I’m the first to admit, that in the past, I have been very VERY laxidasical when it comes to having models sign model release forms. There’s a lot of confusion that surrounds the concept of model releases, copyright and publishing rights; indeed, depending on which part of the world you live in or where your work is published, the copyright and publishing laws of that place may differ, but fundamentally, a release is not required to grant a photographer copyright of an image and a photographer automatically has the right to publish (within limits) his/her work, again without requiring a signed model release form.
But chances are, if you are submitting your work to stock libraries or for publication to magazines, they will ask for signed model release forms. Also with the advent of the internet and social media like Facebook and other model network sites, I’m finding more and more models using my work without permission and even granting permission to other photographers to use my images, which is where model releases can also play an important roll in protecting our work.
There’s a plethora of different model release forms on line, but I thought I’d share the content of mine here on the blog for you all the use freely and indeed for any models that will potentially work with me in the future, to review: (pdf version here)
For Consideration herein acknowledged as received, and by signing this release I hereby give Ciaran Whyte and Assigns:
1.1 the unrestricted right and permission to copyright and use, re-use, publish, and republish the Content, in which I may be included intact or in part, composite or distorted in character or form, without restriction as to changes or transformations in conjunction with my own or a fictitious name, or reproduction hereof in color or otherwise, made through any and all Media now or hereafter known for illustration, art, promotion, advertising, trade, or any other purpose whatsoever.
1.2 Permission to license the Content and to use the Content in any Media for any purpose, which may include, among others, advertising, promotion, marketing and packaging for any product or service. I agree that the Content may be combined with other images, text, graphics, film, audio, audio-visual works; and may be cropped, altered or modified.
1.3 I also permit the use of any printed material in connection therewith.
1.4 I hereby release, discharge and agree to save harmless Ciaran Whyte and/or Assigns from any liability by virtue of any blurring, distortion, alteration, optical illusion, or use in composite form whether intentional or otherwise, that may occur or be produced in the taking of said picture or in any subsequent processing thereof, as well as any publication thereof, including without limitation any claims for libel or invasion of privacy.
2 Right To Content
2.1 I agree that I have no rights to the Content, and all rights to the Content belong to Ciaran Whyte and/or Assigns.
2.2 I hereby relinquish any right that I may have to examine or approve the completed product or products or the advertising copy or printed matter that may be used in conjunction therewith or the use to which it may be applied.
2.3 I acknowledge and agree that I have no further right to additional consideration or accounting, and that I will make no further claim for any reason to Ciaran Whyte and/or Assigns.
3 It is agreed that my personal information will not be made publicly available but may only be used directly in relation to the licensing of the Content where necessary (e.g. to defend claims, protect rights or notify trade unions) and may be retained as long as necessary to fulfil this purpose, including by being shared with sub-licensees / assignees of Ciaran Whyte and transferred to countries with differing data protection and privacy laws where it may be stored, accessed and used.
4 I represent and warrant that I am at least 18 years of age and have the full legal capacity to execute this release. I have read the above authorization, release and agreement, prior to its execution; I fully understand the contents thereof. This agreement, which is irrevocable, worldwide and perpetual, and will be governed by the laws of Ireland, shall be binding upon me, my heirs, legal representatives and
Assigns: means a person or any company to whom Ciaran Whyte has assigned or licensed rights under this release as well as the licensees of any such person or company. It also includes his heirs, legal representatives and those acting with his authority and permission
Consideration: means at least €1 or something else of value I have received in exchange for the rights granted by me in this release.
Content: means all photographs, film, audio, or other recording, still or moving, taken of me as part of the Shoot.
Media: means all media including digital, electronic, print, television, film, radio and other media now known or to be invented.
Model: means me and includes my appearance, likeness and voice.
Shoot: means the photographic, film or recording session described in this form.