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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Model release needed?
Matthew Visinsky, Photographer
Dallas | TX | | Posted: 2:08 PM on 11.07.12
->> I have been approached by a chain restaurant that wants to use some of my photos on a mural featuring images related to a local college in some of their locations. Several, but not all, of the photos are of fans and cheerleaders that I have shot at various sporting events involving that college.

Would I need a release from the people in the photos to allow the restaurant to use the photos? My gut says yes, but another photographer friend says maybe not because they are in a public venue and are actually posing for the photos. I have asked the agency making the request how they handle this situaiton, and they say that the sporting event is a public event and they do not need a release for this type of project. They also say that if it ever became an issue they would remove the photo.

I have never received such a request before or sold images to someone for such a usage before, so I thought I would check to see what everyone thought.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Matt
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 2:14 PM on 11.07.12
->> Is this mural more of a decoration or is it more a promotional item like a billboard for the restaurant chain? What type of text, if any, will be on the mural?
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Ric Tapia, Photographer, Photo Editor
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 2:17 PM on 11.07.12
->> Just because the photo was taken at a public place and they were posing doesnt mean anything. You need a model release for anything that is not editorial. Also, sporting events are NOT public places.

You need a model release from anyone who is recognizable.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 2:20 PM on 11.07.12
->> Yeah, I'm agreeing with Ric here. On second thought, even if it is *just* decoration, if it's a mural I think it's a pretty easy argument that it is also an ad.

I'd contact YOUR lawyer (not their's) and ask him or her... or just find the subjects and have them sign a release and compensate them.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Matthew Visinsky, Photographer
Dallas | TX | | Posted: 2:30 PM on 11.07.12
->> Thanks for the responses.

Brian - My understanding if that the mural is strictly for decoration. I have seen a copy of a few of their other murals and they are photos of the college campus as well as photos of fans/cheerleaders, etc...

Ric - That has always been my understanding. That's why I posted this message asking for clarification because their answers to my concerns/questions did not convince me otherwise.

I guess I'm going to have to pass on it for my own protection since tracking the subjects down will be almost impossible in this case as a few of the photos they want to use are a couple of years old.

Thanks again for your input.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Darin Sicurello, Photographer, Assistant
Gilbert | AZ | USA | Posted: 2:53 PM on 11.07.12
->> "You need a model release from anyone who is recognizable." Ric Tapia

I asked around and get different answers. (maybe Canon vs. Nikon users. :) )

I wonder if you can get a model release via on camera?(live)

or

a tablet website check box "I agree to the terms of this release..." via email?
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (2) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 5:19 PM on 11.07.12
->> Find an intellectual property attorney in your city and ask -- and provide a copy of the actual photo to be used -- to make sure your legal ducks are in a row.

If the image is being marketed then you need a model release, but as a decorative mural that gets into a gray area. If it is simply art that's benign, but if the chain's logo or name is incorporated into it then the mural takes on promotional/commercial tone whereupon you definitely need a model release. Thus the attorney. Usually there is no charge for an initial query on something like this.

You also need to check with the college's NCAA compliance officer to make sure the use of your images are okay with them too. Any use of a college/team name, logo, player, etc. is highly regulated. A cheerleader may not be categorized as an athlete, but the team name on their uniform is categorized as being owned by the college and the NCAA. And if a player is pictured in what is deemed to be a commercial entity it could hurt the kid's eligibility.

Upsetting a fan or cheerleader over their picture use is nothing compared to the consequences of ticking off the college and NCAA who could ban you from future events for not playing by their rules. And their rules could involve being monetarily compensated by the restaurant chain for use of the college's name, logo, etc. on anything.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 8:58 PM on 11.07.12
->> "Would I need a release from the people in the photos to allow the restaurant to use the photos?"

Yes.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 9:41 PM on 11.07.12
->> My lay understanding - (not an attorney, but I'll play along)

Do YOU need a release - NO. You aren't publishing or displaying.

Does the RESTAURANT need a release - YES. They are the ones displaying.

Better yet - ask an attorney.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Paul Alesse, Photographer
Coram | NY | USA | Posted: 10:04 PM on 11.07.12
->> We were asked by Applebees a couple of years ago for submissions. This was our first question, to which they responded... "we will handle all of the legalities."

Never got further than that because once we saw their monetary offer for the photos, we walked.
 This post is:  Informative (3) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 6:02 PM on 11.08.12
->> Technically you don't need a model release. They need a model release to put it up and are responsible. You can sell it to them letting them know you don't have a model release.

Photographers get model releases to help out those who want to publish the photo. It helps you sell the image by having it.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 10:11 AM on 11.09.12
->> I went through the Applebees process too.. Ditto what Paul said.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 1:45 PM on 11.09.12
->> Does anyone have a good source of info on the eligibility question around this?

Our local hospital is running a "contest" for art depicting the area with the winning entries being displayed in the new hospital. Their rules outline that it is a limited use license, proper releases must be acquired and they will pay a license fee for each chosen image that is displayed (much better than I see for many national level contests.)

The question I have is around submitting photos of high school athletes (with model releases) and possible implications for eligibility. If it matters the facility is not for profit.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Doug Strickland, Photographer
Texarkana | TX | USA | Posted: 5:07 PM on 11.09.12
->> I was contacted by WKU asking to use one of my photos on the Celebrate Kentucky wall, a large wall of photos from Kentucky which went up in UK hospital's new wing last year, and they required a model release for the images.

An example of the wall is on the web site here:
http://www.celebratekentucky.com/Celebrate_Kentucky/home.html

I would suggest contacting an attorney for a final ruling. While I would argue that it is no different from buying prints to hang on the wall, if they are turning it into some big collage complete with team logos or their own logo then that goes out the window.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

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Thread Title: Model release needed?
Thread Started By: Matthew Visinsky
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