A few years ago a director decided to rent a house without telling the property owner that she was going to be shooting porn there. They pretended it was just a normal house rental like they would be living there but in reality, they only rented the house to shoot porn in it. They shot a handful of scenes before finally getting busted.
No surprise, the homeowner sued and what we learned from all of this was that the homeowner just so happened to be an artist and all the paintings in the house were hers. The very images that were now on film by the porn company. This went from being a property dispute to being a copyright one. See, they can’t legally use her artwork without permission. And that has a bigger payday than just an illegal property rental dispute.
But that issue aside, it got me thinking. Just how many of you are filming without model or property releases being signed?
For any image to be available for commercial use a release is required for any recognizable people or property in the image.
A release is written permission from an individual or property owner allowing the use of that person’s likeness or property (for example, a private home, a place of business, a copyrighted work of art, or in some cases, an animal) in an image for commercial purposes. (Generally speaking, commercial use means a use that is intended to sell a product, raise money or promote or endorse something.) Right-to-privacy, right-to-publicity (in the case of celebrities), trademark, and copyright laws require that you have released if the images are to be used for commercial purposes.
Getty Images has provided these for free on their website. If you don’t have your own, you might want to consider checking these out. You can view them here.