Everyone Loves Taking Photos & Videos for Just About Any Occasion: How Do You Know When You’ve Crossed the Line of Hobby to Offender of the Law
Know How to Protect Yourself
In today’s world, people will whip out a camera, cellphone and even the tablet to capture the moment on video and photograph for just about any reason. Whether it’s for work as a photographer, filmmaker, Journalism, or for just plain ole fun, once it’s upload to YouTube and/or your social networking page and any other public site; shooter beware! It’s not like the times of old when things were much simpler and internet was not hugely popular. Although there were always laws in place to protect people’s privacy or legal rights to prevent unlawful display of a person’s image in the professional world, those of you who do it for fun today take heed, the same rules may apply to you once you decide to cross the line of fun and into the realm of use for commercial and profit.
In film production, to protect yourself legally you should began researching and preparing all of the necessary waiver/release forms to collect any signature connected to your production. Particularly for each identifiable actor and/or product such as logos and photos that you plan to have publicized that belongs to another. There are a variety of release forms for a variety of situations such as location, property, talent, private events, interviews, underage children and more that involves commercial purposes. If you’re a film student the rules still apply because you can also be sued for displaying work online, that’s why you should always protect yourself by getting release signed up front
For instance, former film student Anthony Barr explains his issues with an actor after shooting his student film. According to Barr, after the short film was shot the actor was disappointed in the way he was edited in the film and thought that film was not good enough to be published online and that no one would take him seriously after seeing the finished product.
Barr explains all of the hard work that went into it and disagreed. After having several back and forth conversations about it, Barr felt that it was good and ignored his request because everyone else was satisfied and he decided to upload it anyway.
When the actor/friend found out that the movie went up, he called the school to complain and insisted that it be taken down. Barr stated, he never thought it was that serious until the media department explained that the actor was in the right, he never signed a release form. Barr says “it’s my own fault, I learned the hard way to always get a release form signed no matter who it is, especially friends.” I’ll never let my guards down again!
A release form is like a contract, which is a written agreement between two parties for the purpose of protecting yourself from any future lawsuits that may include, claiming invasion of privacy or perhaps for money or profit. However, laws differ depending on the jurisdiction and the state you live in when it pertains to the use of an individual’s image.
Understanding the law and the business side of online marketing, will save you money, time and protect you from a whole lot of future legal woes down the line.