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mokenny74

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model release
« on: September 30, 2017, 12:13:13 AM »

I took a landscape picture with a person in the foreground and their back is towards the picture and the person is not recognizable. Do I need a model release from the person ?
Thanks

Mo Kenny
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Tony Jay

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Re: model release
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2017, 05:46:30 AM »

I took a landscape picture with a person in the foreground and their back is towards the picture and the person is not recognizable. Do I need a model release from the person ?
Thanks

Mo Kenny
No, they need to be recognisable.
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: model release
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2017, 01:34:32 PM »

No, they need to be recognisable.

Recognisable or identifiable, Tony? With what degree of diligence? And in which jurisdiction?

You may well be right; I don't know. I have a couple of shots with a similar potential problem. The person could probably prove his own identity, given knowledge of the time and date of the photo.

Jeremy
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BobShaw

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Re: model release
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2017, 08:50:28 PM »

without being a lawyer or knowing the law where you live ..
Assuming it was taken in a public place and the person is incidental to the shot then there is no problem.
Otherwise there would be no newspapers or TV news.
The average person walking through a major city is photographed 400 times a day apparently.

If they have their back to you then they have little comeback.

If they can identify themselves then great, sell them a print.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: model release
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 09:00:28 PM »

One thing missing from the OP question is what is he going to do with that picture? Unless the intent is commercial, no model release is necessary, even if the person is recognizable. And "commercial" means advertisment, not simply making money off of it. In America, at least. I remember reading that, for instance, in France, you can not take a picture of anyone on the street without their permission, which I think is crazy.

mokenny74

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Re: model release
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2017, 12:50:19 AM »

The intent is not for commercial but for exhibitions and sale
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: model release
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2017, 03:48:07 AM »

The intent is not for commercial but for exhibitions and sale

You need to give some thought to defining your terms. What is "sale" if not "commercial"?

Jeremy
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: model release
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2017, 08:32:42 AM »

You need to give some thought to defining your terms. What is "sale" if not "commercial"?
Jeremy

Jeremy, in America, commercial, for the puporses of model release, is defined as a commercial advertisement. So, you can have an exhibit in a gallery or art fair and sell prints. You can even offer them for sale on your website, and it is still not considered "commercial."

Jeremy Roussak

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Re: model release
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2017, 02:22:32 PM »

Jeremy, in America, commercial, for the puporses of model release, is defined as a commercial advertisement. So, you can have an exhibit in a gallery or art fair and sell prints. You can even offer them for sale on your website, and it is still not considered "commercial."

Fair enough. Do we know in which country mokenny lives?

Jeremy
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mokenny74

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Re: model release
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2017, 01:03:18 AM »

I live in the USA
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: model release
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2017, 04:26:06 AM »

I live in the USA

Then you should ignore anything I say. About law, anyway.

Jeremy
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Sigi

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Re: model release
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2017, 09:39:00 AM »

What are you doing if you have persons in the picture who can nor read or write i.e. rural Africa etc..?

mfryd

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Re: model release
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 06:55:27 AM »

I live in the USA

In the USA there are a number of situations where you would need a model release.  The most common involve "rights of privacy/publicity" issues.  The laws vary by state, but the general rule is that you need the model's permission to use their likeness to promote goods and/or services (and in some states use their likeness on a product).   Note that the issue here is not whether or not you are making money from the image, but the context of how the image is used.  As a general rule if the person is not identifiable or recognizable, then a release is not needed

Imagine that you took a photo of a man sitting on a bench in a public park.   You don't need a release to sell the photo to a local newspaper, but the newspaper may need the release if they want to use the photo in certain ways.

A release probably is not needed in order for them to use the image along with an article about the park administration planning to remove the benches.  However they would need a release in order to use the image in an advertisement selling park benches.

If the person is not recognizable/identifiable, then you probably don't need the release even to use the image in an advertisement.  For instance, if you only see the back of the person in silhouette.  However even this could require a release if the person's silhouette was distinctive and/or recognizable.

Some people think that a release is not needed for "editorial use", however this is not always the case.  For instance a release would be needed to run the photo next to an article about child predators in our parks, as this would paint the model in a "false light" (note: you wouldn't need the release if the model actually was a child predator).

When it comes to selling a fine art print, you generally don't need a release.  In some states you would need a release if you were selling lots of prints as then it be a "product".   Note that selling a few fine art prints at a $10K each typically doesn't need a release as the image is not being used to promote goods and/or services.

You need to be careful.  While you can sell the fine art print without a release, you may need a release to use that image on an advertisement for the gallery show.

If you are a professional photographer you need to be careful about using the image on your website.  If you are using the image to promote your photography business, or the use implies that the model endorses your business, then you may very well need a release.  Thus a soccer mom may not need a release to post photos on facebook, but a professional photographer's posting may be promoting his business (which does require a release).

Note that when I say "release", I actually mean permission from the model.  Some states require the permission to be in writing, some allow oral permission, and some allow permission to be implied.

Disclaimer:  I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice.  This is merely an overview of some of the legal issues surrounding model releases in the USA.  The specifics of a situation can lead to a different outcome than the general case.  Speak to an attorney for reliable legal advice.
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langier

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Re: model release
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2017, 07:08:57 PM »

It depends upon the use, but to simply photograph, no release is generally needed. One thing to consider is if the general public would recognize the person from the back and if the image will be used "commercially", especially for "big bucks." However, I'm not an attorney, nor an "expert" nor do I portray one on TV... :-)

Though nearing a decade in age, "A Digital Photographer's Guide to Model Releases" by Dan Heller is a good way to educate ones' self about them.
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