Model Release Question

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by bdavis, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I know it's been debated up and down, but there never seems to be a concrete answer on this issue.

    If I am walking around town shooting pictures with the intent of adding them to an online portfolio, do I need a model release? Could I then sell prints without a release?

    These wouldn't be used for advertising so in my understanding I shouldnt need a release....right?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There might be rules/laws that vary from place to place...which is probably why you can't get a concrete answer on the internet. As usual, the best advice is to ask a lawyer or photographer in your specific area.

    As far as I understand it, you can take the photos in public as long as you don't violate someone's reasonable expectation of privacy....so if they are also on the street, then it's OK...but if they are in their house or apartment, you can't/shouldn't take photos of them, even though you are on public property.

    With those photos, you can use them and even sell them as art but you can't sell them for commercial use without a model release/compensation etc.

    There was a big case not so long ago. Someone photographed a gentleman in NYC, I believe the subject was Orthodox Jewish, without his knowledge or consent. The photographer was selling the photo as art and the person was suing him. I'm pretty sure the result was in favor of the photographer.
     
  3. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    Now that you mention it, I would love to hear the outcome of that lawsuit.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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  5. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The article states that the photographer won, but not on the basis that he is allowed to do what he did, but on the basis of a technicallity in that the man in the photograph would of had to file a lawsuit within 1 year of the picture's publication, not within one year of him finding out the image was there.

    Picture taken 2000-2001
    Picture exhibited in 2001, with limited copies (10) sold
    Guy finds out his picture was taken -- 2005

    I'm curious what the outcome would of been if he filed within 1 year of publication
     
  6. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I would be curious as well. Guess I'll just have to ask a lawyer in my state about the regulations to this.
     

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