Why Are Model Release Forms So Important?
Or perhaps more importantly, reading them. I was just talking about release forms during last night’s Law School for Visual Artists class, and used Richard Prince’s Spiritual America (image of 10-yr old Brooke Shields) as an example. I only wish I had known about this gem of a story.
It seems that the mother of a 6-yr old is now having second thoughts about taking her daughter to a modeling agency.What happened to mommy’s 6-yr old? There’s a billboard that sits in New York City, above Sixth Avenue in SoHo, that reads “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.” It has a picture of mommy’s 6-yr old behind the text and a link to a website. The billboard belongs to the anti-abortion group, Life.
Unlawful? Probably not. A model release form was signed by the mother, granting the modeling agency certain rights to the use and licensing of the image. We haven’t read the release form, but most “good” release forms grant the holder of the release a diverse and long list of rights to the image. A good example of course is the now-classic model release form for Borat, the film.
Taste and politics aside, a valid and binding contract is just that, a valid and binding contract. Via Fox News.
UPDATE: February 24, 2011
The controversial billboard is…going…to…come…down!