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Old November 7th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #1
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Release forms and "selling" an image

This goes a little bit along the lines of the "Disney Photo" thread, but wanted to break this discussion out.

The two questions I have are regarding release forms and what constitutes selling an image.

We always get people to sign release forms when we either video or take still shots of them (even employees). But for one client we are working with (a public university), we are shooting various events for them, where there are several hundred or several thousand people. It would be next to impossible to get everyone to sign a release form.

For example, the football game we shot, I have about 10 students say the University's tag line. Do I need all of them to sign a release form? And if I get a close up of the drum major's face while directing the band, do we need them to sign it too?

The university doesn't have a policy clearly stated that "if you are on university grounds, we can take pictures of you and use them" nor does it say something similar on the back of tickets to these events we are shooting.

The video will be used in their recruitment office to promote the university to high school kids as they tour the university. But, it could find it's way on a tv commercial or a web video at a later date.

Also, since we are shooting the video for the university, and the university is using it inhouse, or may use it for a TV commercial, they aren't selling the image. It is theirs. So does any of this apply?

Thanks in advance.

Barry
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Old November 7th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #2
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If the students had to pay to be at the game, and the school says it is alright for you guys to film there, then there shouldn't be a problem.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #3
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Maybe so, maybe not, Edward. Barry really needs to check with an attorney on this as there are too many case-specific wrinkles to make any generalizations.

A common practice is to post a notice at the entrances that filming is in progress and entering constitutes permission to capture one's likeness. That should cover the broad audience shots, etc, but whether a separate release would also be required from people featured in closeup like the people in the tag line or the drum major is something only legal counsel familiar with the specific circumstances and the exact uses of the final video can answer.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 07:40 PM   #4
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Ask the University if there is a 'photo release' implicit in the administration process. Believe it or not, there often IS a line somewhere in the student admissions that says the student's image may be used in promoting the University. So it might already be a done deal.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 07:41 PM   #5
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Not all people at the game are going to be students tho....

Carl
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Old November 7th, 2007, 08:32 PM   #6
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True enough, I was thinking of the students in the band. There are a number of issues and ways to deal with this. The possible image realease inside the student application process will help, if there is one. Certainly get a release from the ten students you get to say the tag lines, that shouldn't be hard. And in terms of shooting 'the audience', keep the shots wide and moving, and you'll probably not be able to pick out a particular face in the crowd. Posting 'notices of filming' in prominent places is the usual way for ourdoor events.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 08:53 PM   #7
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. . . and if the band was playing music, the music will have to be cleared with the publisher as well . . .
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Old November 9th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice. When I was in news, we didn't have to worry about this stuff.

As for the 10 students (who had their bodies painted with letters spelling out the schools mascot on their chests), with me asking them to say the tagline, and them agreeing to do it, and then doing it, is that kind of a verbal release?

Barry
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Old November 9th, 2007, 05:31 PM   #9
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Barry, nobody here is going to tell you you're 'legally judgement proof'... and that it' okay to do anything. What you describe is 'kind of a release'... one might infer that they understood they were being filmed... but one might NOT infer that it was okay to broadcast/distribute/or otherwise promote their image. It would have been better if you had gotten yourself on camera saying "I'm shooting this for the purpose of using this to promote the university, do I have your permission to use this in any way I want???"

But it sounds like you didn't do that.
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