A recent story on the sale of the Brady Bunch house got me thinking about other famous fictional residences, such as stately Wayne Manor in the Batman TV series, the apartment buildings in Seinfeld and Friends. Specifically, I'm wondering whether using real-life buildings or private homes purely as establishing shots requires the permission of the property owner.
I'm familiar with the concept of Location Releases, but my understanding is that these are used when you're actually filming on someone's property. If you're just using static footage of a property to establish location, do you need permission? If so, how far does this extend?
For example, if a filmmaker needs a release to pass off a specific private home as a key location, would he also need to do so if he's showing multiple homes just to establish the kind of neighborhood you're in? Would he need permission to show the Empire State Building if it were just to establish that a film takes place in New York?
There's obviously a hundred different variations on this theme, but are there any general rules of thumb that the film industry observes?