Canceling a model release

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Can a model just cancel a contract if no party done any wrong? I'm being told that they can at any point. I'm also being informed that if the model does cancel said contract that I have to remove all of my pictures online or in use. At the same time the model can keep using the pictures as he/she pleases.

This seems one sided to me. Is there anyway to protect myself to keep this from possibly happening? I can't seem to find any legal text to support this.
 
I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on the internet. (Probably shouldn't trust one of those anyway.)

I would consult with an actual lawyer about this, since it's a legal issue.
 
You had a contract, right? Does the contract allow for the model to cancel the contract? I'm assuming not, but if an attorney didn't draft it, it's possible there's a loophole.

Is there any way to protect yourself? Yes, get an attorney and have them review your contract.
 
Contracts are agreements between two parties.
One party cannot simply change the contract/agreement after both parties have signed unless it is provided for in the contract. As for any "wrong" the contract could also stipulate any potential "wrongs" but hopefully included to protect yourself not the other party.

So, as the others have mentioned, is it provided for in the contract and has the contract been properly vetted by an attorney knowledgeable of these ?

maybe post it here for us to squabble about - though only a qualified attorney would really be able to answer your question.

of course it makes no sense for the client to tell you to remove all your photos whereas the client can continue using those photos. Maybe you should get those photos copyrighted just to solidify your case.
 
As the others said consult a professional lawyer regarding this matter. Indeed whilst you can get contracts online it would help a lot to have a lawyer review your contracts to ensure that they are fair and that you're not leaving yourself exposed to future problems or putting clauses into the contract which might be unlawful or which are simply impractical (just because its in a contract does not always make things legal).

It sounds like you're worrying rather than experiencing this yourself so it a good thing to wonder; seek out a good lawyer and have them go through your contracts. Yes it costs, but it could save you a fortune in the future plus knowing a good lawyer to turn to means that if someone does contest you've got someone you know who you can call up and hire to deal with the problem.
 
I guess I should have clarified. I'm not going through this issue. I was just wondering as I'm trying to daft a model release. I'm being told this information from local models and photographers in my area. I just couldn't find any information about cancellation of contract after a shoot has been completed and photos exchanged.
 
other photographers do this?

I can see why models would want it
Free photos to be used freely by themselves only.
 
.. I'm trying to daft a model release.
Oh, good, you're trying to practice law. For a minute there I thought you were going to attempt professional photography.
 
Honestly chances are a model might have some legal standing to cancel a contract, however to retain their own use of the photos whilst denying you yours would seem to be a more tricky situation. Might be local photographers have just given in to some models and not fought the issue.

Chances are no matter the legal standing if a client wants photos "down" its likely easier to just do that - most pro-websites only have a handful of photos up for display of their best and most current work. So even if you do have legal standing and backing taking down as a good will gesture is likely easier and less problematic.
 
.. I'm trying to daft a model release.
Oh, good, you're trying to practice law. For a minute there I thought you were going to attempt professional photography.
He was just "daft"ing not "drafting" a release.

daft = silly, foolish.
:)
typos .. gotta love 'em
 
Okay, let's start with the caveat that I'm not a lawyer.

Your post (assuming all of the details are accurate and you haven't left out any salient points) is really about two issues:

1. The model release.

2. A usage agreement.

As for the model release, it gives the photographer the right to publicly display or sell photos. Most states say that even without a release you can display them on your personal website or in your portfolio--you just can't sell them, put them on posters in the subway or on a billboard on the freeway or in a magazine ad or stock photography sale.

The usage agreement (which is not the same as the model release) says that the model gets to do "X" with the photo or photos. What "X" is depends upon what that agreement says. Most photographers say they can post or even sell the few photos they provide but can't edit them. Here's the thing: the model grants (or doesn't) the right to publicize the photos. But barring a contract selling the photos to the client (the model), you OWN the photos.

Now, I'm betting that you probably shared all of the photos with the model. First, generally speaking, unless you've somehow broken the agreement in deed or spirit (by doing something you told the model you weren't going to do), once the release is signed, someone can't just go in and say "I'm having second thoughts." Too late, it's been signed (BTW, I"m assuming the model is 18 or over). Second, irrelevant of what happens with the model release, you OWN the photos (unless you sold them to the model). If you gave the model permission to post them, you're sharing that right or ownership. But the model doesn't own the photos (or share rights).

Last of all, separate from the legalities of it all, here's my advice: if the model posed for you and is then having second thoughts (boyfriend is unhappy, parents threatening to disown her, whatever), don't display the photos. If any money changed hands, then she needs to give it back (i.e.: if you paid him/her to pose). There is what is legal. Then there is what will get you more models and more cooperation (especially if you're shooting TF work). If the word gets around that you shot a model, he/she got uncomfortable and you said "hah, hah, screw you, I own the photos, I'll do with them as a I will..." you get less TF opportunities.
 
A photographer usually does not need a model release to publicly display or sell photos.
Public display and selling prints are considered Editorial usage and don't require permission of any people in the photos.
Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Digital Photographer's Guide to Model Releases: Making the Best Business Decisions with Your Photos of People, Places and Things
See Part 4- Analyzing the Need for a Model Release - of Dan Heller's book (above link).

A model release is about commercial use of a persons likeness to promote, endorse, or advertise a product or service.

As long as a photographer still owns the copyright and has a valid signed model release on file, the photographer can tell the model to contact the photographer's attorney to arrange for monetary compensation to the photographer if the model later decides to retract the permission granted when the model signed the model release.

Imagine an worldwide multi-millon $$$$$$$$ ad campaign using the likeness of a model who later decides to no longer honor the model release the model signed.
 
Majority of contracts I've been involved with only allows cancellation prior to any photos being shot. If it is a signed document and the photos have been shot, too bad. If the photos are already being used and both parties are ok with them, well that can't be changed. If the model/client decides that they no longer want the photos to be used by the photographer and payment has been made, then don't use them. Make sure that the model/client draws up paperwork, and make sure it's all signed and dated. You still own the images and that has to be in the contract or revision.
 
A photographer usually does not need a model release to publicly display or sell photos.
Public display and selling prints are considered Editorial usage and don't require permission of any people in the photos.
Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Digital Photographer's Guide to Model Releases: Making the Best Business Decisions with Your Photos of People, Places and Things
See Part 4- Analyzing the Need for a Model Release - of Dan Heller's book (above link).

A model release is about commercial use of a persons likeness to promote, endorse, or advertise a product or service.

As long as a photographer still owns the copyright and has a valid signed model release on file, the photographer can tell the model to contact the photographer's attorney to arrange for monetary compensation to the photographer if the model later decides to retract the permission granted when the model signed the model release.

Imagine an worldwide multi-millon $$$$$$$$ ad campaign using the likeness of a model who later decides to no longer honor the model release the model signed.
Keith, the Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia case involved "street photography." My understanding is that if it's in a public space (like "street photography"), or it's a newsworthy event, or if it's a public figure, then no release is necessary. Again, I'm no lawyer but that's my understanding.
 
That is just one case. It's notable in large part because of how much prints of the photos sold for.
There are others that don't relate to street photography.

An online photography forum is an unreliable substitute for getting legal advice from a qualified attorney.

As far as the OPs query regarding a person wanting to rescind a contract/signed release at a later date, and demanding the removal of all pictures online or in use, as long as the photographer has a valid signed release on file the photographer would be on solid legal ground to ignore such a demand.
If none of the photos have been used for a commercial purpose the photographer could note in that customers file to never use the photos for a commercial usage.

It is a best retail photography business practice to include the model release as a clause in the retail photography contract.
It is also a best retail photography business practice to include language in the model release clause to the effect the customer is getting a price discount as compensation for allowing use of their likeness for commercial purposes. The customer can certainly prohibit use of their likeness for commercial purposes (thus negotiating a modification of the contract) but the customer then forfeits the price discount and pays full price.

A model release protects the publisher of photos with people in the photos and the release protects people in the photo.
For most commercial usage the photographer is not the publisher of the photo(s).
As long as the photographer is not the publisher, the photographer does not need a release to sell a photo with people in it even if the photo will be used buy the buyer for a commercial purpose.
However, having a valid release on file adds value to the photo the photographer has for sale.

Most states say that if a photographer wants to use photos of recognizable people the photographer made of those people in private or under controlled conditions, then a release from the people in the photo is needed for the photographer to use those images to promote or advertise the photographer.
Because the photographer then is the publisher of those photographs that are being used for a commercial purpose.

The point being the need for a release is not always clear. How photos of people are made and how those photos are used determine the need for a release.

If a working photographer writes their own legal documents another best business practice is to have a qualified attorney review all those legal documents to ensure the photographer has not created legal documents littered with legal loop holes.
 

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