Using Photographs of People
You cannot use someone's photograph to sell a product without consent. People have
a right to profit from, and to exclude someone else from using their photograph or
likeness. Even after the personís death, this right continues and is given to their
heirs. If you are using photos with people in them for products or advertising,
use a Model Release Form similar to that shown below.
Model's Name: __________________________
I hereby give to the Photographer signing below, his heirs, legal representatives.
Licensees and assigns, those for whom he is acting, YOUR COMPANY NAME and all others
acting with Photographer's authority and permission (collectively, the "Authorized Parties"):
a) The irrevocable, exclusive, unrestricted right, and royalty free worldwide license,
and permission to create, copy, use, re-use, alter, publish, republish, license,
assign and distribute the photographic portraits or pictures in which I may be
included in whole or in part as a result of my engagement by Photographer, whether
accurate or distorted in character or form, without restriction as to changes or
transformations (collectively, the Released Images"), in conjunction with my own name,
a fictitious name, or no name at all. I grant the foregoing exclusive rights regarding
the Released images in any and all.
Photographer's Name: _____________________
People under the age of 18 cannot give consent; you will be required to get the consent
of the minorís legal guardian.
If you are using their images for news or editorial purposes, you can use them without
permission. Examples of editorial use are pictures inside a book illustrating people
engaged in activities related to the subject of the book. If you put that same picture
on the cover of the book, it will probably be deemed as advertising use, so you need
You do not need permission to use photographs of public places or buildings. However
as soon as you walk on someone's private property, you need their permission. A Location
Release Form is used as evidence of this permission. However, even when using photographs
of public places, you can be sued if the image intrudes on an individual's privacy.
Don't use photographs which show objects marked with company names, logos, brand names,
or anything marked TM (trademark) SM (service mark) or (R) (Registered trademark).