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  1. #21
    Samuel B's Avatar
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    Personally if someone takes a photo of me in public and then presents some kind of "model release" for me to sign, I'm not going to sign it, unless I specifically asked for my photo to be taken.
    I have no idea what the legal requirements for this situation is, but I like this one best.

    Quote Originally Posted by copake_ham
    "I don't know nuttin'."
    Film's not dead, it's just got a negative image.

  2. #22
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw
    Ed seems to have posed a question without answer.
    Yes, I did. I'm working on what will apparently be a "family" of specific releases - each directed toward a specific use.
    I am, at present, exhibiting in three (3) Galleries - and preparing for a fourth - so I'm juggling a few balls in the air.

    So when sharing either anticipated or unanticipated profit as a good-faith gesture is a goal, how would that be phrased contractually -- "I give up any claim to future profits or future compensation but that might change in the event of a fortunate event where said photograph becomes a really big money maker and the photographer decides that it is right and just to be generous and share the windfall"?
    Seems to me that all that is necessary is to leave the entire "claim" phrase out, in a preliminary "Fine Art Release: "For the compensation of ... (I'd suggest, and USE money - a definite sum), I grant to AB (name of photographer) the right to use these images, after reasonable opportunity for my review (more on this later), for Gallery Exhibition and Portfolio purposes.

    There will be, if reasonably possible, a second release, specifying individual images, BOTH photographer and model agreeing to their use.

    If this sounds complicated, I'll agree that it is. There seems to be a necessity for all this due to a few unscrupulous - with the accent on "UN" - "Hustler - type wannabbes" walking all over models, using the Model Release as a weapon, and causing ALL kinds of pain and embarrassment to the models - so much so, that many are giving up modeling completely.

    Note that all the above applies to "Fine Art" ONLY, produced by me, exhibited by me .. without further publication. Certainly, It may not be appropriate for other uses - Commercial - comes immediately to mind.

    More later. One of those "bowling pins" I'm juggling is headed for the floor.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  3. #23
    jstraw's Avatar
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    I need to find out if I'm simply ignorant here...

    It is my understanding that neither releases or permission is needed to take, publish or exhibit photographs made in public spaces. Newspapers could not function otherwise.

    I do not know very much about assigning rights to a third party, ie: selling an image for use as an illustration or advertisement.

    Can someone school me?

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    (snip)
    There will be, if reasonably possible, a second release, specifying individual images, BOTH photographer and model agreeing to their use.

    If this sounds complicated, I'll agree that it is. (snip)
    Note that all the above applies to "Fine Art" ONLY, produced by me, exhibited by me .. without further publication. Certainly, It may not be appropriate for other uses - Commercial - comes immediately to mind.
    (snip)
    Yes, seems a bit complicated but for "Fine Art photography" where the model is more of a partner than part of the environment, it makes sense to me. Only issue I wonder about (and you have much more experience than me, Ed) is the notion of putting that much control over your art work in the hands of the model. What happens if you have a really great Art Photo that you know will make you lots of fortune/fame but they don't like it and refuses to sign the 'second' release for 'unreasonable reasons'?

    For most other uses, this might be so cumbersome that nothing would ever get published. In these situations I tend to agree with what the last couple of posters said: in public almost anything is fair game and "i don't know nuttin'".

  5. #25
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw
    I need to find out if I'm simply ignorant here...
    It is my understanding that neither releases or permission is needed to take, publish or exhibit photographs made in public spaces. Newspapers could not function otherwise.
    I do not know very much about assigning rights to a third party, ie: selling an image for use as an illustration or advertisement.
    Can someone school me?
    "News" use - wherever, has been judged to be protected from the Copyright Law, as a matter of "Freedom of the Press - under the Constitution of the United States. Elsewhere --- I do not know.

    Simply because it is done "In a Public Place" does not exempt a Model - or anyone - from a reasonable share of the proceeds derived from their participation in the activity.

    An example ... Heidi Klum models clothes for Dior, on a public beach in Miami. The images are published in Cosmo.
    Not "news", and you bet your life she and many others will share in the projected proceeds from the shoot.

    Heidi Klum trips and falls into a hot dog stand on the same public beach in Miami... and the image is published in the Enquirer.
    "News" - and she probably will NOT be paid for the image.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  6. #26
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw
    ... What happens if you have a really great Art Photo that you know will make you lots of fortune/fame but they don't like it and refuses to sign the 'second' release for 'unreasonable reasons'?
    So far, it hasn't happened. I'm usually - more often that that - I have ALWAYS been more sensitive to the content than the models. Of course there is a chance of disagreement - I'd probably cry and scream and moan - but the model WILL have the final say.

    There is a lot of preparation that goes into a photography session - especially one dealing with nudes. We both have to agree to what the "theme" of the session will be, and I always show the model my work - both on the walls and in my portfolio. I take great care to make the agreement to "work together" and "what will be done" clear to both of us ... so there haven't been any "five o'clock" surprises.

    For most other uses, this might be so cumbersome that nothing would ever get published.
    Simple solution: Get another Release, specifying that particular use. I have "been published" - and it is difficult to envision pens with a greater velocities than those in the hands of models signing such a release... for a magazine like "Elle".

    In these situations I tend to agree with what the last couple of posters said: in public almost anything is fair game and "I don't know nuttin'".
    Well - look at the bright side - Lawyers have to eat ... uh... drive Porsches ... too!
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #27
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copake_ham
    How about:

    "For value received, I irrevocably relinquish my rights to any future profits or other additional compensation and, hereby consent to the publication and public showing of my photograph(s) used by David B, whether or not with my name or any text, captions, illustrations whatsoever, and additionally I unconditionally release David B from any and all liability for such use in any and all media."
    I would assume that this wouldn't get you very far in court since it is not at all clear that the value received will be considered "consideration" for the purposes of a contract. The issue I have is the permanent nature. Without the permanent nature, if it just has the language of the first and second releases posted by David, there is no need for consideration to have been received, it is not a contract, only a statement of permission being granted.

    Edit: I am not a lawyer, I have just read enough to be dangerous.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    "News" use - wherever, has been judged to be protected from the Copyright Law, as a matter of "Freedom of the Press - under the Constitution of the United States. Elsewhere --- I do not know.

    Simply because it is done "In a Public Place" does not exempt a Model - or anyone - from a reasonable share of the proceeds derived from their participation in the activity.

    An example ... Heidi Klum models clothes for Dior, on a public beach in Miami. The images are published in Cosmo.
    Not "news", and you bet your life she and many others will share in the projected proceeds from the shoot.

    Heidi Klum trips and falls into a hot dog stand on the same public beach in Miami... and the image is published in the Enquirer.
    "News" - and she probably will NOT be paid for the image.

    I don't think copyright is the issue. I'm pretty sure that in all cases in your example the ownership of the copyright resides with the photographer and/or the publisher. The subject of the photograph hasn't (in most cases, think Cindy Sherman) a stake in the copyright.

    To use your examples, I'm pretty sure I can't publish a poster of the hot dog entanglement and profir from it, unilaterally (or can I?). But can I also not hang it is a show or sell a print? I need guidance.

    I'm not into gratuitous CYA. If I need releases I'll get them or not shoot images that require them. If I don't actually need them, for say...street photography then I really, really don't want to spend energy on them.

    I know MANY a news photographer that have hung shows of their work and can guarantee you that releases were few and far between. I can't really imagine that if they were necessary, the fact that an image was originally created as news would exempt it from required releases, should it be used for something else later on.

  9. #29
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    A LOT DOES depend on the initial motivation: News remains "news". One can "publish "news" current or old, and the character of the work does not change; it is still "news". Whether or not money can be made from its use is not relevant - the sales of millions of additional newspapers can be attributed to the use of one single "news" photograph.

    I am guilty for confusing "Copyright Law' with "Civil Law". The use of an image of anyone my be tested under laws governing libel, slander or invasion of privacy.

    Let me see what I can do here:

    Invasion of Privacy: Stick a camera into a toilet, where someone has a reasonable expectation of privacy and photograph them - That is Invasion of Privacy.

    Libel: Take a photograph of a politician checking the air in his tires, and publish it with the caption, "AB Lets the Air Out of His Opponents Tires" - a LIE. That is Libel.

    Slander: Take a truthful photograph of a prominent politician with his fly open, and publish it without comment. True - it did happen, but the photograph shows him in an unreasonably "bad light" - bad enough to damage his reputation. That is Slander.

    No reputable publication, nor an editor with an IQ exceeding his/her hat size - or a photographer with the same qualification - will welcome a law suit based on any of these... so to REDUCE the risk, we have Model Releases.

    Now, I am NOT an Attorney! My only qualification is having been close to some of the affected activity, while keeping my eyes open.
    I will welcome comments from ALL of those in the Legal profession.

    As far as monetary compensation to the model ... It must pass the test of "reasonable". It is doubtful that one Polaroid "test shot" given to a Model for the use of her image use in a National Advertising Campaign would be considered "reasonable compensation".
    What is? There we must search the precedents established in prior cases. That is the "bull work" performed by Junior Partners, Paralegals ... and if the truth be known ... Legal Secretaries.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  10. #30

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    Ed, I'm not a lawyer and certainly not an expert in defamation... but I'm not sure you have "slander" right. My impression is that slander is transitory defamation... basically verbal in nature whereas libel is something more fixed, like published materials. I think the pic of the politicial with the open fly would be news, but if captioned "politician tries to increase votes by opening the barn door", then maybe it would be libel.

    By the way, it seems like a lot of defamation threats (if not real actions) are the result of embarassment. To the best of my knowledge, embarassing someone isn't a crime unless they have really been harmed by that embarasment.

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