What Can I Sell?

Canadian Photography Laws » Overview » What Can I Sell?


Exchanging the photo, or rights to use or publish the photo, for money or other compensation.

Maybe Laws are complex and differ by city and province. This summary uses laws for Toronto, Ontario. If you are not selling photos here, some of these laws may not apply to you, and others may. Investigate the rules in your city/province in The Laws.
Maybe If the photo was taken in one location, and sold in another, there is no clear ruling on which laws apply, so assume that the laws from both locations apply.
No A photo that you do not own.  Copyright Act
No A photo that would interfere with a large number of Canadian's lives, impairs or threatens the Canadian Forces, national security or intelligence. Security of Information Act
Yes With the exception of the above, you can sell any other photograph.

Getting Sued

Although not illegal, selling a photo that would hurt someone (physically, emotionally, financially, or professionally) may cause you to get sued.

Furthermore, if you sell the rights to publish that photo, ensure that you also look at What Can I Publish?

Yes All identifiable subjects have signed a model release.
No Selling a photo of an identifiable person, without consent.Ontario does not have a law that gives each person a "right to their own image", allowing them to control what you can do with the photo. However, the lack of a personal privacy law does not mean you won't get sued over it.  Privacy Act, Civil Law
Yes All identifiable buildings and locations have a location release signed by the property owners.
No Selling a photo of an identifiable building or location as a primary subject.  Civil Law
Yes All identifiable Trademarks have written permission to use the Trademark.
No Selling a photo that uses a trademark as a primary element of the photo.Companies spend lots of money promoting their brand, and the Trademark is their legal right to control that brand. Incidental logos are fine, but ensure that your photo is not deliberately misrepresenting their brand.  Civil Law
No Modifying the photo to deliberately mislead or misrepresent what an identifiable person or company is doing. This includes using a misleading caption.  Civil Law



I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. For more information, see the Disclaimer.