This article, from Video Maker, covers when and why you would need release forms.
What to know:
Editorial: educational or informative purpose
Commercial: selling product or anything but educational or informative
If you’re photographing or filming for editorial purposes, then you don’t need release forms in most situations. If you want to go commercial with your work, then you do need a release form. But, in the end, you may just want to use a release form anyway: better safe than sorry!
When you can get away without a release form:
In most cases, anything under photojournalism, such as photojournalists or shooting for a news organization, can capture someone’s image without permission. This is because the first amendment protects them. The same goes for TV news and newspapers.
When in doubt, get the release form!
The example in this article states it very well. Long story short, he filmed a documentary for a fund-raiser; the people loved it and wanted to ship it to TV stations such as PBS and the History channel. But – he didn’t get any release forms, so his documentary remains unviewed.
I am making my video project for my Digital Media Project class, which would be for educational purposes. But, I am planning on using it for personal use as well to promote my can can dancers in Old Abilene Town. Either way, it never hurts to practice copyright and ownership of my own work. While I did practice and research examples of release forms, I won’t be completing the whole process. If I went through with it completely, I would take this to a lawyer to ensure that I’m fully covering myself. Since this is for non-profit and cheap, I’m not too concerned with this step!
My Release Form
I grant permission to the rights of my likeness, voice, name, and performance either in photographs, audio or video recordings. I understand that my image may be edited, duplicated, and used/re-used. I also understand that my image may be published in any format, marketed, used for promoting, and exhibited in full or in parts either alone or with other products. I waive all rights to any royalties or compensation. The Producer will have full ownership of the product.
I have read and understand the above agreement. By signing this release, I agree to all stated above and give all rights to the Producer for this product.
Product:_________Old Abilene Town’s Can Can Dancers – Promotional Video___
If this person is under the age of 18, then a parent or legal guardian needs to sign below. I acknowledge that I am the parent or legal guardian and give consent for the model above.