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Photography Question 
Staci C. Hooten
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
 

Model Releases


I'm going to a Anti-War Protest this weekend in Hollywood. I was wondering if I take pictures of people holding up signs, and want to post them on my website, do I need a model release for them to sign?


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3/15/2007 5:10:52 PM

 
Mike Rubin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/15/2004
  It may be considered "editorial" and you may not need the release.
Hey Mark, we need a pro opinion!


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3/15/2007 5:25:01 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Under California law, you don't need a release to take the photographs themselves, assuming the protestors are on public property. That only covers creating the images. What you do with them, however, is a different story. Placing the work on your web site is publishing and assuming you're not really an editorial publication, then a release to publish them, particularly if your website is some sort of commercial endeavor, then a release would likely be required. This also assumes you're not covering the event as a credentialed member of a legitimate news enterprise, say A.P., the Valley news, New York Times, L.A. Times, etc.

There are "legal suffciency tests" Staci, that determine whether the usage of a photograph is genuinely editorial, along with a few other tests that must be covered. So, merely calling yourself "an editorial" publication, isn't like waving some kind of magif wand and does not automatically grant you status as an editorial publication.

Public figures however, actors, actresses, politicians, may fall into an exception to that general rule. So, if you happen to photograph some prominent individual out protesting, then you should talk to a lawyer down there who specializes in intellectual property law. L.A. is loaded with them, and most hang out on Wilshire Blvd. in Century City or between there and the Federal Court building at 312 Spring Street. :>)
Okie dokie?
Take it light and wear a hard hat ;>)
Mark


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3/15/2007 6:04:36 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey staci,
i'm gussing since amarillo college offers the best,messin with ya staci.
um,just in your gallery,or a website promoting,yourself,or a business?
mark has a lot more knowledge than myself as to law.but if your intent is not to make money or sell prints of said individuals and just to show ability,i think your ok.
boy I hope no one thinks we hate each other again.
how far am I off mark,sam


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3/15/2007 8:05:56 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Well Sam, if it looks, walks, acts, sounds like and has feathers like a duck, it's probably a duck. Promoting yourself on a website, even just by saying "I'm a photographer, here's my contact information" is a commercial endeavor. Editorial use is like NYT.com, etc. A lot of intent can be inferred from actions not just words.

[Why on earth would I hate you?]
Hugs :>0)
Mark
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Baseball season is upon us !!!!


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3/15/2007 8:52:11 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  see,that's why I post.
ok
no love lost.
I guess a right by say virtue is,um,bogus.i actually see the point mark,but yet on the no harm no foul,if the photo wasn't taken,the question never comes up and why are you complaining.but the photo was taken and we must observe the rights of others.boy if you would quit makin sensin.
so if I do get sued,my attitude goes first?and if that's not taken,they can't have anything else?
quack,quack,sam


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3/15/2007 9:45:04 PM

 
doug Nelson   It may help, I suppose, to express some sort of support or sympathy for the cause being expressed. People might be flattered to be shown in a collection of protest images. After all, they are out in a public place, at a public event, expressing their views. I try to makle it clear that I am strictly an amateur (as if my images themselves are not sufficient enough evidence of my amateur status).


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3/19/2007 10:40:12 AM

 
Staci C. Hooten
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/11/2005
  Thanks everyone for their opinions. I took some great photos...and the ones I liked the best, the people are not recognizeable...so no need for model release. Execpt one great picture I got of Martin Sheen. What a nice guy he is. Marched right beside him most of the way!
Thanks again!


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3/19/2007 11:39:32 AM

 
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