October 30, 2007

Do I need a release for my film/photograph?

Filed under: Documentaries, Film, Photography — kenjun @ 4:57 pm

Great guide to the law on capturing images.

In short, it’s your right to take photos unless you infringe on someone else’s rights. In short:

3. Does the photo NOT include as a significant element a recognizable: person, celebrity, artwork, logo, trademark, cartoon character, professional sporting event, or view from a paid entrance?

* Yes. Congratulations, you have full reasonable use of the photo. Yes, you can use it, publish it and sell it.

* No. Then you’re limited to private and “fair use” (generally educational, newsworthy but not money-making or malicious use). So you could probably post the photo on your Web site (as long as the subject is not private or embarassing, and the display is not false or misleading). But you can’t sell it as stock photography or use it on the cover of a product (“commercial use”). To do that, you’d need a “release,” a written contract with the property owner. In the case of people, this is called a “model release.”


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