Example of why selection criteria is so tight

© Barsik
In an article that (may) receives applause from traditionalists, Chris Ferrone describes an obvious case of sensitive usage associated with Model Release issues (or better said total absence of).

Next time you get a refusal based on a legal issue (potential trademark infringement or something that seems nonsense about your MR) think about this case:

Virgin Mobile using photo without a model release

Is it the site's fault, the CC license's or the designer's fault?

Photo credits: Galina Barskaya.

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August 15, 2007


Another good reason to obtain images from a stock agency instead of a free public domain, such as Flickr or Photobucket. Not only do many people uploading pictures there not know about the legalities of model releases, but many of the websites do not even have a place to upload a release and attach it to the photograph. I used to keep a bunch of pictures on Flickr until I realized that a lot of agencies, even big name ones, would go to that site to obtain marketing images. While many people uploading images to the site are aware of the different licenses (the default is full protection for the photographer), that copyright does not guarantee that any potential copyrights in the image have been taken care of. I decided it was best for me and potential clients to steer clear of what Virgin Mobile went through.

August 06, 2007


I think that was a very shady move from the agency. If the agency did indeed inform the client, then Virgin Mobile should be in trouble as well. AND why would anyone put images of people they do or don't know online under a CC license anyway?! Those kids should be ashamed. lol! Why would any legitimate agency utilize such a thing? They could have gone outside and taken photos like those themselves complete with MRs. It just doesn't make much sense. But, that's all beside the point, the point is I admire Dreamstime for always being on the up and up. Your honesty, integrity, sense of community and this awesome website are what keeps us coming back. It hurts to be rejected, but it would hurt more to be sued! lol =)

July 26, 2007


Good point Achilles.
And that brings a more complex approach to the problem, leading me to believe that noone, including the depicted persons (some ingenuity there, wouldn't you agree?) is free from responsability. But when it comes to big companies, everybody raises a word of complaint :-)

July 26, 2007


Rolmat, I would add that the CC license is not displayed properly on many of the sites using it. What this license brings is more freedom, but what if this is at the cost of too much fraud involved. The difference reliese between understanding what download means vs. licensing!

July 26, 2007


Excelent article, I didn't know about this.
Pretty good example of a completely lack of professionalism both from the photographer, the agency and of course, from the client who should double check before marketing the product. BUT i wouldn't rely only on these two entities responsability. Why? Well, after reading the threads in flickr about this, what I saw I that most of the posts seemed to disregard the photographer responsability (MR's) on the issue, focusing the blame only on Virgin Mobile & the marketing agency. Their responsability here is of course on the photographer also. If I were in his/her shoes I would be very very concerned if I hadn't asked the depicted persons to sign a basic MR. Tks Achilles, this is an extraordinary example about lack of professionalism and basic knowledge of the law. Tks a lot!

July 25, 2007


Very good example! Too bad it has to be learned the hard way. And that commercial motto... Quite something! :)

July 25, 2007


And that's why I have no problem with having to have model releases...of course, I also haven't been able to use anything with people in it yet, but point taken.

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