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Author Topic: Model Release Confusion  (Read 1818 times)

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« on: December 02, 2013, 10:18 »
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A couple of years ago I created my Model Release template.
I think I probably took the text/format etc from iStock and/or maybe from Yuris website (I think they were the same).

This template did not include any specific shoot date or description information.
It also didnt include the Models date of birth.

I have used this MR ever since and it has never been queried or declined by any of the agencies I have been uploading to (SS, FT, DT, BS, CS + others).

After much moral/ethical dilemma and soul searching; financial pressures have forced me into finally giving up my resistance and Ive decided to give iStockphoto a go.

However, with my first upload the reviewers are telling me that the model release is missing that above information (dates and description etc)

Was this a change in policy at some point?
I can see that the current iStock MR template does contains this information now, but Im fairly certain it did not a couple of years ago.

Can I add this information to my existing and already signed models releases?


« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2013, 10:25 »
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Short answer: yes, you can add information to an existing release.  When iStock suddenly changed their rules a while back to require the photographer's signature on the release, I added mine to my releases and had them accepted.  They have changed/added to their requirements several times over the years.

ShadySue

« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2013, 10:29 »
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Interesting, disorderly.
I've never had cause to use one, but from what I've read, you should not be adding shoot description after the model's signature, as that's part of what s/he is agreeing to release.
How they can police that, I'm not sure.

« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2013, 10:34 »
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ShadySue, I'm not a lawyer, but I have always taken the model's signature to indicate their consent to the terms of the release and nothing more.  The contrary reasoning might be that we shouldn't need proof of age if a model's signature certifies that information.  But we do need it for images with nudity.  In any event, I've had the need on occasion to fill in something a model left missing when she signed: phone number, zip code and the like.  I'd want a competent legal opinion before I stopped doing that.

« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2013, 10:35 »
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4
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 00:29 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2013, 10:36 »
+1
4
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 00:29 by Audi 5000 »

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2013, 10:39 »
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In fact, I asked about this away back in 2009, and it is, as I thought, strongly discouraged though not really policeable, unless you gave the model a copy of the original agreement, which I read elseswhere is good practice.
http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=154681&page=1
(It's something you learn very quickly in school. If you make a rule, there are always pupils who will think, "how will she know?" as well as the more obvious, "what if I don't?" They'll question the latter openly, and plot the former in their minds.)

ShadySue

« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2013, 10:45 »
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ShadySue, I'm not a lawyer, but I have always taken the model's signature to indicate their consent to the terms of the release and nothing more.  The contrary reasoning might be that we shouldn't need proof of age if a model's signature certifies that information.  But we do need it for images with nudity.  In any event, I've had the need on occasion to fill in something a model left missing when she signed: phone number, zip code and the like.  I'd want a competent legal opinion before I stopped doing that.

I believe it's fine to add phone number, zip etc, so long as these are true, but again it's good practice for the photographer to fill out all that info before handing it to the model to sign.

All that said, and contradictory to what I've said already, there is a clause in the current MR article which says:
"5. Old Releases with Old photos
You may have some older photos taken years ago along with an old style iStock release. We still accept these."


However:
1. I think date of birth was always on the form, but could be wrong.
2. On several occasions in the past, official articles and information on the site have not been updated to reflect more recent standards.

http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=648&Page=2

« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2013, 10:47 »
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4
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 00:29 by Audi 5000 »

« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2013, 10:52 »
+1
It is really very simple and I am surprised than anyone is in any doubt: You should not change a legal document after it has been signed and witnessed.

A document is signed and witnessed as it is exists - not how it might be at some point in the future. If you add information then that is a different document.

If you change the information on a legal document after it has been signed and witnessed then it is a forgery. It is not the document which they signed.

« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2013, 11:07 »
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I accept that signed releases should not be altered.

Am I correct that iStock did not require shoot description, shoot date, models DOB a couple of years ago?

I have to admit, I did think it strange not to include this info.

So, only alternative is to go back to the model and get new release signed?

ShadySue

« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2013, 11:31 »
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I accept that signed releases should not be altered.

Am I correct that iStock did not require shoot description, shoot date, models DOB a couple of years ago?

I have to admit, I did think it strange not to include this info.

So, only alternative is to go back to the model and get new release signed?

I'm pretty sure DOB was required from way back.
Not sure about shoot date.
From my link above, I'm guessing that shoot description was required from late 2009.

« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2013, 11:48 »
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Am I correct that iStock did not require shoot description, shoot date, models DOB a couple of years ago?


No. DOB was required at least as far back as 2007 (see this post for example). Shoot date and description were added as part of the Sept 2009 changes.

« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2013, 13:06 »
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I'm pretty sure DOB was required from way back.
Not sure about shoot date.
From my link above, I'm guessing that shoot description was required from late 2009.

Believe it or not, DOB wasn't required for at least a while.  I have releases from my first shoot in 2007 that were accepted at Shutterstock and iStock and elsewhere.  They include the model's address, phone number, date signed and witness, but nothing else: no DOB or date of shoot.  I added a photo of one model's DL as proof of age (there were a few nudes) but not for the other.

I even have a release using that same form from July of 2010.  Still no DOB or shoot date and no photo.  I had to add my signature to get it accepted at iStock.

Ron

« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2013, 13:30 »
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Forgery is the process of making, adapting, or imitating objects, statistics, or documents with the intent to deceive. I dont think the OPs intend is to deceive. Also when the information added is true, like DOB and DOS, its not really changing the facts either, nor the actual agreement.

However, I do agree its a grey area and that documents, once they are signed, shouldnt be altered.

Since the missing information is not really a change of the contract, or the legal agreement, my guess is that the models wont have an issue  with signing a new contract with just those details added.

« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2013, 13:53 »
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A signature on a contract is only valid for the information that was on the contract when it was signed. I deal with contracts in my other life, and we are not allowed to alter, add or subtract any information once the signature has been applied to it. You could conceivably win in a court case with an altered contract, based on the "spirit of the contact",  but I wouldn't want to put it to the test. On the other hand, if the contract is never challenged, and few model releases are, you don't have a problem. Bit of a risk.


 

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