legalities relating to 'model release forms' in the UK

Discussion in 'UK All Regions' started by JDP, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. JDP

    JDP Member

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    I have a question regarding when a 'model release form' is required within the UK. Googleing around it seems that if you take a picture (anywhere) in which an individual is 'clearly recognizable' then you have to obtain their permission before you can 'publish' the picture (otherwise, I assume, they could sue you for damages).

    Are there any experts on APUG that can confirm or advise on this? On the face of it this is very restrictive. Street photography is the obvious example. Are street photographers taking a risk?!

    There appears to be a get-out clause for press photographers. If the picture is considered a news item then it is not covered by the legislation.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    If the person is not an implicit part of the image then it's debatable whether a release is necessary. It really depends on the use of a photograph, if it's being used for advertising then there's definite issues because many people stand to profit from the image, however bystanders etc in public places aren't an issue for publication in a newspaper/magazine or book.

    Model release for advertising, verbal or written permission for anything else. Even then I've never used a model release, if a model's being paid and told what the images are for then it's implicit anyway there's a verbal contract, at that stage there may be an agreement that additional fees will be paid for other uses.

    Ian
     
  3. wclark5179

    wclark5179 Member

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    I error on the side of caution and always get a model release. It's contained in my contracts but I also get one if I use photographs that will be available for public viewing. If you're selling photographs, suggest always get a signed release. Of course, my primary photography focus is with people. I post very few photographs on my web site as I consider them private; they are for my clients. That's me; it's my philosophy, my way of doing business.

    Why not get a model release? Is it hard to obtain? You may never need it, however, if you are, heaven forbid, taken to court and you don't have a release, then what?

    Children are tricky. Suggest getting a release signed by both parents.

    Years ago I never thought to take these measures but today, it's a different story.

    Hope this helps you.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    You don't need any sort of permission or agreement to just take a picture - especially from a public place. The only time a release will actually be needed is if there is some sort of dispute and you need to prove that you have permission to use the image in a particular way.

    There is no legal requirement as such.

    However, some stock agencies/image libraries will cover themselves by insisting upon a model release for any recognisable person in an image.

    Some UK relevant guidance here:

    http://www.sirimo.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/ukphotographersrights-v2.pdf

    http://www.urban75.org/photos/photographers-rights-street-shooting.html




    Steve.
     
  5. dainmcgowan

    dainmcgowan Member

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    you can take pictures of anybody, and even publish and sell without the need of a model release form.
    if this wasn't true, then the paparazzo could not exist.

    the only time you need a model release form is for advertising a product or election campaigns etc etc.
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Model releases are similar to contracts. If everything goes smoothly, no one will ever need to look at it. It's only when something goes wrong or differently to one party's expectations that the contract and or release is needed to see what was actually agreed upon.


    Steve.
     
  7. JDP

    JDP Member

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    Thanks for the replies, especially the links from Steve. Reading those it seems views differ. The first article is quite cautious and paints a difficult picture for a street photographer, the second one is more relaxed about it and seems to say 'it should be ok', though does mention model release forms. I guess there is no one answer, and at the end of the day any dispute would be decided in court....
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The paparazzo thing is based on the person being of "public interest", which is an exclusion to the right of controlling the publishing of ones image.
    At least within german legislature, and seemnigly elsewhere.
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    In the UK there is no legal definition of 'public interest' or 'celebrity' or anything similar. Everyone is treated as equal by the law.


    Steve.
     
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I am surprised!! But then those paparazzi should have a problem.

    But the OP's issue is different anyway. It is about taking photographs of ordinary people in the streets of the UK and publishing them.
     
  11. Makeupartist Rizkhan

    Makeupartist Rizkhan Member

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    model release forms

    just thought il let you know about my experience, i took a photo of a bride whos hair and makeup i did for my portfolio, and asked if i can upload it to my website, she said sure off course you can but make sure you send me copies, (verbal permission), it was a stunning pic and i got a lot of further clients because of tht one pic, i always got models release forms signed before hand from models at photoshoots but never thought of getting it signed by a real client and who takes model release forms to a brides home at 6am! in the morning lol.... i displayed her pic on my website on the front page, you can have a look at my website and see how other brides pics are displayed, there was nothing wrong with it, it got many compliments https://www.rizkhan.co.uk
    now after i had sent a cd containing her wedding pics free of charge to her i got a phonecall from her husband saying he wanted the images removed from my website asap, and im not allowed to use her images...now how unfair is that, no explaination was given, i said your wife gave permission and he said well she didnt asked me blah blah, and the fact that she then said yes please remove my images really annoyed me especially since i had given copies to them of beautiful edited pics, and for all you photographers out there you know how long these images take to blur out certain aspects and enhance certain small areas in adobe photoshop :blink: and the fact that the bride gave me permission and then only said no after i had given her copies of the images , and i saw she had uploaded them to facebook but i wasnt allowed to use them really annoyed me so even though i my clients happiness is usually my main priority i thought i was being made a mug of, she tricked me to get free pics from me
    so i got pretty annoyed and the husband threatened to take me to court, when i contacted a lawyer he said this about the whole situation
    something to do with copyright law and the fact that even though the image was my property because i didn't have written consent i cudnt use the image if the subject in the image was clearly recognized and did not want the image used there wasn't anything i could do, apart from contest it in court :sad::cry::cry:
    so i gave up and removed the image, n in the process made my potential brides question about my creditability when they asked wheres your main bridal image is gone :sad::sick:
    hope al this helps...
    and also paparazzi always get challenged and many people have won against paps and paps cudnt use the images, it depends on how much money u want to spend in court
    so best to always get a release form, i now have a file of release forms in my kit and so wil never have the same problem again
    from jealous over protective partners, its a only a signature takes 2 mins has saved me from alot of hassle when i had another situation like that where a models boyfriend didnt want her modelling again and asked me to remove her images, i said know i have a release form and that was the end of that!

    hope all ths helps btw i just realised this post was in 2009 lol you prob got your answer by now oops nevermind it may help someone else out there so will post it anyway now, its 5am now, so sorry for any errors i made in my spelling, phrasing or grammar im half asleep..lol
    how did your photography go? you got a website where i can view your work? x
     
  12. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    Court is the new lottery, and a camera prints too many potential winning tickets. And you have to go in and sit with a whole bunch of people you don't want to know, just to keep from being railroaded into paying an imaginary sum of funds with no backing of precious metals, all because of an innocent trip of the shutter. The moral is to shoot your street scenes at a very small f/stop and a very long shutter speed.