BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Everett Forester
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/7/2006
 

legal Question model release


In short I would like to know why news papers ect. do not have to have a model release form signed when they put in print someones photo, no big deal but there have been a lot of times I could have gotton a good shot but I knew it would be next to impossable to get that person to sign. I would just like to know the differance?????? ray


To love this question, log in above
8/13/2006 2:30:13 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  I think the difference is that a release is not needed when a photo is used in reporting the news.

This is definitely a Mark Feldstein question.

Mark . . . are you out there?
Bueller . . . Bueller?

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


To love this comment, log in above
8/14/2006 7:37:21 AM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  Mark has said, that even Newspapers, are starting to have to get releases. The only ones they don't need a release for, is a public-needs-to-know issue.


To love this comment, log in above
8/14/2006 7:59:21 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Bueller here.....LOL !!!
Wow, I'm really impressed on how you guys are on top of this issue. It used to be that a photograph published in a "recognized news publication" like a daily or weekly newspaper or magazine, (the supermarket tabloids were decided on a case by case basis) did not require a model release.

Several years ago, a newspaper in Florida published a photograph of a woman's son (who committed suicide). The crime scene was inside a private residence. No release was obtained because the photographer obtained consent to photograph from the cop in charge of the crime scene. Unfortunately, the courts held that it wasn't the cops consent to give. It was the people who lived in the house.

The paper was sued for invasion of privacy and defamation. The lady and her family prevailed and were awarded damages, including damages for invasion of privacy and emotional distress. It was affirmed on appeal and again before the Florida Supreme Court. While the public had a right to know, it does NOT have an ABSOLUTE right to know, and therefore the former blanket news exception for photojournalists working for or submitted work to, a local news publication, even though the shots may in fact be newsworthy, no longer enjoy that blanket exception to the release law.

AND, btw, even though you get a spectacular newsworthy photo and an editor might agree to publish it without a release (which is still done quite a bit), that newsworthiness doesn't grant the photographer the unbridled license to use or publish it anywhere [s]he wants to at any time.
publishing beyond the news media would still require a release.

That decision has been adopted over and over again in many jurisdictions.
The decision is up the editor at the various publications and their legal staffs.

And now, Bueller needs a day off.
Take it light gang.
Mark.


To love this comment, log in above
8/14/2006 4:35:20 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Bueller here.....LOL !!!
Wow, I'm really impressed on how you guys are on top of this issue. It used to be that a photograph published in a "recognized news publication" like a daily or weekly newspaper or magazine, (the supermarket tabloids were decided on a case by case basis) did not require a model release.

Several years ago, a newspaper in Florida published a photograph of a woman's son (who committed suicide). The crime scene was inside a private residence. No release was obtained because the photographer obtained consent to photograph from the cop in charge of the crime scene. Unfortunately, the courts held that it wasn't the cops consent to give. It was the people who lived in the house.

The paper was sued for invasion of privacy and defamation. The lady and her family prevailed and were awarded damages, including damages for invasion of privacy and emotional distress. It was affirmed on appeal and again before the Florida Supreme Court. While the public had a right to know, it does NOT have an ABSOLUTE right to know, and therefore the former blanket news exception for photojournalists working for or submitted work to, a local news publication, even though the shots may in fact be newsworthy, no longer enjoy that blanket exception to the release law.

AND, btw, even though you get a spectacular newsworthy photo and an editor might agree to publish it without a release (which is still done quite a bit), that newsworthiness doesn't grant the photographer the unbridled license to use or publish it anywhere [s]he wants to at any time.
publishing beyond the news media would still require a release.

That decision has been adopted over and over again in many jurisdictions.
The decision is up the editor at the various publications and their legal staffs.

And now, Bueller needs a day off.
Take it light gang.
Mark.


To love this comment, log in above
8/14/2006 4:35:21 PM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.