Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
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.