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Old July 20th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #1
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Can I use someone's picture on the cover?

I'm doing a DVD cover with about twenty small photos grouped around a large one of the city skyline. Two of these small photos are of recognizable faces taken in public places. Do I need to get a release to use these? They are not prominent shots, just mixed in with attractions, nature scenes, and screen grabs of people I've interviewed for the project (and who have signed releases).

Thanks in advance,
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Old July 20th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #2
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I would say if you do not have their expressed permission I would not use them.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 04:13 AM   #3
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A DVD cover would definitely be a commercial use. If you don't have a release, don't use 'em.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 07:49 PM   #4
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A DVD cover would definitely be a commercial use. If you don't have a release, don't use 'em.
I always have wondered ...... how are the video guys that cover Hollywood stars are able to sell their footage if they don't have express permission (and are never likely to get it)?
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Old July 21st, 2009, 08:21 PM   #5
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I believe there's a "public figure" exclusion - IOW, in exchange for being a celebrity/politician/other publically recognizable mug, you give up the "right to privacy" when "in public".

Technically that goes for everyone I suppose, as unless you have a reasonable expectation of privacy (and nowadays you're likely to be "on camera" many times in a metro area), you can't complain about having your picture taken... but no one wants pix of me... so I don't care anyway... no papparazzi following me anywhere...
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Old July 21st, 2009, 09:15 PM   #6
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I think (not necessarily "know" but "think") that it depends on whether the photograph etc was taken in a public place or in a private venue.

In a private venue, I think you either need a release or there needs to be ample notification posted at the entrance to the venue that photos will be taken and by entering one is giving an implied acceptance and release.

In public I think everybody is fair game. Where it might get sticky is if you took someone's photo and composited in a product photo in such a way that the result implied that the person was a user/consumer of the product.

But just a picture of someone sitting on the grass in Central Park = hmmm. I think no expectation of privacy so maybe no release required. Maybe!
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 11:27 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies!

I removed the shots to be on the safe side, although I agree that in public you should be "fair game."
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 06:15 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies!

I removed the shots to be on the safe side, although I agree that in public you should be "fair game."
It depends on the use to which the image is being put. A DVD cover comes pretty close to advertising. If the same person was briefly in the background in a scene in the video it might be another story.
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