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Old August 12th, 2004, 03:56 PM   #1
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Strange release question

Here is the situation:

I recently completed a promotional video for a non-profit organization which features on-camera segments with a number of people from the organization located all around North America. I did most all the shooting (and got talent releases) from all but one of the participants.

This participant was shot by another videographer, local to his area. The participant enthusiastically agreed to the shoot and even covered payment for the local videographer. When I sent the participant a model release, he responded with an e-mail stating that he was supportive of the project and even though he had paid for the videographer, had a philosophical problem with releases and would not sign one. He did, in an e-mail state that he gave me permission to use the footage in anyway I deem fit and that I can proceed with finalization, duplication and distribution.

Any particular dangers here or am I ok?
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Old August 12th, 2004, 05:53 PM   #2
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Maybe you should post exactly what he says.

Regardless of what he says, a simple email is probably not enough without his signature. I'm not the lawyer here, but I'd be cautious, and definitely contact one about it.
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Old August 12th, 2004, 06:41 PM   #3
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Sounds to me like he is trying to intentionally put you in a position to demand royalties at some point in the future.
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Old August 13th, 2004, 09:45 AM   #4
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emails, regardless of signiature, are now commonly used in court as evidence.. draft note, emails, diary notes.. theyr eall legal documents now..

if he has statted he is fine with it, go ahead.. but make sure that HIS BOSS also gets a copy of the email. basicially send a response stating that u acknowledge his request to forgo signing it, but u acknowledge his permission to use the footage..
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Old August 13th, 2004, 10:19 AM   #5
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Peter, that is what I essentially did. Because of the subject matter (very benign), the fact that he was a enthuisastic participant, he is an active member of the non-profit organization that the video is being produced for and he actually paid the videographer from his own pocket on behalf of the organization - I'm not too worried.

I would prefer something more legal, but copies of our correspondence are in the project file, along with the e-mails asking him to participate, his offer to pay the videographer and his post shoot e-mail. Hopefully this is an exercise in excessive worry.
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Old August 13th, 2004, 12:45 PM   #6
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I don't know, maybe I'm just cranky today. I'd be tempted to write back and say I had a philosophical problem with people trying to set me up for future trouble by not signing perfeclty reasonable, industry standard releases. I'd be tempted to do the video without him.

Just my opinion.

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Old August 13th, 2004, 12:56 PM   #7
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It was tempting
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