Confused about model release

Started 4 months ago | Questions
shutterhappens Regular Member • Posts: 101
Confused about model release

I read if you use a photo for commercial purpose (to make money), you need model releases for all recognizable people in the photo.

So how could these be used as stock photos:

https://pixabay.com/photos/crowd-sports-fans-spectators-1584115/

https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/crowds-with-hands-up-cheering-their-team-gm1128664603-297886233

There are more like these where they come from.

Due to the number of people, it is unlikely the photog was able to hunt down all the people in the photo, much less get them to sign model releases.

ANSWER:
Sean Locke Photography Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: Confused about model release
4

They should be tagged as “editorial use only” like this one :https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/ferencvaros-vs-ujpest-otp-bank-league-football-match-gm469700022-62599332

Results of a lazy or poorly trained inspector.

selected answer This post was selected as the answer by the original poster.
OP shutterhappens Regular Member • Posts: 101
Re: Confused about model release

Thanks. That makes sense.

I guess the paid-for stock photos agency may indemnify you if there is trouble. Probably not so for the free stock photos.

Sean Locke Photography Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: Confused about model release

shutterhappens wrote:

Thanks. That makes sense.

I guess the paid-for stock photos agency may indemnify you if there is trouble. Probably not so for the free stock photos.

Ha, ha, ha, yeah, no.  When uploading, you confirm you have all the necessary releases.  They will protect the buyer in the legalities and put everything on the contributor.  On the paid sites, at least.
The free ones take no responsibility, so the buyer can be taken to court for the use.  That's why it's not too smart to use content from the free sites.

BAK Forum Pro • Posts: 25,651
Re: Confused about model release

Usually the ticket to get into the event allows to organizers to use pictures. Look for signs by the gates, and fine print on the tickets.

BAK

Sean Locke Photography Regular Member • Posts: 143
Re: Confused about model release

Except these images are obviously not by organizers.

Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 14,394
Re: Confused about model release
3

The laws on model releases vary by state. Generally, they require permission in order to use someone’s likeness to promote goods and/or services.

You may also need a release if the usage paints the model in a false light.

“Making money” from a photo doesn’t really make a difference here.

Suppose I take a photo of a man sitting on a bench in a local park.

I probably don’t need a release to sell a fine art print of that photo, even if I am charging thousands of dollars.

I don’t need a release in order to license the image to a newspaper, but they may need a release depending on how it is used.

For instance no release is needed if the newspaper runs the photo along with a story on how the city is planning to replace the park benches. However, a release would be needed to run that same image in that same newspaper in an add for the company selling the park benches.

Some editorial uses do require a release. For instance, a release would be needed to use that image in a story about child predators hanging out in our parks. The reason is that it paints the person in a false light by implying that he is a child predator (of course, if he was a child predator, then you don’t need the release).

There are specific rules that vary by state. Some states don’t require a release if the person’s appearance is incidental (such as appearing in a crowd).

Typically, a photographer is interested in getting an “assignable” release. This allows the rights granted by the release to be passed along to whomever licenses the photo.

Many public events require attendees to grant condition to use their likeness as a condition of entry.  Such permission is usually assignable, so the venue could extend that permission to others.

The above is a description of the general case, the specifics of a particular situation could require a different result. The laws also vary by state. Some states recognize implied consent, while some states require written consent.  This is not legal advice, and you should not rely on legal advice from the web.  For reliable legal advice talk to a local attorney that specializes in the field.

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NAwlins Contrarian Veteran Member • Posts: 6,466
Probably doesn't matter

Usually the ticket to get into the event allows to organizers to use pictures. Look for signs by the gates, and fine print on the tickets.

In most jurisdictions I don't think that's a valid way to secure the appropriate legal authority to use / sell photos that the photographer would not otherwise have.

Usually I buy the ticket before the physical ticket is handed to me, and often without first being presented and asked to approve terms and conditions that address this sort of thing. As a matter of contract law, in most jurisdictions / most cases you can't impose new conditions on me (printed on the ticket) after we've made the basic contract (the sale of the ticket / license to attend the event). So really, the ticked-buyer has to be presented and agree to those terms and conditions before the sale of the ticket, or else in most case those terms are not valid.

The same goes for posting signs. You can't sell me the ticket today and then, when I arrive in a month for the football game or concert, impose new requirements (such as my consenting to having my photo taken for commercial purposes) as a condition of my entry.

The signs like 'we're videoing you' are typically more about security / surveillance, and for that purpose they probably matter in some jurisdictions.

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