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When Do I Need A Model or Property Release?

When uploading footage or images that depict recognizable human beings or identifiable buildings, you must acquire a signed release form.

What are Model And Property Releases?

A model release is a legal release signed by the subject of a photograph or video granting permission to use or publish the photograph or video in one form or another. You can read a full description of what a model release is at Wikipedia.

If you are including in your item the face or identifiable features of any person on video or recognizable private property, photograph, or a traced illustration, you will need a signed model release from that person or property owner.

A property release is a legal release signed by the owner of property used in a photograph or video granting permission to use or publish the photograph or video in one form or another.

Authors do not need one for public property, such as government buildings (although you  may run into problems just from photographing/videoing them, for security reasons!). For images of private property — and particularly of objects that are closely identified with specific people —  photographers are urged to get a release.

Most animals in zoos are the property of the zoo and usually cannot be used for commercial purposes without the consent of the zoo.

Sample Release Agreements

It is your responsibility to ensure you use the correct legal arrangements and consents for your projects, and that they protect both yourself and models you work with or the owner of any private property used, including in relation to applicable privacy and personal data laws. However, we do have several standard release templates that you may choose to use, under the understanding that PoweredTemplate can accept no responsibility for any liabilities you may incur.

Here is the PoweredTemplate Marketplace property release:

  • Adult Release – This is the form most commonly referred to as a “model release“. The language of this release is intended for use by models over the age of 18.
  • Minor Release – This variant of the model release contains language referring to the model (who is a minor) in the third-person, and required signature by a parent or other legal guardian of the model. A release which is not signed by a parent or guardian affords no legal protection to the publisher.
  • Property Release – If you are including the depiction of recognizable private property on video, photograph, or a traced illustration, you will need a signed location release from the property owner.

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