You might be using stock images in your company’s websites and on in your blogs as well. But do you know what a model release is? Learn why you should buy images which comes with a model release.

Model Release

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I have been using images in my blogs and websites I have worked for. But I never knew or rather cared about the legal implications of using images taken by a photographer. I still remember that early in my career, I took (steal would be ideal!) an image from Flickr which actually had a copyright symbol imprinted on it!

Now I am learning the basics of copyright, and what is an Intellectual Property! Oh boy! All those movies I downloaded from the internet 🙂

What is an Intellectual Property

One fine day, one of my friend who is an upcoming blogger covering the Startups in India, received a notice from Getty Images that he should either delete or license the image used in one of his blog posts. After learning about that, I keep extreme caution while using images in my blogs/projects. If I have to give a credit line to the photographer, I will give it. I started paying for the images I downloaded. And when using images from Flickr, I started to use their Advanced Search where I can filter by “Creative Commons license” and “for non commercial use”.

That’s all I knew about copyrighted images. And the day I started working for Alamy, the company which sells stock images I realized the importance of copyrighted images and its uses.

I realized that if there is a human presence in the image that you are using, he/she can actually sue you in court. Here is an example of how a woman sued Match.com for using her photos in advertisements without her consent. To make sure it doesn’t happen to you, you need to know about model and property releases.

“A model release, known in similar contexts as a liability waiver, is a legal release typically signed by the subject of a photograph granting permission to publish the photograph in one form or another.”, as per Wikipedia.

So what if the subject is an animal, or a building or a smartphone? Confusing! Remember the Monkey — Wikipedia Selfie issue.

The below infographic from Alamy about model and property releases when using stock images explains the concept in the most simplest way. You can learn what is a model release, if you need to obtain it for using the image, what if the model in the image is dead!

Infographic: Property and model releases explained

So next time when you use images in your blog and company website’s, just make sure that you are using licensed version of the stock image and you are using model or property released.

 

About the Author:

Nikhil Raj is an experienced marketer specialized in Inbound Marketing, SEO and SEM. He currently works at Alamy as a Senior SEO Engineer. You can reach him at @nikhilrajr and LinkedIn.

Disclaimer by the author: The opinions expressed in this article represent my own views and not those of my employer.

This post first appeared in author’s blog.