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Model Release Agreement

Home > Methodology > Model Release Agreement
This page explains the Model Release Agreement that could be required when participating the A' Design Awards with photos of other people or entities.

What is a Model Release
In simple English, this is for example a contract a photographer signs with a model, to ensure that the model permits the usage of her or his images without creating problems. But the more complex definition is wider and is as follows:

Model Release Agreement & Form
A model release agreement form, also known as a liability waiver, is a legal release. A legal release is a legal instrument that acts to terminate any legal liability between the releasor and the releasee(s), signed by the releasor. These are often used by photographers, in film production, by documentary filmmakers, videomakers, or by radio and music producers when they photograph, film, video or record the voice or performance of individuals to be sure that the person consents or will not later object to the material being used for whatever purpose the release (or anyone they may assign the release rights to) wishes, i.e. that the release wishes to use the images, sounds or any other rendering that is a result of the recording made of the releaser. Getting a model release agreement signed helps the copyright owner to have a clean chain of title for any work if it is later published, broadcast, shown in a public cinema or otherwise made public. The model release agreement form is typically signed by the subject of a photograph granting permission to publish the photograph in one form or another. The legal rights of the signatories in reference to the material is thereafter subject to the allowances and restrictions stated in the release, and also possibly in exchange for compensation paid to the photographed. A’ Design Award & Competition suggest all entrants to have model release agreements if they are using photos taken by a photographer, or if they are taking photos of models to use in their presentation. The model release agreement might be already signed if you purchase stock photography from trusted providers, but it is the responsibility of the entrant to ensure these details. While it could be noted that no release is required for publication, as news, of a photo taken of an identifiable person when the person is in a public place. In general, no release is required for publication of a photo taken of an identifiable person when the person is in a public space unless the use is for trade or direct commercial use, which is defined as promoting a product, service, or idea. Publication of a photo of an identifiable person, even if taken when the person is in a public place, for commercial use, without a model release signed by that person, can result in civil liability for whoever publishes the photograph. Therefore, for your projects, if you wish to use the photograph of a famous person (identifiable), you cannot do so without the model release agreement. Note that no model release is needed for the act of taking the photograph. Rather, if needed, the model release applies to the publication of the photograph. Liability rests solely with the publisher, except under special conditions. The photographer is typically not the publisher of the photograph, but usually licenses the photograph to someone else to publish. It is typical for the photographer to obtain the model release because he is merely present at the time and can get it, but also because it gives him more opportunity to license the photograph later to a party who wishes to publish it. Nevertheless, unless a photo is actually published, no model release is required. Note that the issue of model release forms and liability waivers is a legal area related to privacy and is separate from copyright. Also, the need for model releases pertains to public use of the photos: i.e., publishing them, commercially or not. The act of taking a photo of someone in a public setting without a model release, or of viewing or non-commercially showing such a photo in private, generally does not create legal exposure in most countries, but could create privacy issues in others. The legal issues surrounding model releases are complex and vary by jurisdiction. Although the risk to photographers is virtually nil (so long as proper disclosures of the existence of a release, and its content is made to whoever licenses the photo for publication), the business need for having releases rises substantially if the main source of income from the photographer's work lies within industries that would require them (such as advertising). In short, photo journalists almost never need to obtain model releases for images they shoot for (or sell to) news or qualified editorial publications. However, participants to A’ Design Awards usually present commercial projects, thus a model release is suggested. Photographers who also publish images themselves definitely need model release forms signed to protect themselves, but there is a distinction between making an image available for sale (even via a website), which is not considered publication in a form that would require a release, and the use of the same image to promote a product or service in a way that would require a release. It is likely that any and all exposure to the public of unreleased photos (i.e. photos of people who did not sign a model release agreement or who were not informed) via any vehicle will constitute civil liability for the photographer. To help design award participants, the A’ Design Award & Competition provides a sample Model Release Agreement Form, please kindly note that we are not notary, nor we are legal experts, this basic form is expected to protect your rights in most countries, but you should consult an intellectual property lawyer for definitive answers. The following model release agreement by World Design Consortium is provided without any warranty, guarantee or liability to the maximum extent permitted by law. Please kindly note that signature of the A' Design Awards' Model Release Agreement is not necessary to take part in the competition; if you have your own agreement or another model release agreement was signed, or if you purchased stock photography (in most cases, the photographers already have it), or if you are sure you will not have any problems in future with people who pose for you, you are good to go. However, having a model release agreement could help save you from future issues related to usage of the photographs you submit to the competition, since to remind you, by our design competition terms and agreements, you are liable for images you provide to the competition. Furthermore, in addition to Model Release Agreement, we kindly remind participants that some photographers could require their name to be credited. The A' Design Award has a specific text input area for that purpose during the nomination. Providing the Photography credits are also suggested in addition to having signed model release agreement and forms for people who pose for your project.

The Model Release Agreement & Form

MODEL RELEASE AGREEMENT

Summary: This Model Release Agreement is signed by the Releasor to provide publication rights to the Releasee. Attached to this agreement is the photograph of the model, signed or marked with a sigil, stamp or seal.

Definitions:
1. ”Property” is the own image of Releasor; it is the end product that results due to capturing the image (reflection, audio, representation, character, special look) of the Releasor still or moving, by any and all means such as by photography, filming, audio recoding, or any other type of recording or device that helps recall the image of “Releasor” such as visual appearance, dimensions, likeness and voice of the Releasor or any other representative data that could be captured and communicated. 2. ”Releasor” is the person or entity who signs this Model Release Form, which is a contract that states that the Releasor grants right to the Releasee the usage of own image, pose and look of Releasor. The Releasor is likely to be a Model or Fashion Model but also anyone or any entity that has an image or data that could be captured. 3. ”Releasee” is the person or entity who will have rights to the Property. The name of the Releasee is not important. It could be a photographer, illustrator, filmmaker, designer, artist, company, machine, cinematographer, or any other person or entity or device photographing, capturing a visual image or recording the Releasor. Releasee can change over time due to transfer of rights to this Agreement.  4. “Third Parties” means other entities, companies, institutions or people to whom the Releasor has assigned, licensed or sub-licensed the rights to this agreement. “Third Parties” can be recursive; i.e. the third parties could also have other third parties. 5. Compensation means anything of value received in exchange for the rights granted by Releasor in this release. The understanding of compensation is very wide, can be even a “thank you” if it worths it at the time of Signature. The Compensation shall be stated at the end of this agreement. 6.) Scope or Session is the framework or limitations related to this Model Release. Usually, the Model Release is specific to a recording session but it could be wider, for instance it could cover a time period or a specific location or for a very specific purpose as agreed but in most cases, it covers all purposes as defined in this contract, for the Property captured or recorded during the date of the recording sessions.

Terms and Acknowledgements
A) This Model Release Agreement is intended to cover the usage and publication of Property for advertising, presentation, design, promotion, public relations, marketing, commercial work, resale work and packaging. This Model Release Agreement does not cover permit the use of Property for any erotic, pornographic, defamatory or political content. By signing this agreement, the Releasor give a permission to the Releasee to use the Property in any publication or media including digital media, electronic media, print media, television, film, radio and other type of media.  B) Releasor dully agree that the Property may be combined and/or used together with other visuals, illustrations, designs, art works, images, texts, documentation, graphics, films, videos,  audio, audio-visuals, photographs and other intellectual property such as symbols, marks and logos; and may be altered, cropped, enlarged, inverted, distorted, scaled down, color touched, enhanced, degraded or modified in any way. C) Releasor dully agree and acknowledge that the Releasor have no rights to the Property, and all rights to the Property belong to the Releasee regardless of time when the Property is used or published. D) Releasor dully agree and acknowledge that Releasor have no further right to any additional monetary compensation, barter rights, consideration, money, funds, accounting or payment. This means that the Releasor has either already been paid, or the Releasor is signing the agreement without requesting any monetary or other type of compensation. E) Releasor dully agree and acknowledge that Releasor will not make any claim for any reason to Releasee.  F) Releasor dully agree and acknowledge this release is binding upon Releasor’s heirs or anyone who might have rights in future to the Property. G) Releasor dully agree and acknowledge that this agreement cannot be cancelled, the Model Agreement is irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, everlasting and will be governed by the laws of Italy. H) Releasor dully agree and acknowledge that this Model Release Agreement can be transferred to another party by the Releasee. If this happens, the new party becomes the Releasee. I) By signing this agreement, the Releasor does not grant a license to use the name of the Releasor, only the Property, without name. Furthermore, the name of the Releasor shall be kept hidden, and the personal information of the Releasor shall not be be made publicly available, and could only be be used directly in relation to the licensing of the Property in necessary legal situations that arise for breach of this agreement by the Releasor.  J) The Releasor dully state, represent and warrant that to be of at least 18 or legal age in country of residency and have the full legal capacity to execute and sign this Model Release.  

Signed & Agreed:

Name & Surname of Releasor  
Date (YYYY/MM/DD)
and Place of Birth of Releasor
 
Contacts
Phone, E-mail, Fax or Other
 
Signature  
Date of Signature  
Location of Signature  
Full Address (Name, Street, City, State, Zip or Postal Code, Country)  
Releasee  
Compensation if Any  
Scope or Session if Any  


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