Question on Photography Legalities About Model Releases and Reproduction Rights

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by astrostu, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    I'm doing my first wedding in September. I've created a contract based on many others that I found online and stuff I've read on this board. I sent it off to the couple (who are friends) for the groom to look over since he's going into law and has some experience with contract law.

    He had some minor issues with it, but the two main ones are about the photographer reserving all copyrights and rights of duplication, and then the model release.

    I explained to him that both are standard, and I think he finally understood the reasoning behind retaining reproduction rights (which really aren't an issue in this case, anyway, since I will be giving them a CD and all reproduction rights they want as part of their present).

    But he's raised an interesting point with the model release: Unless you actually get EVERYONE who is in the photograph to sign the model release, you can't use it. Someone could still sue, and according to him, the photographer would likely lose in an actual court.

    I explained to him that it's still standard, and I offered to show him over a dozen different wedding photography contracts that had them. He said that wasn't the issue, that just the idea of a lay person signing that release and in general the lay photographer writing it (and then all us other photographers copying it) is generally "fear" enough that someone wouldn't sue. But, he still claimed that legally, the photographer is in the wrong for only getting a release from the couple but treating it as a release for everyone.

    I'm curious as to what people think about this, and if it has EVER come up in the past for anyone.
     
  2. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    1)Unless specifically addressed in the contract, you own the copyright to the photos....they are essentially purchasing licensed copies from you.

    2)He is correct on the releases. The bride & groom cannot just grant everyone's consent by matter of attendance, unless they have them sign a waiver at the door......:er:.

    If you wanted to use a group photo in a self-promotional commercial advertisement, you will definitely want a release from every individual in the shot. You can, however, make a part of the contract a model release for pictures of the bride & groom themselves so photos of them can be used.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009

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