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Ball Head

Rights managed without model/property release

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Hi,

 

I'm new here and I can see that there are threads after threads of the RM vs RF debate and comparison. However, there's something that has bugged me from the beginning that I still can't understand.

The recommendation seems to be that if an image has no release for people or property, it can't be listed as RF, so we should choose RM or RF editorial.

But RM images can be used commercially (if that use is specified by the buyer of course). So why don't they require releases?

From some of the posts I've read, it seems that some buyers are using unreleased RM images for commercial purposes (sorry I've lost the forum pages for reference). Can this be right, or am I missing something?

I would be quite upset if this is being practised as it's a violation of the rights of the people pictured, even in a group (and property owners I guess but I don't feel so strongly about that! :D)

 

Thank you so much for your help! Stay safe.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not aware of the posts you refer to, but if a publisher uses an image without releases the risk is his own, not the photographer's.

What "rights" do you say are violated? In the UK at least a person in a photograph doesn't usually have any say over how it's used, release or not. There's no right of personality. The only exception I can think of is passing-off.

Are you contributing photographs here btw? Your account doesn't show any.

 

Edited by spacecadet
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9 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I'm not aware of the posts you refer to, but if a publisher uses an image without releases the risk is his own, not the photographer's.

What "rights" do you say are violated? In the UK at least a person in a photograph doesn't usually have any say over how it's used, release or not. There's no right of personality. The only exception I can think of is passing-off.

Are you contributing photographs here btw? Your account doesn't show any.

 

Thanks for the response. So I guess the purchaser is taking that risk. Not that they should be doing such a thing in the first place. If they use it commercially they should only use released models.

I thought you weren't allowed to use an image of a person on such things as product packaging and advertising without their permission anywhere in the world. Or maybe it's more like they can make a claim afterwards for compensation for use of their likeness. Hence only a risk to the buyer, not breaking any laws. Something like that?

Yes I'm a photographer, but am new here, so nothing up yet.

 

Regarding what I wrote here:

17 hours ago, Ball Head said:

From some of the posts I've read, it seems that some buyers are using unreleased RM images for commercial purposes

 

I dug around in my browser history and maybe I misinterpreted this post:

On 21/07/2018 at 20:58, DDoug said:

My best sale to date, by leaps and bounds, was for an image that was initially RF editorial. It was changed at the customer's request to RM because RF editorial precluded them from buying it. I felt suitably protected by the fact that the lack of releases was duly noted. If I should have an image with all the proper release forms signed, I'd still leave it as RM because, as in the case mentioned, the buyer might make successive purchases for multiple uses each time.

 

Doug doesn't actually mention whether the buyer wanted the image for commercial or editorial purposes. Perhaps the use was still editorial, just that the systems in place at their business required RM images only.

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On 10/04/2020 at 04:38, Ball Head said:

Doug doesn't actually mention whether the buyer wanted the image for commercial or editorial purposes. Perhaps the use was still editorial, just that the systems in place at their business required RM images only.

It was for several commercial uses: television commercial, corporate film, presentation, website. The buyer was a foods company in the Upper Midwest. Over two years it grossed over $3K, an amount  they wouldn't have paid for editorial use.

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11 hours ago, DDoug said:

It was for several commercial uses: television commercial, corporate film, presentation, website. The buyer was a foods company in the Upper Midwest. Over two years it grossed over $3K, an amount  they wouldn't have paid for editorial use.

Thanks for chiming in Doug!

So are you saying that there wasn't actually anything/anybody in the image to be released? Or that the buyer decided to use the image with people/recognisable property for commercial use even without releases?

If the image is back up online, I think we'd like to see your successful work! :) 

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7 hours ago, Ball Head said:

So are you saying that there wasn't actually anything/anybody in the image to be released? Or that the buyer decided to use the image with people/recognisable property for commercial use even without releases?

It was the latter. There are people in the image. I indicated that model releases would be possible to get on those nearest the camera, not on several more distant. They decided not to bother with it. The shot is people enjoying wholesome outdoor recreation, nobody doing anything embarrassing, touting a product, etc. It's basically just a snapshot I took after the "real" photography was done earlier at dawn.

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10 hours ago, Ball Head said:

If the image is back up online, I think we'd like to see your successful work!

I can't speak for Doug, but I have a group of particularly successful images which, for obvious reasons, I don't publicise in the "have you found any images" thread. He may feel the same.

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4 hours ago, DDoug said:

It was the latter. There are people in the image. I indicated that model releases would be possible to get on those nearest the camera, not on several more distant. They decided not to bother with it.

Thanks. So yeh, this is exactly the kind of behaviour I was talking about in the OP. I'm not so naive to think that this doesn't happen, but I would've thought that businesses would at least try to be more discreet. Thanks for your input. I'm no longer confused.

 

1 hour ago, spacecadet said:

I can't speak for Doug, but I have a group of particularly successful images which, for obvious reasons, I don't publicise in the "have you found any images" thread. He may feel the same.

Sorry am really new here, don't know this thread and didn't mean to offend. Congrats on your images and sharing is totally something that has to come from one's own desire to :)

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4 minutes ago, Ball Head said:

Thanks. So yeh, this is exactly the kind of behaviour I was talking about in the OP. I'm not so naive to think that this doesn't happen, but I would've thought that businesses would at least try to be more discreet. Thanks for your input. I'm no longer confused.

 

Sorry am really new here, don't know this thread and didn't mean to offend. Congrats on your images and sharing is totally something that has to come from one's own desire to :)

No problem, none taken.

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Posted (edited)

At the risk of boring you, I'll relate a little story. Going on four decades ago, I had a studio in northern California. Being in the “wine country” as it were, beverage accounts were a mainstay. I did a couple of photos for one winery with the understanding that the owner had unlimited use of the photos delivered and I could use any outtakes at will. Everyone was happy.

 

Then a photographer who didn't get the account paid me a visit and explained that unlimited usage for only $1,000 a shot plus film and expenses was way too cheap. (Those were the days.) He said that what we call RF these days should be a lot more expensive. Of course he was right.

 

The fact is, if RF were a lot more expensive on Alamy, I'd be a lot more interested in it. As it is currently, the foods company mentioned above would have gotten all their uses under one, probably much smaller, invoice amount if the terms were RF rather than RM.

 

To bore you further, a decade earlier than that I did a television commercial for a radio broadcasting company. In it there was a couple enjoying a picnic and drinking beverages from silver stemware. The lawsuit claimed that it was made to look like the young female model was consuming an alcoholic beverage. That was a stretch, but it was also a problem. That's why I said above that, “the people were enjoying wholesome outdoor recreation, nobody doing anything embarrassing, touting a product, etc.” Whether a model release is needed has to do with whether people are recognizable, as even a finger might be recognizable, but also whether it damages or demeans them in some way or appears to use their likeness in promotion of a commercial product or enterprise.

http://dondouglas.com/

P.S., in this case, Spacecadet does speak for me. I have a couple of image sets that outsell the others and bring out my jealous netherself when it comes to showing them off in this context.

Edited by DDoug
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Posted (edited)
On 14/04/2020 at 14:48, spacecadet said:

No problem, none taken.

Following this, I had a quick look through your portfolio. If you don't mind my pointing it out, the '65 Mustang is a '67. The differences between that and a '68 or '69 are subtle, but the differences from the ground up from 64-65-66 were huge. With the '67 they started competing favorably with Ferraris on the track.

Edited by DDoug
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