Do I need permission to sell a photo of a branded car?

If I had a picture of a branded car such as a BMW or Subaru, am I allowed to sell the picture without getting permission from the car manufacturer or would I need some special type of licence?

Emma on April 28, 2012

The main issue here is likely trademark law. As long as you are not trying to pass yourself off as being part of, endorsed by, or affiliated with the car companies then you’re probably OK for private and general purposes. Many microstock companies will not accept photos of cars where the trademark is visible, or the design is distinctive and recognizable (also trademark law, trade dress), as car companies have to protect their image.


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