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Thread: Model Release/Contract Question

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    Model Release/Contract Question

    I'm trying to get my head around how to deal with model release forms for an event I've volunteered for.

    I've been requested to take photographs of children for a holiday club during the term 2 school holidays and the photos will be used for a presentation for the kids and parents at the end of each day and possibly for advertising for future holiday programs.

    I understand that I will need to get the parent/guardian of the child to sign a model release, but what exactly should the release include as everyone involved in the program is volunteering and there is no cost for the child to attend.

    Are there any suitable examples that I can use or modify?

    If I understand correctly, the parents will retain copyright unless otherwise stated in the model release which I think is OK, as long as I and the not for profit organisation running the program can use the photos as they see fit.

    Thanks!
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    I have a copy of the model release used by my sons footy club. They shot an advertisement last year and my son was their "star" . I'd be happy to forward it to you for a look if you want? send me an email at kirsty.hellmech@bigpond.com
    Happy to take all constructive Critique, please don't rework or edit my photos. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon91 View Post
    If I understand correctly, the parents will retain copyright unless otherwise stated in the model release which I think is OK, as long as I and the not for profit organisation running the program can use the photos as they see fit.
    Who told you that?
    Last edited by NikonNellie; 12-06-2014 at 8:16pm. Reason: Double Post

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    I found the information about the copyright here: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...trait+contract

    If i've interpreted that incorrectly, please let me know. Thanks!

    "Who owns the copyright in photographs?
    The Copyright Act 1968 (the Act) contains provisions that determine who owns copyright.
    In the case of photographs, the photographer is generally the first owner of copyright. There are however a number of important exceptions. These are:
    • when an agreement has been made to the contrary: You are free to make an agreement with a client or employer to determine who will own copyright and for which purposes. A prior agreement will also override any of the following exceptions. It is generally a good idea to ensure this agreement is in written form.
    • photographs taken in the course of employment: If you’re on staff (as opposed to working freelance) your employer is generally the first owner of copyright in any photos you take in the course of your employment.
    This does not apply if you are working as a freelance photographer and have not agreed to be covered by an industry agreement. Generally, freelance photographers will retain copyright in their work. It should also be noted that the organisation that commissioned the photograph will still be entitled to use it for the purpose for which it was commissioned.
    • working for a newspaper or magazine: Photographers working for newspapers or magazines (excluding freelancers) are in a unique position, as copyright is split between the employee and employer. For photographs taken before 30 July 1998, your employer owns both the newspaper and magazine publication rights, while you own the copyright for all other purposes e.g. photocopying. In the case of photographs taken after 30 July 1998, you own the copyright for the purposes of photocopying and book publication. Your employer however owns the copyright for all other purposes including online and magazine publishing, and digital copying.
    • commissioned photographs: If you took a commissioned photograph before the 30 July 1998, your client will own the copyright. If the photograph was taken after 30 July 1998, you own the copyright. The only
    exception to this rule is if the photograph was commissioned for a private or domestic purpose (like a wedding or christening). In this case your client owns the copyright, unless otherwise agreed.
    • photographs taken under the direction or control of the Crown: The copyright in any photographs created or first published, under the direction or control of a Federal, State or Territory government, is owned by the Crown. For example, photographs of roads taken by an employee of the relevant government department in the course of their duties.

    What are the rights of copyright owners?
    Copyright owners have a number of exclusive rights. These include the right to publish a photograph for the first time, reproduce the photograph and communicate the photograph to the public in an electronic form.

    What are my rights as the creator of a photograph?
    Whether or not you own copyright in your photographs, as the creator, the law grants you certain moral rights that have to be taken into account by users of copyright material.
    Firstly, you have the right to be attributed as the creator of your work. Additionally, your photograph must not be falsely attributed to someone else. Secondly, you also have the right to take action if your photograph is utilised in a distorted manner or in a way that is prejudicial to your reputation. Moral rights are distinct from copyright (which are economic rights) in that they are not payable or transferable. Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) does not monitor moral rights."

    Copyright agency limited
    updated march 2009
    "copyright for photographers.pdf"

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    So, you're working as a freelancer and taking the photos on behalf of the organisation, not the parents. Why would the parents own the copyright?

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    commissioned photographs: If you took a commissioned photograph before the 30 July 1998, your client will own the copyright. If the photograph was taken after 30 July 1998, you own the copyright. The only
    exception to this rule is if the photograph was commissioned for a private or domestic purpose (like a wedding or christening). In this case your client owns the copyright, unless otherwise agreed.

    I took this to mean that I wouldn't own the copyright, if that's not applicable, then that's ok, I just wasn't sure.
    I though commissioned in this sense, means requested to take photos by someone else?

    Either way, should I still be seeking the parent's permission?

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    You're taking photos of children, yes you should get the parents permission.

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    People need to separate the issues of Copyright ownership and commercial use. You can own copyright and not be able to use an image commercially. The release you asked about is really only necessary if you're going to use the image commercially, but most folks would get a release to be on the safe side. You will own the copyright unless you agree otherwise with whomever you are agreeing to do the work. At least that is my understanding of the circumstances you described.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Let me explain in a little more detail before the usual suspects pile in. I pulled the OP up on his assertion that the parents "retain" copyright. They don't. Copyright is about ownership, not usage. The model release is about usage, not ownership. The law doesn't require you to ask permission to take the photo, but it does require you to get permission to use it. It would therefore be in your best interests to ask first as yummy says. More chance they'll be happy to give permission. I shoot kids fairly often for commercial clients. I usually ask that they provide someone to accompany me and get the releases as I shoot the pictures. It usually avoids the creepy photographer syndrome. Sadly it works best if you have a young girl accompany you rather than a middle-aged man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
    People need to separate the issues of Copyright ownership and commercial use. You can own copyright and not be able to use an image commercially. The release you asked about is really only necessary if you're going to use the image commercially, but most folks would get a release to be on the safe side. You will own the copyright unless you agree otherwise with whomever you are agreeing to do the work. At least that is my understanding of the circumstances you described.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Let me explain in a little more detail before the usual suspects pile in. I pulled the OP up on his assertion that the parents "retain" copyright. They don't. Copyright is about ownership, not usage. The model release is about usage, not ownership. The law doesn't require you to ask permission to take the photo, but it does require you to get permission to use it. It would therefore be in your best interests to ask first as yummy says. More chance they'll be happy to give permission. I shoot kids fairly often for commercial clients. I usually ask that they provide someone to accompany me and get the releases as I shoot the pictures. It usually avoids the creepy photographer syndrome. Sadly it works best if you have a young girl accompany you rather than a middle-aged man.
    So do I.. I shoot the junior rugby games. it's always better to ask permission to take the photos, rather than just take them and ask later or provide media release afterwards. Also, I always ALWAYS keep my current blue card ( safety with children) on me at all times.. even though I'm a woman, I HAVE been asked to provide it at games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yummymummy View Post
    So do I.. I shoot the junior rugby games. it's always better to ask permission to take the photos, rather than just take them and ask later or provide media release afterwards. Also, I always ALWAYS keep my current blue card ( safety with children) on me at all times.. even though I'm a woman, I HAVE been asked to provide it at games.
    Yep, and none of that has anything to do with copyright, nor did I disagree with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon91 View Post
    I'm trying to get my head around how to deal with model release forms for an event I've volunteered for.

    I've been requested to take photographs of children for a holiday club during the term 2 school holidays and the photos will be used for a presentation for the kids and parents at the end of each day and possibly for advertising for future holiday programs.

    I understand that I will need to get the parent/guardian of the child to sign a model release, but what exactly should the release include as everyone involved in the program is volunteering and there is no cost for the child to attend.

    Are there any suitable examples that I can use or modify?

    If I understand correctly, the parents will retain copyright unless otherwise stated in the model release which I think is OK, as long as I and the not for profit organisation running the program can use the photos as they see fit.

    Thanks!
    I think that you are creating way too much un-necessary work for yourself.
    I often shoot pro bono for sporting clubs, youth associations and schools.
    The ORGANIZATION arranges the permission to take photographs and release to use those photographs for any advertising of the ORGANIZATION or future functions.

    There MUST be a application or membership form for this holiday camp and there MUST be an organizing body that is responsible for insurance and etc – they can write into that paperwork the permission to make images of the children whilst at the holiday camp and also the permission to use those images for publicity.

    A sample of such words is readily available on many membership applications forms, such as sporting associations, schools, kindergartens, and etc.

    *

    The point is, from the outline you have given: this is the ORGANIZATION’S responsibility, not yours.

    Your responsibilities are most likely limited to:

    > current and valid “Working with Children” clearance – or the equivalent for the State of Victoria
    and
    > current and valid Public Liability Insurance.


    *

    In the circumstance described, the Photograher holds the copyright of the images.

    WW

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