As a photographer, you may take photographs of anybody, any time, and in any place Sometimes, there would be people in your photos who don’t want to get publicized and you must respect that. It could also be other forms of media or content. To make sure that you don’t encounter trouble when publishing or using media/content, you need a media release form.

Media Release Forms

What’s a release form?

A media release form is a document that serves to legally protect you. When the signer affixes their signature on the media consent form, it means that they:

  • Give up any right to disapprove or approve of your finished product.
  • Acknowledge that you will use the media professionally.
  • Acknowledge that they’re above 18 years of age.
  • Confirm that they aren’t breaching any other agreement by participating.

What is a standard release form?

A standard release form is a recorded or written form of communication created for various purposes. To make sure that you’re writing an effective release form, it has to be both enticing and informative. You should write it using a standard format, and it should contain accurate and interesting information.

Media Release Templates

Types of content in a media release form

You may use a media release form to:

  • Provide or declare ways of how you will use the media.
  • Determine the term you want the form to remain effective.
  • Give specifications if the document is only for a specific activity and as such, you can only use it one time. Unless otherwise specified, the validity of the form can for a lifetime.

Whether you plan to use a social media release form or any other type, you should outline the information needed on the document. You can even include examples of possible scenarios. The most common information included in this form is:

  • The party that grants permission and waives their right to royalties or compensation.
  • The party that grants permission and waives their right to approve or disapprove the final content you have created.
  • The party that grants permission and acknowledges that other contracts won’t get breached if they participate in your agreement.
  • An acknowledgment that the party that grants permission and releases any applicable school or business entity from all claims and liabilities.
  • The class of release that you may define as Blanket or Limited.
  • The rights of the party who receives permission that may reproduce, produce, print, edit, share or trade media content as desired.

This form is subject to the local laws of your state and in some cases, you might have to get this document notarized. To be safe, it’s recommended to consult a lawyer to ensure the scope and validity of your form.

What to include?

A media release form is a legally-binding document that authorizes a party to reuse, produce, edit or reproduce videos, take or print photos, and record the sound of a person. Those under 18 years of age need a legal guardian to sign this form.

A media release template may get signed before or right after the affected party has taken part in the event. This depends on the local laws of your state. Generally, these forms may vary between states as they don’t have standard legal requirements to satisfy. When making this form, include the following:

  • Names of the parties involved.
  • Addresses of the parties involved.
  • Email addresses of the parties involved.
  • Phone numbers of the parties involved.
  • Signatures of the parties involved.
  • The names of the parties waiving their rights.
  • The names of the parties receiving their rights.
  • An acknowledgment of age.
  • Name of the legal guardian for minors and their consent.

Media Consent Forms

When do you need this form?

A media consent form is a legal statement that makes known the permission of the signee to participate in the production of the media content. It also specifies the terms and conditions that the signee must adhere to and follow. When you make a media release template, use it for these purposes:

  • Authorize the signees to participate in media production
    The main role of the form is to give permission to the signee to engage in media production. The signee here refers to those who will add their signature on the form. The form outlines the whole scope of such content and the associated tasks. As such, you can, therefore, use it as a reference when you need clarification.
  • Familiarize the signees with the possible risks
    Media content production comes with its own risks. It is your responsibility to stipulate these risks in the form, together with the different means and methods to help mitigate the dangers. The recipient may want to ask you who would take custody of the photographs not to alter as this might interfere with their overall purposes and intents.
  • Provide proof of authorization
    Before you start collecting information, you may have to show proof of authorization. You can use this form for this purpose to give proof of such authorization. You can produce and give it to the one asking for proof. This will make things easier for you to get what you need.
  • During Litigations
    It is sometimes the case that media content that you have collected and presented to an audience, might get subjected to litigation issues. In such cases, you can use the form but the role of the document under this circumstance is to prove authorization of the activity and show enough qualifications for it.
    There are times when the magistrate, jury or the judge might ask for written proof of the authority to use the photos, digital records or other media content. In such a case, only a written form of this kind will offer the guidance needed.
  • Protects you from liabilities
    As the issuer, you can get absolved from any liability that might arise in the process of participating in the stipulated roles because this is part of the terms and conditions underlying the form.
    Should the issues lead to the litigation phase, you may not get held liable. When a person surrenders their rights to use photographs and other media, they naturally will waive any control along with the associated risks that may arise in the process.