[SCA-AE] question regarding new release forms (somewhat long)
Vels inn Viggladi
velsthe1 at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 22 12:31:35 EST 2010
> You said the releases were clear and specific. Was the photog's claim
> backed up by the wording of the releases?
The release for the documentary film crew expressly stated that the documentary would be sold for profit. The photograph releases stated that photographs may be taken for future use by the Estrella War and the Kingdom of Atenveldt for advertising and internal publication. According to the photographer who was hired for the event, those photos not used were permitted to remain in his portfolio.
There was no mention of those still photographs being used for commercial profit by individual photographers.
Using the wayback machine, there is no reference on the Estrella XX website regarding any documentary or photography releases.
The current Estrella War website does include specifics on press access and professional photography IAW Society Standards. [Aside- I find it a pleasant surprise that public and private spaces have been designated. That same Estrella, a member of the documentary crew rushed me as I was coming out of my tent one morning to record my impression of the impending battle.]
> A woad design might rise to the standard of a work of art which is protected
> by copyright. However, since all attendees signed the releases, the woad
> artist should have had a reasonable expectation that the design on someone's
> face could be photographed.
> Baron Tigranes of Bezabde
> Endless Hills
Gary Fox is a professional photographer and painter. He was not cited, nor was he paid for access to his work to be photographed. This individual was attempting to make a profit without paying or citing the original artist.
The photographer was sent a cease and desist, which he countered with his contention that he held ownership of all refused pictures. Financially, I was not in a situation to continue the legal conflict, nor was Mr. Fox.
The point remains of abuse of the model releases intended for internal use by professional photographers. Given that a release is on file for certain usages, it opens the door for other uses to be legally argued. The question then becomes, are each one of us willing to put in the time and money potentially required to fight the argument?
Beyond that: entrance to the event required signing three separate releases, quite a bit of extra paperwork when multiplied by a few thousand attendees. Then there was the point of being refuses entrance if one did not sign the release. I flew 2/3rds the way across the country for Estrella. How would one feel about just driving a couple hours to come right back home because you will not sign such a release?
People are going to do what they will, but it could be somewhat foolish to sign a blanket release that could be abused. Or, what's one more person making money off your back, right?
Personally, I would encourage individual releases per photograph with specific written understanding of how they will be used.
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