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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 27 Jan 2016 (Wednesday) 12:26
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Model Release/Contract

 
gmm213
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Jan 27, 2016 12:26 |  #1

First let me ask, what is the actual difference between a release and a contract. Ive seen both but am still not quite sure the difference, if there is one.

Second, while I understand that country to country and state to state are a bit different I was wondering what to have included in my contract/release her in the USA? I am sure there are basic things that apply to all forms no matter where your from (if you work in the state of VA you get bonus points cause your in the same state as me)

I understand that no one on this site should be taken as a lawyer that knows my local laws yada yada yada, I will not hold anyone responsible for there input, and any other disclaimer that you want to add go ahead.

Basically I do this for a hobby not for profit so I dont see the point in paying crazy lawyer fees to talk to one or have one drawn up.


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Scott ­ Spellman
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Scott Spellman.
     
Jan 27, 2016 13:06 |  #2

I am not a lawyer, but here is my information.

A "model release" is a written confirmation of permission to use a subjects likeness as specified in the agreement. A "contract" can include a whole variety of other terms or condition related to a photo shoot, Most model release documents meet the legal definition of a contract.

Many professionals use the ASMP Model Release in their business with a separate document for any photo shoot terms. Unless you are going to hire a real lawyer, it is best not to make your own legal documents since any little mistake could change the meaning, terms, and protection you expect.

https://asmp.org …release.html#.V​qkSKVmgbjY (external link)

As a hobbyist, the ASMP Model Release will provide you reasonable protection(but not absolute) from a subject who no longer want you to display their photos. In my experience however, it is usually best for your reputation and business to honor the reasonable wishes of your subjects.




  
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nathancarter
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Post edited over 3 years ago by nathancarter.
     
Jan 27, 2016 13:15 |  #3

Disclaimer: Not a lawyer, and there are certain exceptions to just about every rule.

Contract is a general term that can refer to any sort of signed agreements between two parties.

----License is when you grant another person the rights to use your photos.
- This is generally governed by federal copyright law.
- They're your intellectual property, you own everything about them unless you've signed a contract stating otherwise.
- For the most part, unless you grant a license, nobody else can use them - no printing, no advertising, no using them for facebook profile pics.
- Sometimes the license can be verbal or even implied.
- It's bad form to use the term "Copyright release" when you actually mean "Usage license."

----A model release is when a person allows their likeness/face/voice to be used by another person or entity - generally, for advertising purposes.
- This involves the model's Right of Publicity, which is governed by state law (though some states don't have actual statutes, just common-law or case law examples).
- Generally, a model release is needed less frequently than a usage license. The release is only needed when you're using the image in such a way that implies that the model endorses a product or service - that is, advertising or "commercial" use.
- The photographer often is not the one who needs the release. The model should grant a release to the person/entity who is publishing the images (e.g. the hair dye manufacturer that's purring her face on the product box). From a practicality standpoint, the model grants a transferable release to the photographer, who then transfers it to the publisher - because the photographer is right there in the room with the model, whereas the publisher might not ever meet the model.
- Publishing photos editorially or selling images as art DO NOT require the model's release, consent, or even knowledge. (see: Arne Svenson)
- However, pretty it's bad form to make profit off images of your models without their knowledge or consent.


Models don't "get a copyright" just because they're in the picture. Experienced professional models know this. Craigslist "models" might not know this. Retail photography customers (e.g. senior pictures) rarely know, understand, or care.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Wilt. (6 edits in all)
     
Jan 27, 2016 13:38 |  #4

Also not a lawyer, but spent two years sharing an apartment with law students


  • Unilateral contract example: When Party A wants Party B to do something in return for a fee, a unilateral contract exists when Party B does that act. Party B is not bound by contract to DO something, but if they do it then Party A is bound by unilateral contract to pay the fee.
    Legal principle is: On one side is an Act, on the other side is a Promise.

  • Bilateral contract example: When Party A promises to DO something and Party B promises to DO something in return. Both Parties are bound by contract. Using the above scenario, When Party A promises something to Party B who promises to do something in return, a bilateral contract exists when Party B does that act.
    Legal principle is: On both sides there is are Promises.


  • Modelling release example: No promise by the model, only give the model's permission which is granted to the photographer or his client(s) to be able to USE the photo which has their likeness 'for commercial purposes', according to the terms of the release.
    Legal principle: No Promise is made, and no Act is implied or explicitly requested in the Modelling Release..
    This does not preclude a later negotiation of a Contract in which a Model grants permission for a new specific use not mentioned in the release, in exchange for some fee to be paid to them.

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gmm213
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Post edited over 3 years ago by gmm213. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 28, 2016 00:24 |  #5

After looking through the responses and the ASMP release I looked around and found this release form istockphoto which I like. Any input would be appreciated.

Istockphoto model release (external link)

I like the idea of digital but I looked and wile they should be legal there's no example used in photography that I could find.

Also someone said to use blue ink on the original, the copies will be black. Which is pretty ingenious.


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Wilt
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Wilt. (8 edits in all)
     
Jan 28, 2016 09:30 |  #6

gmm213 wrote in post #17875876 (external link)
After looking through the responses and the ASMP release I looked around and found this release form istockphoto which I like. Any input would be appreciated.

Istockphoto model release (external link)

I like the idea of digital but I looked and wile they should be legal there's no example used in photography that I could find.

Also someone said to use blue ink on the original, the copies will be black. Which is pretty ingenious.

Unfortunately that so-called release clearly starts with the words, "For Consideration herein acknowledged as received," which is one of the characteristics that any first year law student knows as an element of a Contract. Yet it fails to have any declaration of the value of the so-called 'consideration' from the photographer (promise of goods?, promise of monetary compensation?) Courts will generally not recognize validity of an agreement with less than One Dollar exchanged (value of goods, or money), so how would a court judge validity of the Value Received is not recorded?!

The requisite elements that must be established to demonstrate the formation of a legally binding contract are

(1) offer;
(2) acceptance;
(3) consideration;
(4) mutuality of obligation;
(5) competency and capacity;
and, in certain circumstances, (6) a written instrument.

In a model release should be simply "I (name, address, date) sign that I give you permission to use this photo for any purpose (period)".

Unfortunately most commonly available 'Model Release' forms are written as if they were a Contract, and state virtually,
"I (name, address, date) grant you the right to use this photography for any purpose, and I waive all rights by doing so for seeking any compensation in the future for use of the photo, to myself or my heirs."
Ask yourself: Why would YOU agree to sign that form, if asked by a photographer on the street, when all your rights are userped, perhaps for a buck?!

I have long wondered what any first year law student would think of the wording of publicly available Model Releases that make it sound more like a Contract (payment of a buck, or merchandise) with no opportunity to negotiate a fair usage license (Contract) later.

Be sure to have a different form for the case of a Minor, represented legally by a competant adult.


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Model Release/Contract
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