metadata on videos? I know it does for photos but for videos the description and keyword fields are blank except title.

    Thanks :)

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    Yes, any IPTC or EXIF embedded metadata in your files will be read automatically by Pond5. Please keep in mind that it reads it so long as you provide the raw clip and don't color grade or otherwise edit and re-export it.

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    I am wondering if a footage shooting a people walking street and the people who walking by were all catch in the sceen and if you insist----yes,they of course can recognized by whom know them, is that need a release? of course I don't have! 

    beside this, a footage about an opening restaurant/ a Bar/ a park ect. will all be the same problem. Can somebody kindly tell me the release thing about this?

    update the answer from Pond5 staff Corina:

    In such cases it's understandable that you don't have release for each person, and so our curators may decide to mark your files as editorial only when reviewing them.

    Editorial it's only for news and documentaries

    buyers are looking for editorial clips too
     this shouldn't be lower than any other price
  • Avatar

    Hi David. Yes, a release is required for each of the recognizable people in footage, otherwise, your files will be marked for Editorial use only. Media containing identifiable people cannot be used in commercial contexts without their permission, in the form of a model release. 

    Likewise, if there are any visible logos, or files are located at a recognizable property like the Empire State building, Staples Center, or the shot is an aerial of a skyline with visible company logos, a property release would be needed.

    If you quickly blur the logos or car badges, it is more likely Buyers & production companies will be interested, because you did the work already. Plus, depending on the content, we won’t have to mark them as Editorial, and you can even raise the price of your clip! This is what a lot of our successful contributors do.

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    I am attached releases to some of my old clips which were considered to be editorial.Will it be possible that you could reconsider the following clips as commercial clips?

    Here I mentioned the clips in which I added releases. 


    Looking forward your response



  • Avatar

    Hey Sagari, 

    Absolutely! Please know that I have brought these files to the attention of our curators and once the required releases are all there, we would be happy to update the files to Commercial.

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    Your policy states you do not need a release unless someone is "recognizable" and yet you reject content with unrecognizable people without releases?
    Can you please follow your own policy so we can avoid such ridiculous hassles as this fine example...

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    Hey Brett - We're in contact with you now about our curator notes for those clips. 

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    Hi There,

    I have some video footage where I've used my own children as models and in which they are the only identifiable / recognizable people. How do I handle that? Do I just download and use the 'Minors' Relase Form and I sign it as their father??  Also is it correct that for minors as well as adults, there needs to be 2 x different witnesses that print and sign their name?




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    Great question, Gary - You will need a minor's model release as usual, and you can act as the parent/guardian for that sheet.  You do still need a witness.

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