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Author Topic: Model Release Required for Unidentifiable People @ IStock?  (Read 7339 times)

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« on: April 28, 2007, 07:13 »
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I just received an email from IS called the "Contact Sheet".

In it, there is the following statement:

"Summer is coming in North America and, as much as taking photos at the beach can be fun, it is now time for you as a contributor and for us as a collection to reconsider the idea of grabshots. If you wish to sell an image as royalty-free and if that image involves a human being, make sure to get a model release. Beginning very soon we will not be accepting such images without model releases into the collection."

If this is what it sounds like (that a model release will be required even if the human is not identifiable), then a LOT of contributors will be affected.

A thread was started over on the IS forums, but immediately locked until further information could be provided.  Here is the thread:

http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=51135&page=1


« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2007, 08:42 »
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I really have a fundamental problem with changing the rules in midgame.
How about all the many many images violating exactly such new rules that are already in the database? Will they be eliminated? If the agency does not feel comfy to except new ones but is happy to keep the existing ones is just a blatant double standart.

« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2007, 11:03 »
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I really have a fundamental problem with changing the rules in midgame.
A business has to be able to change and adapt, otherwise it is a dead duck. I think people should wait to actually see what they are doing before criticizing it.

dbvirago

« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2007, 17:11 »
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I agree with that, but IS is constantly changing the rules and forcing the contributers to modify, not only current and future workflow, but historic images. People are just getting caught up with the 'disambiguation' goat roping and they are threatening to drop any un-disambiguated images to the back of the pack.

If they are changing to meet some marketing or legal needs, that's their call. If this is going to start another round of forcing everyone to back through their existing portfolios, then that is a different matter

« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2007, 02:40 »
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I've heard of cases where people have recognized their backsides in photos used for ads (or thought they recognized themselves), and have complained to the company who purchased the photo, who in turned complained to the photog and IS. 

While it might be an irritant to go back and remove "grab shots" from our portfolios, I think in the long run it's a good policy.  SS hasn't accepted grab shots of women in bikinis on the beach for over a year now, and I think all of the companies should do the same policy reconsideration.  Microstock is evolving quickly from being casual places where people can sell whatever they want into legitimate stock agencies where professionalism rules the day.  Grab shots are far from professional, so I welcome this change with open arms.

Now to start removing the few I have on a couple of other sites from my early days!   ;D

« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2007, 03:03 »
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they are threatening to drop any un-disambiguated images to the back of the pack.

Only the ones that have been uploaded since they changed the rules.  This doesn't apply to legacy images that people haven't had time to DA  yet.  Nothing annoys me more than seeing new images coming through with bad keywording and not beeing DA'd.  They said that once they have put them to the back it will be easier to use the bulk tools and get rid of the real spamming.

« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2007, 03:37 »
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Oh...forgot to add something else...

One of my all-time best sellers is a "grabshot," and Ellen at DT used it as an example in her blog post about shooting air travel.

http://www.dreamstime.com/shots-that-take-off.-shooting-air-travel_blog_art26

It's the photo of the guy walking fast through the airport, shot from the hips down.  What makes this shot okay is the fact that he is 100% unidentifiable, thanks to the slow shutter speed and resulting motion blur, as well as the generic-looking clothing and location.  If anyone recognizes this guy ever, I'd be shocked.  :-) 

This is what Ellen said in her blog:

Quote
Shoot legs. I don't mean the naked, more girly kind. An image of a man or woman from the hips down in business attire pulling a suitcase can be a compelling travel image. And it is probably the easiest one to get while you make your way around the airport. Remember to take care to not submit images of non-model released people that you "grab" at the airport if they are recognizable.
 

« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2007, 04:46 »
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It's the photo of the guy walking fast through the airport, shot from the hips down.  What makes this shot okay is the fact that he is 100% unidentifiable, thanks to the slow shutter speed and resulting motion blur, as well as the generic-looking clothing and location.  If anyone recognizes this guy ever, I'd be shocked.  :-) 


Good shot! Congratulations for 'grabbing' it. It deserves to sell well.

Will IS need a model release for that? If so, and as it's 100% unidentifiable, what's to stop you getting your husband/brother/son/uncle, or even yourself to sign the model release?


« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2007, 10:09 »
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Will IS need a model release for that? If so, and as it's 100% unidentifiable, what's to stop you getting your husband/brother/son/uncle, or even yourself to sign the model release?
How about morals and ethics? If that's not good enough for you how about criminal and civil liability? It's this type of fraud that makes me wonder why the stock agencies don't require photo id with the model releases (right now it is optional on iStock).

« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2007, 14:16 »
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I don't have a problem with this and in fact, just deleted and image in the queue of a little girl playing in the garden. Her hair covered her face and she was definitely undentifiable. But, I know the mother when I see her so will try to get her to either release this image and possibly give me some other ones. If not nothing is lost and I'll feel better.

Things are always changing in business. You can be sure iStock wouldn't be doing this if they didn't feel it was necessary.

I have to say I have never felt good about images accepted of people with problems such as overweight, homeless etc. that they have not give a model release for. I realize there is a place for these kinds of images but in these circumstances it's better to find an overweight person who is willing to have her image used. Homeless people need help and a few dollars would probably easily get you a signed model release.


« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2007, 15:11 »
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Will IS need a model release for that? If so, and as it's 100% unidentifiable, what's to stop you getting your husband/brother/son/uncle, or even yourself to sign the model release?

How about morals and ethics? If that's not good enough for you how about criminal and civil liability? It's this type of fraud that makes me wonder why the stock agencies don't require photo id with the model releases (right now it is optional on iStock).

Er ... yes ... okay. I read you.

The point I was trying to make with that comment was, if it's 100% unidentifiable, what, exactly, is the point of a model release? Nobody can connect the signatory with the image, whether the correct person has signed or not.

Sorry if that was a bit too convoluted. I wasn't trying to suggest fraud.

« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2007, 16:16 »
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I've heard of cases where people have recognized their backsides in photos used for ads (or thought they recognized themselves), and have complained to the company who purchased the photo, who in turned complained to the photog and IS.

There is a famous case here in Brazil of a bank who used an image of people at the beach, and the most prominent part of it was a woman in bikini entering the sea.  She sued the bank and eventually won (I can image the jury session if she had to prove those buttocks were hers...).  Not only she made a good money from the bank, but also her buttocks earned her a Playboy or such magazine contract. 

Regards,
Adelaide

dbvirago

« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2007, 20:43 »
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Good thing she did the lawsuit before the playboy spread. Yingyang, can jump in here, but it's my understanding you usually have to show damages to win a suit. If she made money from the , uh, exposure, the suit might have been a tougher sale.

« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2007, 23:08 »
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Good thing she did the lawsuit before the playboy spread. Yingyang, can jump in here, but it's my understanding you usually have to show damages to win a suit. If she made money from the , uh, exposure, the suit might have been a tougher sale.
Well, in the US, you would have to show damages if you're going for a right of publicity suit, but I wouldn't sue under that. I'd go for a privacy suit such as appropriation and/or false light. Appropriation is using a person's name or likeness (aka photo) for the defendant's benefit or advantage. Most states now have a statutory version of the common law tort, so you'd have to check your own state, but generally don't have to show damages under a privacy suit.

Since this happened in Brazil, I have no idea (I don't even know what legal system Brazil uses).

« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2007, 21:57 »
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They've posted more on the new standard and unlocked the thread.

« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2007, 06:32 »
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Once again, IS comes up with something that is clear as mud.


 

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