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Member Since 15 Jun 2006
Offline Last Active Sep 30 2008 06:12 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Questioning the need for a model release or similar form

25 September 2008 - 10:53 PM

Thanks everyone for your advice. As work on the book has progressed, there is only one image remaining where there is some degree of concern, and that is the photo of the diver alongside the turtle, where the diver's face is seen pretty clearly. I have read a wide range of opinions here and in other web-based articles on the topic of model releases, and both I and the book author/publisher feel comfortable that a model release is not essential in this case. While the diver may recognize himself if he saw the book, the question may be asked if a judge would recognize the diver well enough to not confuse him with another person of similar features, if any sort of legal action was taken. There is also the non-commercial nature of how the photo is used (not to sell the book itself by any promotion on the cover, nor to promote any product, but only to illustrate story), and the fact that it poses no risk of defamation to the person depicted. The photo in question was taken in Roatan, Honduras of a resident there, not a U.S citizen where the book will be published, so perhaps that too provides a degree of isolation. Having said all this, no final decision has been made yet, as the book still remains to be printed and there is still time to at least make some effort toward trying to contact this person if I can reach someone who knows him.

Thanks again,


In Topic: Questioning the need for a model release or similar form

20 September 2008 - 03:22 PM

Hello James,

Thanks for the advice. Part of my confusion on this regards identifiability and your advice sounds as if the question boils down to whether the person in the photo can recognize themself? I would have thought it more of how identifiable are they to others, especially those who do not know them, based upon what features of the person can be distinguished. Somewhat akin to if a sketch artist was drawing someone's image based upon what few details they can gather from the photo, is there enough information there for someone to identify the person if they were to then see them in public.

The guy in the 2nd photo is a good example...I feel there is not enough detail to clearly identify him, nor for him to say for certain that is him, apart from perhaps recognizing the dive gear and clothing he is wearing.

Looking at the other photos of the dolphin trainer and resort video pro, clearly you cannot see and identify their face. But, if they recognize themself only for knowing the role they play, taken in conjunction with their appearance in profile, does that present a reason for requiring a model release from them as well?